USB flash drive support

Beginning with AIX® 5.3 with the Technology Level 5300-09 and AIX 6.1 with the Technology Level 6100-02, Universal Serial Bus (USB) flash drives are supported.

Support for these devices is included in the following device package:


AIX support for USB flash drives is validated against a sample of industry standard OEM USB flash drives. Device drivers for the AIX USB-host controller support USB 2.0. USB flash drives are configured with logical names, such as usbms0 and usbms1, and they present both raw and block special files. For example, the raw special file for usbms0 is /dev/rusbms0, and the block special file is /dev/usbms0. Before AIX Version 5.3 with the 5300-11 Technology Level and AIX Version 6.1 with the 6100-04 Technology Level, USB flash drives were configured as /dev/flashdrive0.

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) file system (read-only ISO 9660) is supported on these drives. You can create a system backup on the drives by using the tar command, cpio command, or the backup or restore archives. You can also use the dd command to add the ISO images to the drives.

The AIX operating system does not support plug-and-play for USB flash drives. To make a flash drive available to AIX users, a root user must connect the drive to a system USB port and run the following command:
cfgmgr -l usb0
Attention: Use caution when you remove the flash drives from ports. If the drives are not properly closed or unmounted before you remove them, data on the drives can be corrupted.
After you remove the drives, they remain in the available state in the Object Data Manager (ODM) until the root user runs the following command:
rmdev -l usbmsn

When a drive is in the available state, you can reconnect it to the system, and it can be remounted or reopened. If a drive is disconnected from a system USB port while it is still open to a user, that drive is not reusable until the user closes and reopens it.