Preparing AIX systems for installation

Before you can install IBM® WebSphere® Application Server products on an AIX® system, you must take steps to prepare the operating system.

Before you begin

The installation uses Installation Manager. You can use the graphical interface, the command line, or a response file.

Note: WebSphere Application Server prevents users from installing to a non-empty directory. If WebSphere Application Server is installed to a directory with a lost+found subdirectory, you will be prompted to use an empty directory. If you still want to install to this directory, then you can delete the lost+found directory. However, the next time fsck is executed, the lost+found directory will be created. This should not have any effect on an existing installation; during uninstallation, however, this directory will not be removed.
  • There are known issues with using Cygwin/X to run Eclipse-based applications on remote AIX machines. This affects your use of the Profile Management Tool. With Cygwin/X on remote AIX, for example, a splash screen for the Profile Management Tool appears but the Profile Management Tool never actually comes up. For details of existing Bugzilla reports on these issues, see the information at https://bugs.eclipse.org/bugs/show_bug.cgi?id=36806. If a different X server is used, these problems might not occur.
  • If you want to install 32-bit WebSphere Application Server on a 64-bit operating system, you must install the appropriate 32-bit libraries on your system.
  • From the AIX Toolbox for Linux website, install the yum bundle on your AIX system.

    When you install the tool, carefully follow the steps in the readme file.

    Note: If the gettext RPM package is already installed on the AIX system, exclude the gettext RPM package when you install the yum bundle to avoid conflicts.
  • If the gettext RPM package is already installed on the AIX system, exclude the gettext RPM package when you install the yum bundle to avoid conflicts.
    yum install gettext
  • Install the latest gtk2 RPM package and its dependencies by running the following command.
    yum install gtk2
Tip: Installation Manager is based on the Eclipse Rich Client Platform architecture. This architecture requires specific graphical libraries and versions to work properly. Read Installation Manager graphical environment issues on Solaris, Linux®, AIX for information about specific system requirements.

About this task

Preparing the operating system involves such changes as allocating disk space and installing patches to the operating system. IBM tests WebSphere Application Server products on each operating system platform. Such tests verify whether an operating system change is required for WebSphere Application Server products to run correctly. Without the required changes, WebSphere Application Server products do not run correctly.


  1. Log on to the operating system.

    You can log on as root or as a nonroot installer.

    Select a umask that allows the owner to read/write to the files, and allows others to access them according to the prevailing system policy. For root, a umask of 022 is recommended. For nonroot users a umask of 002 or 022 can be used, depending on whether the users share the group. To verify the umask setting, issue the following command:
    To set the umask setting to 022, issue the following command:
    umask 022
  2. Stop all Java™ processes related to WebSphere Application Server on the machine where you are installing the product.
  3. Stop any web server process such as the IBM HTTP Server.
  4. The product contains IBM Software Development Kit (SDK) Version 6.
    • You must run AIX Version 6.1 or Version 7.1 for SDK 6 to operate properly.
      To test whether this Java SDK is supported on a specific System p system, at the system prompt type:
      lscfg -p | fgrep Architecture

      You should receive the reply: Model Architecture: chrp. Only Common Hardware Reference Platform (chrp) systems are supported.

    • The environment variable LDR_CNTRL=MAXDATA is not supported for 64-bit processes. Only use LDR_CNTRL=MAXDATA on 32-bit processes.
      Note: To show the value of this variable, use the following command:
      echo $LDR_CNTRL
    • If you are using one of the supported non-UTF8 CJK locales, you must install one of the following file sets. The installation images are available on the AIX base discs; updates are available from the Fix Central website.
      • X11.fnt.ucs.ttf (for ja_JP or Ja_JP)
      • X11.fnt.ucs.ttf_CN (for zh_CN or Zh_CN)
      • X11.fnt.ucs.ttf_KR (for ko_KR)
      • X11.fnt.ucs.ttf_TW (for zh_TW or Zh_TW)
    • To support the graphical user environment on AIX for IBM Installation Manager and WebSphere GUIs, install the following:
      • X11.fnt.coreX
      • X11.fnt.iso.T1
  5. Use the System Management Interface Tool (SMIT) to display packages that are installed to determine whether you must update packages that are described in the following steps.
  6. Download the most current version of the Info-ZIP product to avoid problems with zipped files.

    Although zipped files are primarily used in the service stream, prepare your AIX operating system by downloading a current version of the Info-ZIP package from the https://www.info-zip.org website.

  7. Provide adequate disk space.

    The amount of disk space required varies with the number of features or products installed. If you are installing the product using Installation Manager, the installation summary panel indicates the approximate amount of disk space required based on the features and products that you have selected.

    Installing all features and products requires approximately 2 GB of disk space. This estimate includes the following products, components, and features:
    • Main application server product installation
    • Profiles
    • Sample applications
    • IBM HTTP Server
    • Web Server Plug-ins
    • Application Client for WebSphere Application Server

    With the JFS file system on AIX, you can allocate expansion space for directories. If Installation Manager does not have enough space, it issues a system call for more space that increases the space allocation dynamically.

    If you plan to migrate applications and the configuration from a previous version, verify that the application objects have enough disk space. As a rough guideline, plan for space equal to 110 percent of the size of the applications.

  8. Unmount file systems with broken links to avoid java.lang.NullPointerException errors.

    Unmount file systems with broken links before installing.

    Installation can fail when broken links exist to file systems.

    Use the df -k command to check for broken links to file systems. Look for file systems that list blank values in the 1024-blocks size column. Columns with a value of "-" (dash) are not a problem. The following example shows a problem with the /dev/lv00 file system:
    >  df -k
    Filesystem    1024-blocks      Free %Used    Iused %Iused Mounted on
    /dev/hd4          1048576    447924   58%     2497     1% /
    /dev/hd3          4259840   2835816   34%      484     1% /tmp
    /proc                   -         -    -         -     -  /proc
    /dev/lv01         2097152    229276   90%     3982     1% /storage
    /dev/hd2          2097152    458632   79%    42910     9% /usr
    The /proc file system is not a problem. The iw031864:/cdrom/db2_v72_eee_aix32_sbcs file system is a definite problem. The /dev/lv00 file system is also a likely problem. Use one of the following commands to solve this problem:
    >  umount /cdrom/db2_v72_eee_aix32_sbcs
    >  umount /cdrom 

    Start the installation again. If the problem continues, unmount any file systems that have blank values, such as the /dev/lv00 file system in the example. If you cannot solve the problem by unmounting file systems with broken links, reboot the machine and start the installation again.

  9. Verify that prerequisites and corequisites are at the required release levels.

    Although Installation Manager checks for prerequisite operating system patches, review the prerequisites on the Supported hardware and software website if you have not already done so.

    Refer to the documentation for non-IBM prerequisite and corequisite products to learn how to migrate to their supported versions.

  10. Verify the system cp command when using emacs or other freeware.
    If you have emacs or other freeware installed on your operating system, verify that the system cp command is used.
    1. Type the following command prompt before running the installation program for the WebSphere Application Server product.
      which cp
    2. Remove the freeware directory from your PATH if the resulting directory output includes freeware. For example, assume that the output is similar to the following message: .../freeware/bin/cp. If so, remove the directory from the PATH.
    3. Install the WebSphere Application Server product.
    4. Add the freeware directory back to the PATH.

    If you install with a cp command that is part of a freeware package, the installation might appear to complete successfully, but the Java 2 SDK that the product installs might have missing files in the app_server_root/java directory.

    Missing files can destroy required symbolic links. If you remove the freeware cp command from the PATH, you can install the application server product successfully.

  11. Verify that the Java SDK on the installation image disk is functioning correctly if you created your own disk.

    For example, you might have downloaded an installation image from Passport Advantage®, or you might have copied an installation image onto a backup disk. In either case, perform the following steps to verify that the disk contains a valid Java software development kit (SDK).

    1. Change directories to the /JDK/jre.pak/repository/package.java.jre/java/jre/bin directory on the product disk.
      For example:
      cd /JDK/jre.pak/repository/package.java.jre/java/jre/bin
    2. Verify the Java version.
      Type the following command:
      ./java -version

      The command completes successfully with no errors when the SDK is intact.

  12. Optional: Install the Mozilla Firefox browser if it is not already installed.

    You can download Mozilla Firefox for AIX from Passport Advantage. Install the downloaded installp image from the SMIT.

  13. Optional: Export the location of the supported browser.

    Export the location of the supported browser using a command that identifies the actual location of the browser.

    If the Mozilla Firefox package is in the bin/firefox directory, for example, use the following command to export BROWSER=/usr/bin/firefox:
    EXPORT BROWSER=/usr/bin/firefox
  14. Optional: Prepare a Workload Partition (WPAR).

    If you are going to install the product on a WPAR on AIX Version 6.1, you must make sure that the WPAR has private and writable versions of the /usr and /opt file systems. If you do not have this type of WPAR, create a new WPAR using the following steps:

    1. Choose a name for the WPAR that maps to an IP address for your network, or add an entry for the new WPAR in the /etc/hosts file. Make sure you know the subnet IP address as well.
    2. Use the following command to create the WPAR:
      mkwpar -n <wpar_name> -h <host_name> -N netmask=<A.B.C.D> address=<A.B.C.D> -r -l 
      Note: The -l parameter creates private and writable versions of the /usr and /opt file systems.


This procedure results in preparing the operating system for installing the product.

What to do next

For optimal performance, tune the Java environment for your operating system. For more information, see the Java tuning information for your specific AIX operating system version.

After verifying prerequisites, verifying the product disk, and setting your installation goals, you can start installing. Use one of the following installation procedures: