Getting Started on AIX Systems

Begin by running the AFS initialization script to call the AIX kernel extension facility, which dynamically loads AFS modifications into the kernel. Then use the SMIT program to configure partitions for storing AFS volumes, and replace the AIX fsck program helper with a version that correctly handles AFS volumes. If the machine is to remain an AFS client machine, incorporate AFS into the AIX secondary authentication system.

Loading AFS into the AIX Kernel

The AIX kernel extension facility is the dynamic kernel loader provided by IBM Corporation. AIX does not support incorporation of AFS modifications during a kernel build.

For AFS to function correctly, the kernel extension facility must run each time the machine reboots, so the AFS initialization script (included in the AFS distribution) invokes it automatically. In this section you copy the script to the conventional location and edit it to select the appropriate options depending on whether NFS is also to run.

After editing the script, you run it to incorporate AFS into the kernel. In later sections you verify that the script correctly initializes all AFS components, then configure the AIX inittab file so that the script runs automatically at reboot.

  1. Unpack the distribution tarball. The examples below assume that you have unpacked the files into the /tmp/afsdist directory. If you pick a different location, substitute this in all of the following examples. Once you have unpacked the distribution, change directory as indicated.

       # cd /tmp/afsdist/rs_aix42/dest/root.client/usr/vice/etc
  2. Copy the AFS kernel library files to the local /usr/vice/etc/dkload directory, and the AFS initialization script to the /etc directory.

       # cp -rp  dkload  /usr/vice/etc
       # cp -p  rc.afs  /etc/rc.afs
  3. Edit the /etc/rc.afs script, setting the NFS variable as indicated.

    If the machine is not to function as an NFS/AFS Translator, set the NFS variable as follows.


    If the machine is to function as an NFS/AFS Translator and is running AIX 4.2.1 or higher, set the NFS variable as follows. Note that NFS must already be loaded into the kernel, which happens automatically on systems running AIX 4.1.1 and later, as long as the file /etc/exports exists.

  4. Invoke the /etc/rc.afs script to load AFS modifications into the kernel. You can ignore any error messages about the inability to start the BOS Server or the Cache Manager or AFS client.

       # /etc/rc.afs

Configuring Server Partitions on AIX Systems

Every AFS file server machine must have at least one partition or logical volume dedicated to storing AFS volumes. Each server partition is mounted at a directory named /vicepxx, where xx is one or two lowercase letters. The /vicepxx directories must reside in the file server machine's root directory, not in one of its subdirectories (for example, /usr/vicepa is not an acceptable directory location). For additional information, see Performing Platform-Specific Procedures.

To configure server partitions on an AIX system, perform the following procedures:

  1. Create a directory called /vicepxx for each AFS server partition you are configuring (there must be at least one). Repeat the command for each partition.

       # mkdir /vicepxx
  2. Use the SMIT program to create a journaling file system on each partition to be configured as an AFS server partition.

  3. Mount each partition at one of the /vicepxx directories. Choose one of the following three methods:

    • Use the SMIT program

    • Use the mount -a command to mount all partitions at once

    • Use the mount command on each partition in turn

    Also configure the partitions so that they are mounted automatically at each reboot. For more information, refer to the AIX documentation.

Replacing the fsck Program Helper on AIX Systems


The AFS modified fsck program is not required on AIX 5.1 systems, and the v3fshelper program refered to below is not shipped for these systems.

In this section, you make modifications to guarantee that the appropriate fsck program runs on AFS server partitions. The fsck program provided with the operating system must never run on AFS server partitions. Because it does not recognize the structures that the File Server uses to organize volume data, it removes all of the data. To repeat:

Never run the standard fsck program on AFS server partitions. It discards AFS volumes.

On AIX systems, you do not replace the fsck binary itself, but rather the program helper file included in the AIX distribution as /sbin/helpers/v3fshelper.

  1. Move the AIX fsck program helper to a safe location and install the version from the AFS distribution in its place.

       # cd /sbin/helpers
       # mv v3fshelper v3fshelper.noafs
       # cp -p /tmp/afsdist/rs_aix42/dest/root.server/etc/v3fshelper v3fshelper
  2. If you plan to retain client functionality on this machine after completing the installation, proceed to Enabling AFS Login on AIX Systems. Otherwise, proceed to Starting the BOS Server.

Enabling AFS Login on AIX Systems


If you plan to remove client functionality from this machine after completing the installation, skip this section and proceed to Starting the BOS Server.

In modern AFS installations, you should be using Kerberos v5 for user login, and obtaining AFS tokens following this authentication step.

There are currently no instructions available on configuring AIX to automatically obtain AFS tokens at login. Following login, users can obtain tokens by running the aklog command

Sites which still require kaserver or external Kerberos v4 authentication should consult Enabling kaserver based AFS login on AIX systems for details of how to enable AIX login.

Proceed to Starting the BOS Server (or if referring to these instructions while installing an additional file server machine, return to Starting Server Programs).