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What are the IMShared and Agent data directories created by the IBM Installation Manager?

Technical Blog Post


What are the IMShared and Agent data directories created by the IBM Installation Manager?





Shared resource Directory

The shared resources directory is the directory where installation artifacts are located, which can be used by one or more package groups.  The Shared Resources Directory acts as a cache of data to local and web repositories. It contains files that can be shared by multiple packages and product installations.

The location of this directory can only be selected the first time you install a package with the IBM Installation Manager (IM).  For example, when you install the very first product with the IBM Installation Manager. All other offerings or products using the same Installation Manager will be installed using the same Shared Resource Directory.

The default path to this directory is under /opt/IBM/IMShared (Linux, Solaris, HP-UX) and /usr/IBM/IMShared  (AIX)  . If the path is not specified in response file, then the installer will default to using default directory.
For the best results, select a file system with ample amount of available space. This  directory will grow as more products and packages are installed. It is a good practice to use the recommended shared resources directory, which is usually on the same filesystem as the products (or the first product). It is recommended to back up this directory when you are performing other Operating System backups. The content in this directory should not be deleted in an effort to conserve file system space. 


If you are using response file, specify under preferences the directory for IMShared:
<preference name='' value='C:\Program Files\IBM\IMShared'/>

If you are using command line, issue: -sharedResourcesDirectory XXXXX














This directory does grow in size if the option to save files for rollback is selected, as those files are also saved in this directory. To avoid that, Installation Manager can be configured to not save files for rollback. Setting this option would prevent this directory from consuming a lot of space. In the case where rollback files are not saved, if you need to rollback to a previous fix pack, the original repositories for the fix pack to which you plan to rollback to need to be added back to the IM preferences.
Even if you choose not to save files for rollback, there will still be files and directories created in IMShared (although not huge).  Therefore, this directory should never be deleted.

Option to Manage rollback files :

1. using GUI :  File > Preferences > Files for RollBack
                Check or Uncheck "Save Files for RollBack"

2. using console mode  :  imcl -c
    Select "P"
    Select "3"
    Select "1"  to save or not to save files for rollback.

3. If you are using response file, under preferences set the option to false.

4. Sample imcl Command Line:

./imcl install '' -
repositories '/installfiles/WASND8.5.5' -installationDirectory
'/installLocation/v85' -showProgress -showVerboseProgress -acceptLicense -sharedResourcesDirectory /installfiles/IMShared -preferences,



Agent Data Directory

The agent data location, or appDataLocation, is the directory that Installation Manager uses to track data associated with the installed products. This includes the state of each product (such as the list and data about each installed fix pack), history of operations, and logs.

Changing the content, files, or directories in the agent data location directory or subdirectories is not supported. Changes to these files might prevent Installation Manager from working. The data in this directory is extremely important. If this directory becomes lost or corrupted, then it may not be possible to install fix packs or even uninstall products. Since the directory is so important, IBM recommends taking backups of this directory whenever other important files are backed up.  You can direct IM to use a different directory to store IM_DATA. The “-dataLocation” or “-dL” parameter can do this. If you choose to do this, then the specified location must be used each time you use Installation Manager or the Installation Manager installer.

The default IM_DATA locations are:

















Using Custom Location for Agent Data

Use -dataLocation or -dL with the command to install as a root or a non root user:

 For root user (Graphical Install) you can specify
./install -dL /opt/Apps/IM/IMDataAgent

For non root user (Graphical Install)
./userinst -dL /opt/Apps/IM/IMDataAgent

Basically with your regular Install command, you specify the -dL or dataLocation option on Windows and Unix. Using this option, the Agent Data will be stored at the location you specify. If this is done during the installation of IM, then after this Installation Manager will default to directory you specify.


Backup Strategy:

When preforming backup of offering, we recommend that you make a backup of IMShared and Agent Data at the same date and time, when WAS backup is being taken.  This is particularly true before and after applying fix packs, interim fixes or performing after other installations using IM.

When restoring data, ensure that all three directories (for example: offering, IMShared and Agent Data) are restored from the same time frame.  One of the most commonly seen issues is if only the Product_HOME directory is restored after you encounter a failure during an update or a installation of other offering, then the IMM data becomes out of sync with other installed offerings like WAS, IHS, plugin etc. There is no way to recover from this problem.



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