Solaris to AIX - A Quick Reference guide

This article is an extension to my older post Common Solaris and AIX sysadmin tasks to contrast the Solaris 8 and AIX 4.3.3 operating systems.

This article provides information on Solaris and AIX in the following categories:

[Packaging] [Installing] [Booting] [User Management] [Devices] [Network] [Printers] [File Systems] [Virtual Disks] [Logical Volumes] [Additional Location Information]


Table 1 — Solaris and AIX packaging details.
UnitsSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Smallest installable unit package fileset
Single installable image package package
Logical grouping of packages software cluster bundle
Logical grouping of packages Software configuration clusters:
  • Core: Required operating system files
  • End-User System Support: Core plus window environment
  • Developer System Support: End-User plus the development environment
  • Entire Distribution: Developer System plus enhanced features
  • Entire Distribution Plus OEM: Entire Distribution plus third-party hardware drivers (on SPARC only)
Bundle offering
  • App-Dev - Application Development Environment
  • Client
    • Pers-Prod
    • DCE-Client
    • Media-Defined

Installing and Upgrading tasks

Table 2 — Solaris and AIX installing and upgrading tasks
TasksSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Install packages pkgadd installp -a
smitty install_latest
Display installed packages pkginfo
lslpp -L
smitty list_installed_sw
Remove software pkgtm installp -r
installp -u
smitty remove
Verify correct installation pkgchk lppchk
smitty check_files
Install a patch patchadd instfix
smitty update_by_fix
Remove a patch patchrm installp -r
smitty reject
Display installed patches showrev -p instfix -ia
Install OS (alternate disk install) Live Upgrade alt_disk_install
Create install server (network installation) setup_install_server install_dir_path nimconfig
Create boot server for network install setup_install_server -b boot_dir_path smitty nim_config_env
Setup a client for network install add_install_client nim -o bos_inst

Booting and Shutting Down

Table 3 — Display process and locations for booting and shutting down
Tasks/LocationsSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Boot process Phases:
  • Boot PROM: Display system information, run POST, load bootblk, locate ufsboot
  • Boot Programs: bootblk loads and executes the ufsboot
  • Kernel Initilsiation: ufsboot loads and executes the core kernel, initialises core kernel data structures, loads other kernel modules based on /etc/system file, starts /sbin/init program
  • init: Starts other processes based on the /etc/inittab file
  • Read Only Storage (ROS): Check the system mother board, perform Power-On Self-Test (POST), locate the boot image, load the boot image into memory, begin system initialization and execute phase 1 of the /etc/rc.boot script
  • Base Device Configuration: Start Configuration Manager to configure base devices
  • System Boot: Start init process phase 2, switch to hard-disk root file system, start other processes defined by records in the /etc/inittab file and execute phase 3 of the /etc/rc.boot script
Kernel modules directory Kernel modules are stored in three directories:
  • /platform/sparc/kernel or /platform/i86pc/kernel
  • /kernel
  • /usr/kernel
Kernel and kernel extension modules are stored in two directories:
  • /usr/lib/boot
  • /usr/lib/drivers
Create and stop processes and services for a current system run level based on the /etc/inittab file. Set the default environment variables as defined in /etc/default/init. Set the default environment variables as defined in /etc/rc.
System run levels Eight run levels:
  • 0: Power-down state
  • s or S: Single-user state
  • 1: Administrative state
  • 2: Multiuser state
  • 3: Multiuser state with NFS resources shared (default run level)
  • 4: Alternative multiuser (not in use)
  • 5: Power-down state
  • 6: Reboot state
Defined run levels:
  • 0-1: Reserved for future use
  • 2: Multiuser state with NFS resources shared (default run level)
  • 3-9: Defined according to the user's preferences
  • m,M,s,S: Single-user state (maintenance level)
  • a,b,c: Starts processes assigned to the new run levels which leaving the existing processes at the current level running
  • Q,q: init command to reexamine the /etc/inittab file
Note: When a level from 1 to 9 is specified, the init command kills all processes at the current level and restarts any processes associated with the new run level based on the /etc/inittab file.
Determine system run level who -r who -r
Change a system run level Choose one of the following:
  • halt
  • init
  • poweroff
  • reboot
  • shutdown
  • telinit
  • uadmin
telinit level number
Startup script /sbin/rc run-level number /etc/rc
Display boot information N/A bootinfo
Display or alter the list of boot devices boot bootlist

User Management Tasks

Table 4 — Display process and locations to perform user management
Tasks/LocationsSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Run multiple tasks in a GUI environment admintool smit (smitty) or wsm
Add a user useradd mkuser
Remove a user userdel rmuser
Change a user usermod chuser
List users listuers lsuser
Password files /etc/passwd
Group files /etc/group /etc/group
Process resource limits for users /etc/system /etc/security/limits
Systemwide environment file N/A /etc/environment
Environment attributes for users N/A /etc/security/environ
Configuration information for logging into system /etc/default/login /etc/security/login.cfg
Configuration information for user authentication /etc/pam.conf /etc/security/login.cfg
Profile template /etc/skel/local.profile /etc/security/.profile

Device Management and Configuration

Table 5 — List of tasks used for device management and configuration
TasksSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Run multiple tasks in a GUI environment admintool smit (smitty) or wsm
Configure a device Choose from the following:
  • drvconfig
  • devlinks
  • disks
  • tapes
  • ports
Define a device Choose from the following:
  • drvconfig
  • devlinks
  • disks
  • tapes
  • ports
Remove a device rem_drv rmdev
change a device N/A chdev
List devices sysdef lsdev
Display device prtconf lscfg

Network Management and Configuration

Table 6 — Tasks employed to perform network management and configuration
TasksSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Run multiple tasks in a GUI environment admintool smit (smitty) or wsm
Configure TCP/IP ifconfig mktcpip
Display interface settings ifconfig ifconfig
Configure interface ifconfig ifconfig
Change name service edit /etc/nsswitch.conf chnamsv
Unconfigure name service edit /etc/nsswitch.conf rmnamsv
Display name service cat /etc/nsswitch.conf lsnamsv

Printer Management and Configuration

Table 7 — Tasks involved in printer management and configuration
TasksSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Run multiple tasks in a GUI environment admintool smit (smitty) or wsm
Add a printer lpadmin mkdev
Start a printer enable qadm
Stop a printer disable qadm
Add a printer class lpadmin N/A
Disaply printer queue status lpstat lpstat
Cancel a print job cancel qcan
Add printer queue lpadmin mkque
Change printer queue lpadmin chque
Remove printer queue lpadmin rmque
Display printer queue settings lpadmin lsque

File System Management

Table 8 — Tasks that are employed when performing file system management
TasksSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Run multiple tasks in a GUI environment admintool smit (smitty) or wsm
Foramt a disk format N/A
Check a fle system fsck fsck
Mount a file system mount mount
Display available file sytem space df df
Partition a disk format N/A
List a volume's table of contents prtvtoc lchangelv
Add a file system newfs
Unmount a file syetem umount umount
Backup file system files/directories ufsdump backup
Restore file systems file/directories unfrestore restore
Change a file system tunefs chfs
Remove a file system N/A rmfs
Display a file system cat /etc/vfstab lsfs

Virtual Disk Management

Table 9 — Tasks used when implementing virtual disk management
TasksSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Run multiple tasks in a GUI environment metatool smit (smitty) or wsm
Expand a file system growfs cgfs
smitty chjfs
Delete metadevice metaclear N/A
Configure metadevice metainit N/A
Modify metadevice metaparam N/A
Rename metadevice metarename N/A
Displat status of metadevice metastat N/A

Logical Volume Management

The information in this table includes Solaris 8 and the Veritas Volume Manager (VxVM). IBM includes its Logical Volume Manager (LVM) in AIX Version 4.3.3.

Table 10 — Tasks used when performing logical volume management
TasksSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Storage Structure
    A disk is composed of partitions/slices.
  • A file system is placed onto a partition.
  • A subdisk (somewhat similar to AIX physical partition) is composed of partitions/slices.
  • A plex (similar to AIX logical partition) is composed of subdisks.
  • A volume (similar to AIX logical volume) is composed of plexes. A VM disk is composed of subdisks.
  • A disk group (similar to AIX volume group) is composed of VM disks.
  • A disk is composed of physical partitions.
  • A physical volume is the same thing as a disk.
  • A volume group is composed of physical volumes.
  • A volume group is divided into logical volumes.
  • A file system is placed onto a logical volume.
Run multiple tasks in a GUI environment vxva smit (smitty in non-GUI) or wsm
Move logical volume to another physical volume vxassist move migratepv
Create logical volume vxassist make mklv
Extend logical volume vxassist growto extendlv
Remove logical volume vxedit rm rmlv
Set up sysboot information on VM disk vxbootsetup N/A
Manage VM disks vxdisk N/A
Create volume group vxdg init mkvg
Add disks under volume manager vxdiskadd extendvg
Administer disks vxdiskadm redicevg
Setup disks vxdisksetup extendvg
Change logical volume settings vxedit set chlv
Create configuration records for storage structures vxmake mkvg
Manage plexes or volume groups vxplex chvg
Display volume group vxprint chvg
Change size of volume vxresize lchangelv
Manage subdisk or physical volume vxsd chpv
Display statistics for storage structures vxstat lspv
Manage volumes vxvol chlv
Backup up operating system ufsdump mksysb
Restore operating system ufsrestore restore

Troubleshooting and Additional Location Information

Table 11 — Troubleshooting and additional location information
TasksSolaris 8AIX 4.3.3
Change a hostname Edit:
  1. /etc/nodename
  2. /etc/hosts
  3. /etc/hostname.*
  4. /etc/net/*/hosts
chdev -l inet0 -a hostname=hostname
List of well-known networking services and port numbers /etc/services /etc/services
List of well-known protocols /etc/protocols /etc/protocols
Provide interface-level packet tracing for Internet protocols snoop iptrace
Display network status netstat netstat
Display NFS and RPC statistics nfsstat nfsstat
Display statistics on network I/O and network CPU usage N/A netpmon
Display a snapshot of virtual memory N/A svmon
Display virtual memory statistics vmstat vmstat
Display I/O statistics iostat iostat
Report system activity sar sar
Display simple and complex lock contention information N/A lockstat
Report CPU usage N/A tprof
Simulate a system with different memory sizes for performance testing N/A rmss
Display system error log dmesg errpt -a
Display/Set dump device dumpadm sysdumpdev
Display paging/swapping space swap -l lsps -a
Specify users who have access to cron (Every user has access to cron if the access file does not exist.) /etc/cron.d/cron.allow /var/adm/cron/cron.allow
Specify users who have no access to cron /etc/cron.d/cron.deny /var/adm/cron/cron.deny
Specify remote users and hosts that can execute commands on the local host /etc/hosts.equiv /etc/hosts.equiv
Information about mounting local and remote file system /etc/vfstab /etc/filesystems
Display information about the current mounted file systems mount
Default superuser log /var/adm/sulog /var/adm/sulog
Configure syslogd logging /etc/syslog.conf /etc/syslog.conf
Display physical RAM prtconf bootinfo -r