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Remember the Alternatives to GUI

June 2, 2009

Most readers of this blog are command line-savvy. Had we wanted to use a GUI on our servers, we would have become Windows administrators. Why gain console access using a browser to login to the Hardware Management Console (HMC) or the Integrated Virtualization Manager (IVM) GUI when you can just as easily ssh directly to your IVM server (using the padmin userid) or HMC (as hscroot)?

In the recent AIXchange post about live partition mobility, I was on a blade, so I was able to run the mkvt command to open a console window. If you're unsure about your partition names and numbers, then run the lssyscfg command (I use the –F flag to give me the name and lpar_id fields; you can choose other fields that might interest you as well):

# lssyscfg -r lpar -F name,lpar_id

#mkvt –id 6

If someone left the console running elsewhere and the console is already in use, then use:

#rmvt –id 6

Next, run your mkvt command on the command line. From your HMC, you can ssh in as hscroot and use the vtmenu command. From publib:

"vtmenu is a Perl script which displays a list of partitions, opening a virtual terminal on the one selected. If more than one managed systems exists, a list of them is displayed first. After a managed system is selected, a list of all logical partitions on that managed system is displayed. The vtmenu command does not accept any flags or parameters and ignores all that are specified."

vtmenu displays the managed systems connected to your HMC, and it prompts you to choose which managed system to connect to. Once you connect, it displays a list of the LPARs from which you can select.

Partitions On Managed System:

Enter Number of Running Partition (q to quit):
Enter Number of Running Partition (q to quit): 1
Opening Virtual Terminal On Partition lpar1 . . .
Open in progress
Open Completed.

Once you select the session you want to connect to, it should behave exactly as any other console window to which you're accustomed. 

You can also use the mkvterm –m -p command if you know the machine name and the LPAR name. I find vtmenu to be useful if you do not know that information off the top of your head.  If you need to get the machine name, try lssyscfg –r sys, then use lssyscfg -r lpar -m –F to get a list of LPAR names.  If someone else is using a console, or you left a console running somewhere else, you can use the rmvterm –m -p command. 

In any event, when you are done using a console, you can type ~~. in order to cleanly exit, and you will get a message that says Terminate session? [y/n]. Answer with y and you will go back to the vtmenu screen or to the command line, depending on what method you used to create the console.

Of course, the GUI is always an option, but don't forget that you can also get console sessions using ssh with your HMC or IVM.

Posted June 2, 2009| Permalink