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Tips on the HMC, VIOS, LPAR and More

It’s always nice to hear from readers. Even better is when I can confirm that my information is helping techies in the real world. My colleague Eric Hopkins recently put my invscout script to work for one of his clients. Here’s his story:

I have a customer who has smartly blocked outbound traffic to the internet from their NIM server, so I used details from your article to get a quick report of firmware status which would have taken me hours to gather and review manually.

Here’s how I did it in short order.
1. Downloaded to my workstation and used scp to get it to NIM
2. Used scp to distribute to a pile of VIOS. NOTE: I have SSH key exchange set up for ease of use, so I have $WCOLL defined as a host list file which contains #comments so I needed to exclude them.

for i in `cat $WCOLL | grep -v #`
scp /export/microcode/catalog.mic $i:/var/adm/invscout/

3. Used dsh to run invscout
# dsh /usr/sbin/invscout
4. Gathered the data from each host at /var/adm/invscout/<hostname>.mup using a fancy dsh command to exclude dshbak headers but leave invscout delimeters, but first ran a dsh command to list the files to make sure I wasn’t going to grab any old garbage
# dsh “ls -l /var/adm/invscout/*.mup”
# dsh “cat /var/adm/invscout/*.mup” | dshbak | egrep -v ‘HOST:|———————‘ > VIOSmup

5. Used scp to get /export/microcode/VIOSmup to my workstation
6. Visited and clicked on “Manual Upload” link.
7. Browsed my workstation for VIOSmup, selected radio button “Off line HTML” and clicked Big Blue’s “Upload file” button.

Moments later I was presented with the results which I printed to a PDF document for safe keeping.

Keep in mind, the IBM Support URL has changed yet again. Here’s the new one. If your script contains the old URL you will get an error.

This page provides additional detail.

AIX 7.1: The Build Environment for AIX Toolbox Packages

As much as I like to believe we are all on current supported versions of AIX, I know that this is not actually the case. In case you missed it:

We (AIX Toolbox team) are moving to AIX 7.1 as the build environment for AIX toolbox packages. Because of this, new versions of packages built on AIX 7.1 may not work on AIX 6.1 or earlier AIX releases.

Today our build environment for most of the packages is AIX 6.1. AIX 6.1 is already out of support, and we cannot continue this version forever. As a start we will just move the packages those we are upgrading to new version as per regular updates. The updates due to security vulnerabilities will continue to be built on AIX 6.1 (if vulnerable package was built on AIX 6.1) but in future we will move to AIX 7.1 for those packages as well.

This should not impact anyone who is using AIX 7.1 or later releases of AIX. The packages those are already built on AIX 6.1 will continue to be available on AIX toolbox repository. The AIX release name is part of package name where package was built. For example, python3-3.7.12-1.aix6.1.ppc.rpm is built on AIX 6.1 and can be installed on AIX 6.1 or later AIX releases whereas python3.9-3.9.6-1.aix7.1.ppc.rpm is built on AIX 7.1 and can be installed on AIX 7.1 or later releases.

This will also benefit in taking advantages of new features available in AIX 7.1 releases.

HMC Database Connectivity Fix and AIX 7.2 and 7.3 Installation Information

  • Fellow IBM Power Champion Jaqui Lynch offers another helpful tip: “Unable to connect to Database on HMC virtual networks after updating from 3.1.0. to 3.1.3.” If you get this error when you click on virtual networks on the HMC after the update, the fix is here.
  • Along those lines, if you subscribe to IBM email notifications, you might have noticed more tips and tricks being shared there as well. Among those to recently hit my inbox: disabling unused ports on FC adapters; resolving LED 2700 when booting an AIX LPAR or PowerVM; and getting around an LPAR not booting due to error AA00E158 with HMC. While it’s nice to bookmark the actual links, information sometimes disappears from the internet. But for me, given how my memory works, if I run into one of these issues, having read about it previously usually rings a bell: I’ll at least recall seeing something. So when that happens, I can typically what I’m looking for—even if it’s not the doc I saw initially.
  • Finally, I came across some installation tips for AIX 7.2 and 7.3

From Techie Twitter

Be sure to read the last paragraph in that GitHub link to fully understand how the whole thing works. It almost seems too good to be true.