AIX 5.x/6.1/7.1 Installation from scratch

Base system


  1. Insert first CD/DVD and proceed:
  2. Follow the instructions on the screen, i.e. choose
  3. Choose the type of installation:
  4. Note: in the menu item System Settings, carefully inspect the offered choices for the installation disk. If there are multiple disks in the system, there's a subtle difference between these two:
       Disk Where You Want to Install.....hdisk0
       Disk Where You Want to Install.....hdisk0...
    The first one will install just on disk hdisk0, whereas the second one will scatter the system across all disks, which most often is not what you want.
  5. For Install Options the defaults are sufficient, but one may choose in addition if these are offered by the respective AIX release
    Note: Some OS versions offer Trusted AIX installation, not to be confused with Trusted Computing Base. Sounds good, but don't do it, unless you absolutely have to, or you feel having a lack of problems.
  6. Start the installation of the base system. This will take several minutes up to an hour, so be patient.
  7. After base installation is complete, one may use the Configuration Assistant (once it appears) for some basic configuration (root password, IP address, time adjustment etc.).
    Usually I only adjust time, and skip everything else until later (allowing the Assistant to re-appear after reboot).
    Note: For AIX >= 5.3 the Assistant offers the modification of security levels (Security Hardening Wizard). However, even the lowest level above the default may change "well known" behaviour (e.g. umask=77 rather than umask=22), so stay away from it if you don't need it.
    Note: On Blade Servers (JS2x, PS70x, etc.) it is advisable to allow Serial over LAN (SOL) connections, use either smitty or
    chcons /dev/vty0
    to redirect the console appropriately as soon as the first installation step is completed.
By default only a very minimal AIX system is installed. File system sizes are approximately (in MB):

Version /usr /var / /opt rootvg
(w/o paging)
5.1 600 24 16 24 1200
5.2 1000 16 16 64
5.3 1500 160 80 128 2700
7.1 2300 512 512 512

Add several 100MB for default paging space.

Additional Software

You use the smitty tool to select installation media and additional SW to be installed:
  1. Software Installation and Maintenance - Install and Update Software - Install Software 
    INPUT device / directory for software              [/dev/cd0]
    assuming the standard CD/DVD device.
  2. Fill the menu:
    * INPUT device / directory for software               /dev/cd0
    * SOFTWARE to install                                [_all_latest]           +
      PREVIEW only? (install operation will NOT occur)    yes                    +
      ACCEPT new license agreements?                      yes                    +
    and use F4 (or Esc-4) to get a list of software to install. Select, start preview and check space requirements and prerequisites.
  3. Use Tab key to switch to
      PREVIEW only? (install operation will NOT occur)    no                     +
    and install for real.

Some basic customizations

Before connecting to a network one should:
  1. In /etc/inetd.conf disable all unnecessary insecure services, such as ftp, telnet, login, exec, ttdbserver, xmquery, dtspcd, cmsd, etc. shell (rshd) is needed by LoadLeveler and various administration tools. If the machine should offer boot services, bootps and tftp must be enabled as well. Activate changes by
       refresh -s inetd
  2.    chmod o-x /usr/bin/ypcat
  3. In /etc/rc.tcpip
    outcomment the start of snmpd and dpid2.
  4. In /etc/inittab
    disable several unused services by placing a colon (':') at the beginning of the line:
    httpdlite is needed for documentation display, otherwise it should be disabled too.
    The l2 entry might be needed for services such as sshd.
    The console should be activated before NIS services:
       cons:0123456789:respawn:/usr/sbin/getty /dev/console
       rcnfs:2:wait:/etc/rc.nfs > /dev/console 2>&1 # Start NFS Daemons
    otherwise the machine won't boot if NIS can't be activated.
  5. Check network interface settings for 100Mbps ethernet cards.
  6. /etc/environment
    should contain
    causing NIS clients to wait no longer than 5 seconds for their server, e.g. to avoid "hangs" in case of network unavailability.
  7. Reboot the system
    shutdown -Fr
    and once it is back, use the Installation Assistant to complete the remaining tasks (root password, IP).
  8. If the Installation Assistant is not used, and/or no root password is assigned yet, now is the time to do it.
    Additionally, set up and/or verify the network configuration.

Additional local software

A bunch of additional software packages I would recommend to be installed locally (i.e. on the rootvg), in order to allow minimum functionality of a standalone system. They are indicated (as L) in the software catalogue. Such software may stem from various sources, e.g. AIX Bonus and other extra CDs, local software archives, mounted installp depots or even remotely mounted CDs:


After installation use
oslevel -r
to determine the actual patch level. The installation as described so far takes approximately (in MB):

Version /usr /var / /opt rootvg
(w/o paging)
5.2 2400 16 16 640
5.3 4000 350 256 2000 7000
7.1 4300 512 384 2300 9700


(and their patches), if available:

What's next ?

For machines with two system disks the rootvg should be mirrored, either now or later.
After installation you will need to customize your system.
Last update: 5-Mar-2014, M.Kraemer

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