Problem with SNDPTFORD on hosted LPAR’s

We are running and IBM i hosting IBM i LPAR’s environment that we use for all of our development. The setup works perfectly for our purposes and even though we have since created a VIOS based environment on our Power9 this Power8 is our main development system.

One of the things we always try to do is keep the systems (individual LPAR’s) at the latest CUM and Group level so we use the Fix Central portal to download the latest CUM package and PTF Groups on a regular basis. Because we are now looking at the security bulletins published by IBM and the PTF’s required to fix the exposures, many of these are not included in a PTF group or CUM package. Having to sign onto the Fix Central portal and order the fixes individually is a long and manual process, especially where we need to do it for each of our partitions. The answer is the SNDPTFORD command which can be used to automatically download the PTF’s to an Image Catalog to allow installation.

We did this on our main hosting partition and everything worked perfectly, but when we tried in on the hosted partitions it failed every time! To make matters worse the only message that was sent indicated that we needed to review the job log to see the reason that the request failed, there were no other messages! So we placed a PMR with IBM asking for help, unfortunately one of the LPAR’s is running V7R2 and we needed a service extension before IBM would even consider looking at it. Thankfully we had the exact same problem on all of the LPARS running V7R3 and V7R4 so IBM could provide support against those LPARs.

This is the list of actions that IBM suggested we take to fix up the ECS links.

DLTSRVCFG DLTCMNCFG(*YES) (make sure the system value QRETSVRSEC is set to one for this to work)

WRKTCPPTP remove any profiles that are listed.

WRKLIND LIND(Q*) Remove the QESLINE/QTILINE objects (they are no longer needed)

RMVLNK OBJLNK(‘/QIBM/USERDATA/OS400/UniversalConnection/*’) this command fails with ‘Requested operation not allowed. Access problem.’ You can ignore this as the bits that need to be deleted are.

CRTSRVCFG ROLE(PRIMARY) CNNTYPE(DIRECT) CNTRYID(SELECT) STATE(SELECT) This will take you through a couple of screens where you need to select the country and province the system is located in.

SNDPTFORD PTFID((SF98720)) This simply orders a cover letter, does not matter that its for V7R2 in this instance its only used to test the download works.

SNDSRVRQS ACTION(*TEST) This will send out a PMR and close it. You will get emails about the PMR being raised and closed (3 in our case)

VFYSRVCFG SERVICE(ecs) VFYOPT(ALL) This runs some verification tests, just check the job log to make sure they all ran successfully.

Once all of the above had been done on each of the LPAR’s the SNDPTFORD was working fine except for our V7R2 LPAR, this is because IBM checks for the service extension as part of the process and if you do not have it the process fails (still same problem with absolutely no data to suggest why it failed).

This fixed the problems for us, your mileage may differ but hopefully it fixes the problem.

Happy Days… Chris…

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