Monday, 16 January 2012

How to upgrade AIX Firmware & TL Maintenance Level in AIX

Steps to upgrade AIX TL ( technology Level ) / Maintenance Level in AIX ( including Firmware HMC VIOS )

HMC upgrade

Upgrading on 2 x HMCs ( 1 for each machine )
Lpars were running during the upgrade


1. Save Upgrade Data - HMC configuration will then be automatically loaded once the update is done.
2. boot from the 1st DVD update.
3. once done with disc 1, it will prompt you for the second disk.
4. once done, the new HMC web based interface will show up (very differenct, and kind of slow when accessed remotely).
5. to apply SP1, insert the SP1 Disc (MH01084) , login as hscroot. look for "Updates" on the left fram of the HMC interface.
6. click on Update HMC and click on OK. the default is to look for the update in the DVD/CD drive..

and just reply to the prompts. if there are no problmes, it will take about 15-20 minutes for the service pack. HMC upgrade, in total, will take about an hour to finish.

detailed info can be found here.

Firmware or also known as microcode :

* Minimum firmware levels required for AIX 6.1

Find out the Present Firmware Level

You can verify the version of the firmware by issuing the command


prtconf | grep Firmware

the output should be "Firmware Version: IBM,SPH02066". 

firwmare updates for the two machines (we actually have 3 - p550, p550q and p570) were all the same. so need only to burn 1 ISO file. But the HMC won't read the discs. so downloaded the RPM and xml files and setup an FTP server (good thing i have proftpd installed in a GNU/Linux machine).
after starting up proftpd and making sure the files are accessible, i then went back to the HMC session. to access the firmware update menu, you need to:
1. under Systems management, go to "Servers", select the machine name
2. at the bottom from, go to "Updates"
4. either use "Change Licensed Internal Code for the current release" or "Upgrade Licensed internal Code to a new release".
I chose the latter.
5. HMC will do some system readiness check. No errors, so i hit OK.
6. select FTP site and hit OK. i then provided the ftp server, username, password
and directory location of the rpm and xml files.
the rest of the process is straight forward so i won't include it here.
once done, the firmware should be upgraded and should

Updates > View System Information

select "None - Display current values" and hit OK.

more info here

from the command line, once the an LPAR is online, the firmware version can be viewed using lsmcode:

#lsmcode  -c

The current permanent system firmware image is SF240_332
The  current temporary system firmware image is SF240_358
The system is  currently booted from the temporary firmware image.

(running lsmcode alone will bring you to a smitty based session).

NOTE: the LPARs here are all powered-off.

VIO update commands:

#commit all uncommitted (really?) updates

updateios -commit

# apply the patches from the directory VIO accepting all license agreements by default

updateios -dev  VIO -install -accept

after applying, VIO servers need to be restarted (NOTE: AIX Lpars are still "powered off" here.

# check VIO level:

$ ioslevel
NOTE: client lpars here are still powered down.

AIX TL / Maintenance Level update

1) Find out your current OS level 
oslevel -s
oslevel -r

2) Download the latest technology or maintenance level from AIX fix central

Click on

IBM Support: Fix Central

Select the product group ==> SYSTEM P
Select the the product ==> AIX
Select the version ==> 6.1
Select the fix type ==> FIX PACKS

Click on Continue:

Select 6100-05-01-1016 with Service Pack

To be on the safe side, select
Yes, include Technology Level 6100-05 with the Service Pack and click on Continue

Download will start..... Once you download the filesets copy it in any directory (usually more than 2GB ) if you downloaded the files on your Windows/MAC PC ftp it to AIX in binary mode

3) Put the files in any directory let us say: /tmp/AIX_TL04
run the following commands

# pwd
# /tmp/AIX_TL04
# inutoc .
# smitty update_all
> select the directory .

Make commit ==> YES if you don't want to keep the old version but if you want to keep the old one and want to go back to it SELECT NO for commit

Accept License==> YES
Press Enter
takes usually more than 1 hour.

4) a Reboot of the system is required
5) verify the upgrade

oslevel -s
oslevel -r

6) After installation ( optional )

You may wish to retain this package for future use. When you install additional operating system software you will want to use this package to bring the additional software up to this level.

You can create a list of the APARs closed in this package, which you can then view (and search) in an ASCII editor, such as vi or emacs. First, create the .toc file for the package by using the inutoc command described above. Then, run the following command to extract the APAR listings from the .toc file:

grep ^I .toc > apar.list

Run the following command to eliminate duplicate entries from the apar.list file:

sort -u apar.list -o sorted.apars

AIX version upgrade from 4.3 to 5.3 or 6.1

If you would like to upgrade AIX version from AIX 4.x,5.x to the latest one 6.1

Then first of all make sure that the system has the latest firmware or is compatible with your P Series from here

see under the section of ==> Minimum firmware levels required for AIX 6.1

Once you confirm, then insert the AIX 6.1 DVD/CD volume 1
and reboot the machine

# shutdown -Fr

Enter into SMS Menu

Example 2-32 Open Firmware prompt
1 = SMS Menu 5 = Default Boot List
6 = Stored Boot List 8 = Open Firmware Prompt
memory keyboard network scsi speaker ok

1 > press 1

Change the boot sequence
Boot / Install from CD-ROM

Save and exit, system will try to boot from CD-ROM

Once the boot is completed

Go for migration if you want to upgrade or new/fresh installation if you want to format and over-write the old O/S

follow the instructions here
How to install AIX 5L


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