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How to upgrade to VIOS Version with IBM Storage and non-Shared Storage Pool Environment

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How to upgrade to VIOS Version 3.x with IBM Storage and non-Shared Storage Pool Environment?


  • Currently IBM recommends customers to use VIOS versions the latest version in the market
  • For more information and check for cross-product compatibility firmware/software and fix recommendations, refer to our FLRT tool:
  • Warning :- VIOS Level 3.1.4.x is only supported on Power8, Power9 and Power10. We have seen issues with customer updating VIOS on any lower level of hardware to 3.1.4.x, where they have lost the entire Virtual Fibre Channel Config. Make sure to check the compatibility of your hardware before planning for upgrade to using the below link.
    System to VIOS maps


 Procedure to upgrade your system from VIOS version to 3.x (VIOS Version

The upgrade process is managed by viosupgrade tool.

> Before you proceed with the upgrade procedure, have a look at the Technical documentation for more details on the entire upgrade process:

- VIOS upgrade:

- viosupgrade process-step by step:


1. Download the Required packages for obtaining fixes throughout the upgrade.

Note: The upgrade to 3.x version is basically a new installation, for which you would need to download first a base ISO image. Then, after that you have to configure that cased ISO image to mksysb image, so you can use it later on with viosupgrade tool.

     1.1. Download iso images for from ESS web portal: IBM's Entitled Systems Support - Software downloads

Note: You have to register with your machine serial number and then look for the images

Steps for obtaining the packages:

     > Go to: Entitled Systems Support > My entitled software > Software downloads


image 10398

     Click Search(image-20220406005408-2)  and then > Select:




2. Backup the system by using backupios and viosbr:

     2.1. backupios command example:

  • Example of how to generate a backup to the optical device named /dev/cd1, type:
backupios -cd /dev/cd1 -cdformat
  • Example of how to generate a system backup to a tape device named /dev/rmt0, type:
backupios -tape /dev/rmt0

For more information about backupios command, refer to the following Documentation:

      2.2. viosbr command example:

  • To back up all the device attributes and logical and virtual device mappings on the VIOS file called /tmp/myserverbackup, type the following command:
viosbr -backup -file /tmp/myserverbackup
  • To restore all the possible devices and display a summary of deployed and non-deployed devices, type the following command:
viosbr -restore -file /home/padmin/cfgbackups/myserverbackup.002.tar.gz

For more information about the viosbr command, refer to the following Documentation:

3. Create mksysb:

  •  Later on, for executing the viosupgrade tool you will need mksysb image, created from the downloaded ISO from ESS. 
    > For more information about the steps, refer to the following document for creating mksysb:
  •  Commands to extract mksysb from iso:
$ oem_setup_env
# mkdir /mnt/dvd
# loopmount -i Virtual_IO_Server_Base_Install_3.1.4.20_Flash_042023_LCD8250312.iso -o "-V udfs -o ro" -m /mnt/dvd
# ls -l /mnt/dvd/usr/sys/inst.images
total 1789251
dr-xr-xr-x    2 root     system         2048 Apr 21 21:19 installp
-r--r--r--    1 root     system   3664384000 Apr 21 21:19 mksysb_image
# cp /mnt/dvd/usr/sys/inst.images/mksysb_image /export/mksysb/VIO31/31420_vios.mksysb
Note: Pay attention that in this process you must specify the file system type as "udfs". Otherwise, AIX will fail to read the file correctly.
Disclaimer : If /export is full you can use any local path on the system

4. Use viosupgrade tool to proceed with the upgrade:

     > Verify that you have free disk by running:

$ lspv –free

image 10393


5. Once you know, you have a disk available you can use viosupgrade command.

This is the command structure:

$ viosupgrade -l -i image_file -a mksysb_install_disk [ -c ] [-g filename_files_to_restore ]

> For more information about the upgrade tool and command structure, you can refer to the following Documentations:

> More information on the –g flag:

Note: The -g flag is useful for collecting files from padmin. All other basic configuration files are being taken from rootvg, into the alt_disk, created during the upgrade.

>Recommended files for files_to_restore.txt

  1. /etc/motd
  2. /etc/environment
  3. /etc/netsvc.conf
  4. /etc/resolv.conf
  5. /etc/hosts
  6. /etc/inittab
  7. /home/padmin/config/ntp.conf
" "
The command should look like this:
$ viosupgrade -l -i 31420_vios.mksysb -a hdisk1 -g files_to_restore.txt
Highlights on the flags used in the command:
-l flag is calling installation on a local node
-i flag is specifying the image file that will be used for the installation on an alternative disk
-Then we called the mksysb file with the installation image
-a flag is specifying the alternative disk to install the available VIOS image.
Note: The current  rootvg disk on your VIOS is not going to be impact by the installation, since you will use another free alternative disk.

• Verify whether the upgrade is completed by running the following command:
$ viosupgrade –l –q
image 10866

• Verify the VIOS version:
$ ioslevel (should display

6. Changing time zone and Date and setup NTP after upgrade:

      >After upgrade you need to change your time zone to CET. You can use "smit chtz_user" to achieve the same(need a reboot)

  • Change the date and time to be latest by using "smitty date"
  • If you have an NTP server in your environment, configure the NTP.

Hint: Either copy the old ntp.conf to new location or copy the servers and add it in 3.1 ntp.conf


 # chrctcp -S -a xntpd

 # refresh -s xntpd 

For more information about the steps refer to the following Documentation:

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Document Information

Modified date:
18 May 2023