Installing PowerPath on an AIX Host



Setting up a host environment


Select a host: AIX

Select a AIX host task: Installing PowerPath




·             Install PowerPath software on an AIX host 3




·        Install PowerPath software on an AIX host


This procedure describes how to install PowerPath on an AIX platform.


Verify the following prior to the installation of PowerPath:


·         Review the patch ReadMe files to determine which patches (if any) you want to install after PowerPath, and whether those patches have any added prerequisites that must be met before you install PowerPath.

·         Determine if the PowerPath software you are installing requires the removal or presence of a previous version of PowerPath.  Some full versions require the previous version to be removed while others do not.  Also, some patches require the full version to be present while others require it to be removed.  Refer to the PowerPath Release Notes and/or PowerPath patch readme files for your specific version to determine what needs to be present/removed and if and when a reboot is necessary in order to install your specific PowerPath software version and/or patch.  These documents are available on


·         All AIX hosts with Invista systems must select Type 4 when registering an HBA with Invista SP2 Patch 1 and higher.  Type 4 is the supported HBA initiator type for AIX on Invista SP2 Patch 1 and higher.  The EMC Invista Element Manager Administration Guide provides additional information on registering an HBA.

·         Use the AIX varyoffvg command to take offline all AIX Logical Volume Manager (LVM) volume groups that use storage-system hdisk devices, except the root volume group (rootvg).  If a filesystem or application uses these volume groups, unmount the filesystem or stop the application before taking the volume groups offline.

·         Ensure any required AIX Licensed Program Products (LPPs) are installed as follows:



Required For



AIX device LPP


Fibre-attached devices


EMC driver kit

Fibre-attached devices


NOTE:  For fibre-attached installations running AIX 5.2, the LPP must be at level or later.


CLARiiON support for HACMP

HACMP clusters

AIX support for Hitachi and HP xp disks

All Hitachi Lightning and Hitachi Tagmastore configurations

All HP StorageWorks xp configurations


NOTE:  HP StorageWorks xp was qualified with the If you use the HP ODM ( and the devices are configured as XP Disk Array (Fibre), PowerPath cannot configure these devices.


AIX support for

HP disks

All Hitachi Lightning and

Hitachi Tagmastore


All HP Storageworks




IBM 2105 disk device

All IBM ESS configurations




PC1000 or

PC2000 HBA


All HP StorageWorks

EVA-hsv configurations

hsv100.rte or hsv110.rte


AIX support for

HP disks

All HP StorageWorks

EVA-hsv configurations


Note: The Symmetrix  LPPs are included in the EMC ODM fileset, which can be downloaded from:




Mount the PowerPath CD-ROM

a.     Verify that you are logged in as root.


b.    Create the directory /cdrom to be the mount point for the CD-ROM by entering:

mkdir /cdrom

c.     Insert the PowerPath installation CD-ROM and mount the CD on /cdrom by entering:

mount -v cdrfs -p -r /dev/cd0 /cdrom

d.    Enter the following command to change to the correct directory:

cd /cdrom/UNIX/AIX



Install PowerPath software

PowerPath can be installed directly from the CD-ROM, using either command line entries or SMIT.  Perform the applicable procedure as follows:


To install PowerPath from the command line:


Note:  To install from the command line, you must enable the adapter driver fast_fail feature by entering chdev -l fscsiX -a fc_err_recov=fast_fail –P and then rebooting.


Install the software by entering: installp –agXd . EMCpower

Note:  Refer to the man page for optional flags for the
installp command.

The screen displays information about the installation, ending with an installation summary display.  The result column will display success.


To install PowerPath from SMIT:


This SMIT procedure assumes you are running the X Window System version of SMIT.  You can use the tty version of SMIT, provided you substitute the appropriate tty SMIT procedures.

a.      Enter the following command to open SMIT:


b.      On the main SMIT window, click Software Installation and Maintenance.

c.      On the Software Installation and Maintenance window, click Install and Update Software.

d.      On the Install and Update Software window, click Install Software.

e.      For INPUT device / directory for software, enter:


f.       Click List to open the list of software to install.

g.      Select the first line in the list, EMCpower ALL and press Enter.

h.      In the Install Software dialog box that opens, review the installation options, make any necessary changes, and click OK.

i.        When prompted, click OK to continue.  The screen displays information about the installation, ending with an installation summary display.  The result column will display success.

j.        Select Exit SMIT from the Exit menu to close SMIT.



Complete PowerPath software registration:

After the installation is complete, you must register PowerPath on the host:


a.      Locate the PowerPath License Key Card, which has your license registration key printed, delivered with the PowerPath media kit.  

b.      Enter the following command:

emcpreg –install

c.      At the prompt, type y and press Enter.

d.      At the registration key prompt, enter the PowerPath registration key and press Enter. 

If you enter a valid registration key, you see the following output:


1 key(s) successfully added.

Key successfully installed.

NOTE:  If you enter an invalid registration number or press Enter without entering any key, the system displays an error message and prompts you to reenter a valid key.

e.      Press Enter and you will see the following output:

1 key(s) successfully registered.



Check for patches:

If necessary, install any PowerPath patches from the following URL:


NOTE:  A readme file that explains how to install the patch accompanies every patch release.  This file will also state whether you need to reboot the host after the installation of the patch. 




Pseudo device numbering:

By default, PowerPath uses a system-assigned major number for its pseudo devices.  To support NFS applications in a clustered environment, the major number of PowerPath pseudo devices (i.e., /dev/*hdiskpower*) must be the same across all cluster nodes.  This must be a unique major number that is unused by any host in the cluster.


To choose a major number:


a.     Determine a free major number common to all nodes; on each node in the cluster, run the following command:



Compare the free ranges on each node to find a major number that is unused on any node.

b.    Change the major number of the powerpath0 device; on each node in the cluster, run the following command:

chdev –l powerpath0 –a pp_major= x

Where x is the major number you found in step a.

c.     Verify the change; on each node in the cluster.  Run the following command:

lsattr -El powerpath0

NOTE:  The major number will take effect after you run the
powermt config command on each node in the cluster.



Make hdiskpower devices available:

Initialize the PowerPath hdiskpower devices and make them available to the host using either command line entries or SMIT.  Perform the applicable procedure as follows:


To initialize devices at the command line, enter:


powermt config


To initialize devices using SMIT:


a.      Open SMIT by entering:


b.      On the System Management window, select Devices.

c.      Select PowerPath Disk.

d.      Select Configure All PowerPath Devices.

e.      Exit SMIT.



Remove CD-ROM:

Unmount the CD-ROM by entering:


cd /

umount /cdrom


Remove the CD-ROM from the CD-ROM drive.




Post tasks:

Perform other administrative tasks as necessary:


·         Vary on any existing LVM volume groups that you varied off before installing PowerPath by running the command varyonvg vgname.  Then remount any filesystems that you unmounted and restart any applications you stopped.

You need not reconfigure these volume groups.  The installation procedure migrates existing volume groups that use storage system devices from AIX hdisks to PowerPath hdiskpower devices.  However, if you failed to vary off a volume group before installing PowerPath, this migration will fail.  You will be able to vary off the volume group, but any vary on attempts may result in errors.  To correct this state, vary off the volume group and then run
powermt config.  The varyon command should now succeed and the volume group should be using hdiskpower devices.  When defining new volume groups, use PowerPath hdiskpower devices, not AIX hdisk devices.

·         Reconfigure applications that access AIX hdisks directly.

If an application accesses AIX hdisks directly, rather than through a volume group (a DBMS, for example), you must reconfigure that application to use PowerPath hdiskpower devices if you want PowerPath load balancing and path failover functionality. Run
powermt display dev=all to determine the correspondence between PowerPath hdiskpower devices and AIX hdisk devices.


Note:  You do not need to reconfigure applications that access hdisks through a volume group. 


When adding new applications to your system that typically would access hdisks directly, configure them to use hdiskpower devices instead.