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(Remote HMC update/upgrade using network images.)

(apply fixes, service packs, for example MH01601)

# tail -f /tmp/HmcInstall.log                                    <--during upd. (updhmc) installation log entries are logged here
# ls -l /dump/efix                                               <--during upd. image from ftp server first will be copied here before install

1. Read Documentation (readme) of fix + download iso image
# csum -h SHA1 MH01601.iso                                       <--checksum on iso files, compare values with the value on above readme

2. Save config, backup and reboot
# lshmc -v; lshmc -V; lshmc -n; lshmc -r; monhmc -r disk         <--save config outputs and check fs for enough space (monhmc is like df)
# bkconsdata -r ftp -h <ftp host> -u <user> -d <directory>       <--do a backup (it can take longer, in GUI: Backup Management Console Data)
# hmcshutdown -t now -r                                          <--reboot HMC (to see if it comes back)

3. Update
# updhmc -t s -h <servername> -f <location of iso> -u <user> -i  <--do update (in GUI: Updates --> Update HMC)
                                                                (-t s: type to update from is server (s), -i: prompt for password)

4. create a new backup


(for example from 8.8.3 to 8.8.4)

# ls -l /mnt/upgrade                                             <--during saveupgdata (file "doRestore" triggers automat. upgr. after reboot)
# ls -l /hmcdump                                                 <--during getupgfiles (check for files and correct sizes)
                                                                 (from 8.8.3 to 8.8.4 only 1 file was copied, but usually all of them needed)

1. Read documentation (HMC models, fixes, sytem firmwares..) + download network images
download link: http://www14.software.ibm.com/webapp/set2/sas/f/netinstall/home.html
# sum bzImage initrd.gz disk1.img disk2.img disk3.img            <--do checksum on downloaded files, compare result: cat hmcnetworkfiles.sum
                                                                 (hmcnetworkfiles.sum contains checksum values)

2. Save profile data of each Man. Sys      
# BK_DATE="`date '+%Y%m%d'`"; export BK_DATE                     <--initialize variable of backup date variable (for correct file name)
# for MSYS in `lssyscfg -r sys -F name`; do bkprofdata -m ${MSYS} -f ${MSYS}_${BK_DATE}.prof --force; done <--saving profile data
                                                                 (in GUI: Sys. Man. --> Server --> Config. --> Man. Part. Data --> Backup)

3. Save config, backup HMC and reboot
# lshmc -v; lshmc -V; lshmc -n; lshmc -r                         <--save config outputs
# bkconsdata -r ftp -h <ftp host> -u <user> -d <directory>       <--do a backup (it can take longer, in GUI: Backup Management Console Data)                                                            
# chsvcevent -o closeall                                         <---close open service events
# chhmcfs -o f -d 0                                              <---clear old archived diagnostic logs
# hmcshutdown -t now -r                                          <--reboot HMC (to see if it comes back)

4. Save Upgrade Data
# saveupgdata -r disk                                            <--save config data (it mounts /mnt/upgrade, saves conf., then umounts it)  
(This data is used during next boot, do not reboot HMC after this has been done, or you have to do this step again. It should take few mins.)

5. FTP network images to HMC
# getupgfiles -h <ftp host> -u <user> -d <directory>             <--copy network images from ftp server to HMC (ls -l /hmcdump shows progress)
(After ftp shell gives back command prompt, /hmcdump will be empty again, as files were placed to a special location for alternate boot.)

6. Set HMC to boot from alternate disk
# chhmc -c altdiskboot -s enable --mode upgrade                  <--set alternate boot
# lshmc -r                                                       <--check if alternate boot is enabled
# hmcshutdown -t now -r                                          <--reboot (it boots from alternate disk partition, upgr. can take an hour.)

7. Create a backup


FTP connection between HMC and FTP server

FTP connection will be needed between HMC and FTP server. FTP server is where the install images are stored (it can be a NIM server.)

If you want to use remote FTP installs on HMC, an FTP user will be needed on the remote (AIX) server.
There is a default script on AIX which creates an ftp or anonymous user for this FTP connection: /usr/samples/tcpip/anon.ftp
IBM officially says this scripts should be used to create FTP user, otherwise connection will work but files may won’t be reachable by HMC, but actually I created in the past FTP users with other method and it worked well.

FTP check from HMC:
- in GUI try to do an update operation, and choose FTP, or do an HMC backup (just it could take long)
- try sendfile command on HMC, which transfer files with ftp to another server
  sendfile -f id_dsa.pub -h -d /nim/hmcftp -u hmcftp


The below post was my original description about HMC upgrades, and I keep it for reference, but the method described above is more up to date.

HMC UGRADE (v6.1.3 -> v7.3.5)
(this can be done as hmc user)

1. check prerequisites:
    - hmc device supports new hmc version
    - system firmware on supported levels (http://www-933.ibm.com/support/fixcentral/firmware/supportedCombinations)
    - Back up critical console data (to an FTP server is OK)

2. some fixes have to be installed prior to the upgrade:
MH01082, MH01110, MH01128 and after that MH01127 (this will enable upgrade to v7 in 1 step)

    - download zip files and store them on an FTP server
    - on HMC: Licensed Internal Code upd. -> HMC Code Update -> Inst. Corr. Serv. -> Download from remote ... (give absolute path to file)
    - hmcshutdown -t now -r            <--reboot HMC (it took for me 10-15 minutes)
    - lshmc -V                         <--verify update successfully installed

3. upgrade to v7.3.5:
    - download necessary install images to an FTP server
    - chsvcevent -o closeall           <--closes all serviceable events on the HMC to clean up before upgrade (for me did not work)
    - chhmcfs -o f -d 0                <--clearing out old logfiles to clean up before upgrade (for me did not work)
    - hmcshutdown -t now -r            <--make sure there are no problems with reboot (if we did this in step 2 we can omit here)

    - saveupgdata -r disk              <--it mounts /mnt/upgrade, save config. data then unmounts it (it took less than a minute)
                                       (this is only configuration data, which will be used during reboot after the upgrade)
    - getupgfiles -h <ftp server> -u <user> --passwd <paswd> -d <dir on ftp server>    <--mounts /hmcdump, copy install files there, umount
    - chhmc -c altdiskboot -s enable --mode upgrade        <--it sets HMC to boot from the install images and allow the upgrade to proceed
    - hmcshutdown -t now -r            <--it took 30-40 minutes for me
    - lshmc -V                         <--it will show new version

4. some fixes are available to 7.3.5 which can be installed:
    - download iso images to FTP server
    (first HMC_Update_V7R350_SP3.iso has to be installed after that MH01259.iso)

    - install:
        from command line:
        updhmc -t s -h <ftp server> -u <user> -p <passwd> -f /software/server/hmc/fixes/MH01195.iso -r
        from GUI:
        Updates -> Update HMC -> next, next ...

    - hmcshutdown -t now -r            <--reboot HMC for the changes to be available (after each fix install)

5. create backup



  1. Hi Belaz
    In the IBM document for HMC upgrade from 7.3 to 7.7 has the following for dual HMC environment : this is kind of scary, Do you have any suggestions, does this really necessary :
    Physically disconnect the ethernet cable from HMC #1 to the managed server(s)
    o Upgrade HMC #1 to V7.7.7 and same for the HMC # 2

    1. IBM's recommendations is due to the fact that in a dual HMC environment, both HMCs must be at the same level; otherwise you will end up with data corruption.
      Just disconnect the standby one, perform the upgrade on it, verify the upgrade, perform the upgrade on the primary HMC, verify the upgrade and reconnect if everything looks good.

  2. Hi, I'm a follower of this blog since very long. Appreciate your work..!!

    Can you help me Find the where "profile data" is saved on the HMC while we take the profile back. (I'm looking for location on HMC)

    1. Hi, please check man page of bkprofdata:
      -f The name of the backup file where the profile data is to be written. If file is not fully qualified, file will be written to the /var/hsc/profiles/serial-number directory on the HMC (serial-number is the serial number of the managed system).

  3. Dear fellow hardcore HMC updaters,

    Please take into account that 'lshmc -r' might return incorrect results (disable) when displaying the altdiskboot value. This should have been fixed with Service Pack 3 (MH01623), but we have seen this behavior with and In our case, in contrast to the 'lshmc -r' output, the HMC took the right startup device in order to upgrade the system.

    After booting into we lost connection to our one and only managed system. The HMC, showing the '02FF-0003-008087E9' reference code, was able to ping the managed system, but could not connect to the ASM. We could reconnect both the HMC and the managed system by installing MH01454 and MH01486.

    Furthermore, upgrading from (with MH01454 and MH01486 installed) to and afterwards to, the getupgfiles binary exited with the following error message:

    'The file bzImage appeared to be missing, or the transfer did not complete successfully, resulting in an incorrect file size or checksum. Please retry the operation.'

    Indeed the checksums did not match with the hmcnetworkfiles.sum which could be checked with the 'GNU sum' binary. Apparently the downloaded img2a and img3a files from 'software/server/hmc/network/' were not suitable to upgrading the system. So we found out that the img2a and img3a files in the recovery images which can be found in 'software/server/hmc/recovery_images/' have checksums matching the hmcnetworkfiles.sum file. After replacing the img* files with the ones from the recovery images we were able to upgrade successfully.

    We thank IBM for this rock stable upgrade path.

    Cheers, Michael

    1. Thank you Michael for these valuable info...I think with this you saved many headaches :)