Configuring an IPX Network for the 7318


About this document
Remote configurations
Assumptions and terms

About this document

This document is designed to assist an IBM eServer pSeries or RS/6000 system administrator with configuring an IPX network on an AIX host. This process involves configuring a communications interface on the host for IPX.

This document is designed for AIX System Administrators with a knowledge of AIX administration and the 7318. Using this document to configure an IPX network takes approximately 15 minutes.

This document is comprised of modules that contain specific configuration steps. The modules have been arranged from general to specific configuration issues. This document does not contain detailed explanations about the modules and steps used in the IPX configuration.

This document applies to AIX Versions 3.2.5, 4.1, 4.2, and 4.3.

NOTE: This document does not cover configuration of Novell network services and protocols which are not required by the 7318.

Remote configurations

To communicate with devices (and other hosts) on remote IPX networks, your host must be configured for an IPX network, and the router that connects the remote IPX network must be configured to pass IPX packets between the two networks. The steps for pSeries or RS/6000 IPX network configuration listed below are the same for a local or remote network configuration.

Assumptions and terms

Before you begin using this document, it is assumed that the following conditions apply:

Terms used in this document:


To use this document effectively, you must know:


The procedure includes the following steps:

  1. Check for conflicting software
  2. Check for an active interface
  3. Configure an IPX network
  4. Recycle the IPX daemons
  5. Verify the IPX network configuration

1. Check for conflicting software

AIX Connections

AIX Connections uses an IPX protocol stack (denoted IPXd) that is slightly different than the IPX (denoted IPX) software that is used for NetWare and the 7318 Terminal Server. Both IPX protocol stacks (IPX and IPXd) cannot be active on a host at the same time. Therefore, to configure IPX for NetWare or the 7318, verify that AIX Connections is not active on the host.

NOTE: Other hosts running AIX Connections can reside on the same physical network without any compatibility problems.

  1. To check if AIX Connections is active, enter:
        # ps -ef | grep nw 

    Sample output:

        root 11676     1   0   Oct 11      -  0:00 /usr/tn/nw/NWfile 
        root 23948     1   0   Oct 11      -  0:00 /usr/tn/nw/NWbinderyd 
        root 33958     1   0   Oct 11      -  0:00 /usr/tn/nw/NWprint 
        user 34264 47824   2 16:30:01 pts/22  0:00 grep nw 
        root 43820 11676   0   Oct 11      -  0:00 /usr/tn/nw/NWfile 
        root 46740     1   0   Oct 11      -  0:00 /usr/tn/nw/NWlockd 
        root 48002     1   0   Oct 11  pts/0  0:15 /usr/tn/nw/IPXd 
        root 48558     1   0   Oct 11      -  0:00 /usr/tn/nw/NWdiagd 
  2. Verify that AIX Connections is inactive. AIX Connections is inactive if none of the processes in the preceding output are running.

    If any AIX Connections processes are active, you cannot configure an IPX network for NetWare or the 7318 on this host.

    If AIX Connections is not active, continue with the next section.

Other versions of IPX

The IPX stack provided by ipx.rte that is used by the 7318 Terminal Server cannot coexist with any other IPX stacks. At AIX Version 4.3 and higher, another IPX stack is included with the operating system and may be installed. The fileset name is ipx.base.rte. If it is installed, it must be removed before the ipx.rte fileset can be installed and used. If both are installed at the same time, both IPX versions will have to be deinstalled, ipx.rte reinstalled, and the machine rebooted before proceeding.

Check for the existence of the ipx.base.rte and ipx.base.api filesets by entering the following command:

   lslpp -l ipx.base.*
If it is installed and being used, 7318s cannot boot from this host. Otherwise, deinstall as previously mentioned.

2. Check for an active interface

The host communicates with the network through an interface (tr0, en0, et0, fi0). To configure an interface for IPX, the interface must already be active. The interface is active if the words <UP, RUNNING> appear in the flags when the ifconfig command is run.

NOTE: A communication INTERFACE is configured on a communication ADAPTER. That is, the tr0 interface is configured on the tok0 adapter card; similarly, the en0 (or et0) interfaces are configured on the ent0 adapter card. A communication adapter can have multiple interfaces. IPX networks can be configured on the following adapters.

ent0    Available 00-02    Ethernet High-Performance LAN Adapter (8ef5) 
fddi0   Available 00-03    FDDI Primary Card, Single Ring Fiber 
tok0    Available 00-04    Token-Ring High-Performance Adapter (8fc8) 
rhp0    Available 00-05    Network Terminal Accelerator 

Verify that the communications interface is active using the ifconfig command and the adapter name for a Standard Ethernet Interface configured on ent0. Enter:

        # ifconfig en0 

Sample output:

        inet netmask 0xffffffc0 broadcast 

For a Standard Token Ring Interface on tok0, enter:

        # ifconfig tr0 

Sample output:

            inet netmask 0xffffffc0 broadcast 

If the interface is active (the words <UP, RUNNING> appear in the flags list), then continue to the next section.

If the words <UP, RUNNING> do not appear in the flags list, then configure the interface through SMIT with the fastpath inet.

3. Configure an IPX network

The /etc/netware/NPSConfig file contains configuration entries for the IPX network. To configure an IPX network, you must modify the interface's stanza in the /etc/netware/NPSConfig file.

  1. Open the /etc/netware/NPSConfig file with your favorite editor.
  2. Search on spx.
  3. Verify that the spx line is uncommented and reads: spx = active. There can be spaces on either side of the = sign.
  4. Verify that the sap line is uncommented and reads: sap = active. There can be spaces on either side of the = sign.
  5. Search on internal_network.
  6. Verify that the internal network number for this IPX host is unique.

    NOTE: The host's internal_network number must be different from all other IPX hosts throughout the entire IPX inter-network and different from all other external network numbers. Check all other IPX hosts on the network to make sure that no two hosts have the same internal network number. By default, the internal_network is 00000001, but it can be any eight-digit hexadecimal number. It is recommended that you use the last eight digits of the pSeries or RS/6000's hardware address to ensure uniqueness from other hosts.

  7. Scroll down the file and locate the interface configuration stanzas (Standard Ethernet, Token-Ring, and FDDI). All of these interface stanzas are example stanzas and should not be modified. Choose the interface stanza on which to configure the IPX network.
  8. Copy the example stanza and paste it in at the end of the NPSConfig file. By default, a Standard Ethernet stanza is already uncommented and set up as the lan_1_network (the first IPX network on the host).
  9. Uncomment each line in the interface configuration stanza by removing the * and /* symbols.

    NOTE: Each communication interface must be configured as a different IPX network. Therefore, a host can have multiple IPX network connections if a different interface is configured for each IPX network. If the IPX network you are now configuring is an additional IPX network, that is, another interface is already configured for an IPX network, the X in the lan_X_network of the interface configuration stanza must be modified to reflect the additional IPX network. In other words, X is incremented as more interfaces are configured for IPX. lan_1_network is for the first IPX network, lan_2_network is for the second IPX network, the third is lan_3_network, and so on.

  10. Modify the X in each lan_X_number line to reflect additional IPX networks, if any, on the host.
  11. Modify the lan_X_ppa field to reflect additional LAN interfaces for example, 1 for en1; 2 for en2.
  12. Specify the external IPX network address as the lan_X_network number in the configuration stanza. This number is the network address of the IPX network and is used by all hosts connected to that IPX network. Check with your network administrator if you are unsure of the correct IPX network number. By default the lan_1_network number is 00000002, but the number can be any eight digit hexadecimal number.


    The lan_X_network number can NOT be the same IPX network number as the remote IPX network. Different physical LAN segments, for example, two Ethernet segments separated by a router, must use different IPX network numbers. Once we configure an IPX network, the host will "see" the remote IPX network if the router or gateway passes IPX packets.

  13. If other configuration parameters in the stanza need to be modified, change them now. If you are unsure of further configuration, either leave the parameters to their default values or ask your network administrator.

    Three sample interface stanzas for IPX configuration and different interfaces follow.

    Token Ring example (frame type TOKEN-RING):
    lan_1_network = "00000002" 
    lan_1_adapter = "/dev/dlpi/tr" 
    lan_1_adapter_type = "TOKEN-RING_DLPI" 
    lan_1_ppa = 0 
    lan_1_if_name = "tr" 
    lan_1_frame_type = "TOKEN-RING" 
    lan_1_module = "NULL"
    FDDI example (frame type FDDI):
    lan_1_network = "00000002" 
    lan_1_adapter = "/dev/dlpi/fi" 
    lan_1_adapter_type = "FDDI_DLPI" 
    lan_1_ppa = 0 
    lan_1_if_name = "fi" 
    lan_1_frame_type = "FDDI" 
    lan_1_module = "NULL" 
    Standard Ethernet example:
    lan_1_adapter = "/dev/dlpi/en" 
    lan_1_adapter_type = "ETHERNET_DLPI" 
    lan_1_ppa = 0 
    lan_1_if_name = "en" 
    lan_1_frame_type = "ETHERNET_II" 
    lan_1_module = "NULL" 
    lan_1_network = "00000002" 
  14. Save any modifications and exit.

Continue to the next section.

4. Recycle the IPX daemons

To implement any changes made to the /etc/netware/NPSConfig file (to add the new IPX network), the IPX daemons must be recycled.

WARNING: When the IPX daemons are recycled, any IPX communication with the host will be stopped.

  1. First verify that all applications that use IPX, for example, the 7318 daemon, cnsview, NetWare applications, and so on, have been shut down before recycling the protocol stack and drivers.

  2. To recycle the IPX daemons, execute the command sequence:
    # /usr/lpp/netware/bin/stopnps 
    # /usr/lpp/netware/bin/startnps 
  3. Verify command success.

    Check the /tmp/rc.netware.out file for any error messages. The following messages typically appear in this file:

    strload:  cannot load ncp:  A file or directory in the 
    path name does not exist. 
    /usr/lpp/netware/bin/startnps:  started Streams Architecture 
    Daemon (npsd) and SAPD Daemon (sapd) 
    /usr/lpp/netware/bin/startnps:  successfully brought up the 
    Novell Protocol Suite

    NOTE: The preceding ncp error can be ignored because the 7318 is the only driver or application using IPX.

    Also, run the commands ps -ef | grep sapd and ps -ef | grep npsd. Both of these daemons should be running as a result of the preceding startnps command.

    If the commands fail, please check the /etc/netware/NPSConfig file for syntax errors with the IPX interface configuration. If the commands still fail, please contact an IBM AIX Technical Support Representative.

    If the command is successful, the interface is now configured for the new IPX network. Proceed to the next section to verify the IPX network configuration.

5. Verify the IPX network configuration

View the host's IPX routing table by executing the program /usr/lpp/netware/bin/drouter. If the IPX network is configured properly, it will be listed in the IPX routing table.


All remote IPX networks appear in the host's IPX routing table if there is an active IPX communication channel between the two IPX networks, that is, the router or gateway is configured correctly and passes IPX packets.

  1. To view the host's IPX routing table, enter:
    # /usr/lpp/netware/bin/drouter 

    Sample output:

    -------    ----  ----    -------       --------  ----  ----  --------- 
    00000001   0000  0001    000000000001  00000002  0000  0001  02608C2F7119 
    00000003   0000  0001    02608C2F1591  00000004  0001  0002  00406E0002F5 
    00000005   0001  0002    00406E0002DB 
    END OF TABLE      5 known networks 
    [root@levesconte] /#> 


    NETWORK is the network number, internal or external. There should be one entry in this table for each network segment in the overall network and one for each host on the inter-network.

    HOPS is the number of routers that must be passed through to get to this network.

    NODE is the hardware MAC address of the station used to get to the network.

  2. Verify that the IPX network is shown in the listing.

    If the IPX network is listed, then you have successfully configured an IPX interface on the host.

    If the newly created network is not listed, carefully review the configuration steps listed above. If you are still unsuccessful, please contact an IBM AIX Technical Support Representative.

NOTE: Routers and gateways that are part of the IPX inter-network must be configured to use the same frametype as specified in the host's /etc/netware/NPSConfig file. They must also be configured to use the Routing Information Protocol (RIP) and Service Advertising Protocol (SAP) correctly. Their configuration is beyond the scope of this document.

[ Doc Ref: 90605193714782     Publish Date: Mar. 06, 2001     4FAX Ref: 6528 ]