To keep up on IBM Power Systems, I rely on various resources. I'm a long-time reader of Nigel Griffiths’ AIXpert, Anthony English's AIXDownUnder and Chris Gibson's AIX blog, and I follow a number of folks on Twitter. @IBMRedbooks, @mr_nmon, @chromeaix, @POWERHAguy, @cgibbo, @aixdownunder are just a few “twitterers” who provide good insights and links.Twitter is also where I discovered Brian Smith. Brian is another IBM developerWorks blogger who produces tons of valuable information. For instance, check out his post on using uuencode to embed binaries in scripts and copy/paste transfer files between servers:
“If you have a relatively small binary file that you need to transfer between servers, you can easily transfer it by copying and pasting it using uuencode/uudecode. This can be a time saver in some circumstances. It also might be helpful if you have a server that isn't connected to the network but for which you can get a console on through something like the HMC.
“In this example, we will copy and paste the /usr/bin/ls binary between servers.
On the source server, type:
uuencode /usr/bin/ls /dev/stdout
Then copy all of the output in to the clipboard.
On the destination server, type:
uudecode -o /tmp/ls
“Then press enter, and then paste in the uuencode output from the source server. The copy/pasted ls binary will be saved to /tmp/ls. You can verify the source and destination ls files are identical by comparing the checksum of the files with the csum command. “
Brian also writes about scripting importvg on AIX:
“There are some situations where you need to exportvg volume groups, and then reimport them This often occurs when doing disk migrations between servers. The usual routine is to record which PVIDs go with which volume groups, and when you need to import the volume groups again run an importvg and specify the correct volume group name with the hdisk that has the matching PVID. You generally can't rely on the hdisk name/number because it might be numbered differently.
“To make this easier, I wrote a small script that automates this process. ...”
These are great tips and tricks. I could easily highlight a dozen of Brian's posts, but I'll limit myself to three more:
“[prdiff] is the tool that will compare your LPAR running configuration with the profile and report differences. For more info and to download, go here.
“This can come in handy if you are not certain that your running profile has been modified with DLPAR operations without also modifying the script definition on the HMC.”
“Here is a method you can use to reset a lost VIO padmin password from the HMC with zero downtime on the VIO server. This is a somewhat involved process, but much easier than having to take a downtime on the VIO server to change the password. This is a very challenging task because the viosvrcmd HMC command doesn't allow the command run on the VIO server to have a pipe ("|"), or any redirection ("<", ">") and doesn't allow for interactive input. So this rules out using something like "chpasswd" to change the password.”
“For those of you not familiar with EZH, it is a script for the HMC that provides a very simple and easy to use interface to the HMC command line so that you can very quickly, efficiently, and easily complete day to day administration tasks from the command line. It is very easy to install and doesn't require any modifications to the HMC (the script runs within the restricted HMC shell).
“I released a new version today with many improvements, including support to easily DLPAR CPU, Virtual CPU, Memory, and VSCSI/VFC slots.
“It also includes a new interactive menu that you can access by using the ezh command.... More information is available at http://ezh.sourceforge.net/ .”
I'm always looking to add to my reading rotation, so if you have an AIX resource that I've overlooked, please let me know in comments.