« Technical University: Looking Back and Ahead | Main | IBM's New Software Compatibility Tool »

January 25, 2011


I prefer to install the VIOS without using physical media at all using the HMC command line and the installios command. Requires an FTP server or NFS mount.

I download the VIOS install "media" from Entitlement Software Support ( - needs an IBM ID) and then install the VIOS without NIM or physical access to a managed system. True bare metal install.

This requires an HMC. Don't think it can be done for an IVM managed system.

Rob, I had the very same issue recently. So I suspect a media issue? I worked around the problem just as you did.

By the way, I use the exact same method for installing VIO servers on low end systems, like a 720 for example. And like you, I prefer to install the first VIO from DVD, then install my NIM LPAR using the virtual media library. It takes a few extra steps but once NIM is up and running, everything else just flows along nicely.


The media I got from IBM installs to as well. I just went ahead and applied Fixpack 24 SP01 anyway.

The iso you can download from IBM ESS is version

I prefer to use NIM to install the VIOS and AIX because I'm thousands of miles away from the servers, and ask to insert a DVD, then remove it, keep it safe, etc, is a pain... so I have everything (iso, mksysb, filesets,firmware,etc) in the NIM.

With some IBM Power Systems models, you can get an optional split backplane. This allows you to set up multiple partitions with their own disk controller and disks. With some of these models, however, the DVD drive can only be accessed only by one of the disk controllers. So when the other partition boots up, it cannot see the DVD. This makes it difficult to load that second VIOS on that second set of internal disks, since they cannot see the VIO install media.

Tried the cat of the split VIOS mysysb's to a directory in my NIM repository and created a mksysb resource from the result. When I tried to create a SPOT resource from it, it chugs for a bit and starts to create the SPOT resource directories and filesets, but quits with a failure. I tried a restore of the mksysb by doing:
"restore -Tvqf mksysb_image > /dev/null" and it eventually asks me to mount a second volume. Is the cat command placing some erroneous "space" between the two cat-ted files?
(AIX 7.1 TL01 SP01 and VIOS 2.2.1)

OK, leapt before I looked. Turns out that for VIOS, there is a THIRD mksysb image on the second DVD of the distro. Appending that to the result of the concatenation of the two mksysb images from the first DVD yielded a successful SPOT creation.
-Mount VIOS DVD 1 of 2
-cd /usr/sys/inst.images
-cat mksysb_image mksys)image2 > /
-unmount first DVD
-Mount VIOS DVD 2 of 2
-cd /usr/sys/inst.images
-cat mksysb_image >> /

Then proceed with NIM resource creation.

What is the minimum OS level for the NIM server when installing VIOS

Kudos on the third mksysb Michael.

@Marcelo Salinas - you don;t need to ask someone to insert VIOS install media to HMC's DVD drive.

I did the installios installation copying original iso images to /tmp on HMC. The installation went without any problem (when I was aksed for second image, I just paste full path to it in /tmp/...)

I got to download VIOS 2.2.1 from IBM ESS site as Anthony pointed out. But When I point my HMC to x.x.x.x:/var/vio/VMLibrary/

(assuming it is ok to do, as output shows it accepts)
the installios keep failing with error.

nimol_install ERROR: Unable to find the label corresponding to ioserver in /etc/nimol.conf
ERROR unconfiguring nimol_install.

Any ideas?

These are the two files I have in my VM Library, and as a matter of fact, i've tried to put and use directly from hmc:/tmp also, but with same results, so I know path is not an issue.

1296357376 Mar 06 12:25 Virtual_IO_Server_Base_Install_V2.2.1_DVD_2_of_2_102011.iso

4032843776 Mar 05 15:51 Virtual_IO_Server_V2.2.1_DVD_1_of_2_102011.iso

Also, want to point out that this is a new P770 im building and have no network connectivity, other than HMCs private network offcourse. I have no physical DVDs either in my possession :( yet.

so any one ideas have?


The /var/vio/VMLibrary is created on the VIOS itself (after the VIOS has been installed). This directory is the location for the Virtual Media Repository (VMR) for sharing ISO images from the VIOS to VIO clients (AIX logical partitions).

Back to your problem. Assuming your two VIOS ISO images are accessible from the HMC (e.g. on an NFS mount from a windows server), you could clear the locks and start again. See this APAR:

You may also find soemthing helpful in this article "Build your Power System without Data Center Access"

That article has some helpful links at the bottom in the resources section.

One other thing: I ran into a similar difficulty to you and logged a call with IBM who were very helpful (although they did point out that installios is rarely used!). I'm sure IBM could respond more quickly and thoroughly than we can in a forum like this.

what is the difference between ios_mksysb and mksysb? I can not select ios_mksysb if I want to install VIO with mksysb. I guess here I have to define my VIO as vios management Object, right? Are there any documentation?

Google found me this one:

"An ios_mksysb resource represents a file that is a system backup image created by using the mksysb command on a VIOS. The ios_mksysb resource can be used as the source for the installation of VIOS or an Integrated Virtualization Management (IVM) client management system."


"Procedure for using an ios_mksysb image to install the base operating system on a NIM client from the command line."

Dear Michael Puchalek, Itried again what you suggested. I concatenated the 3rd mksysb file from the 2nd DVD and the restore -Tqvf mksysb went ok or so I do think

The total size is XXXXXX bytes
The number of archived files is XXXXXX

but when I wanted to create resources...

[email protected]:/export/mksysb # nim -o define -t mksysb -a server=master -a location=/export/mksysb/mksysb vios_mksysb

[email protected]:/export/mksysb # nim -o define -t spot -a source=/export/mksysb/mksysb -a server=master -a location=/export/spot vios_spot

Creating SPOT in "/export/spot" on machine "master" from "/export/mksysb/mksysb" ...

Restoring files from BOS image. This may take several minutes ...

0042-001 nim: processing error encountered on "master":
0042-001 m_mkspot: processing error encountered on "master":
0042-175 c_mkspot: An unexpected result was returned by the "/usr/sbin/restbyname" command:
restore: 0511-126 Cannot open /export/mksysb/mksysb/usr/sys/inst.images/bos: A parameter must be a directory.
Mount volume 1 on /export/mksysb/mksysb/usr/sys/inst.images/bos.

Press the Enter key to continue.

what might be happening?
Thanks in advance

The comments to this entry are closed.