Starting with AIX5.0 (the beta AIX5 during Project Montery) two additional methods (RPM and ISMP) of unpacking aka installing software were added.

What commands can be used to install the different types of packaging?

1 Answer 1


The most generic method - and the one that resolves the "lower layer" or differences in the different formats is: smit install

smit install - as part of smit takes you through a number of dialogs to help with selections. Ultimately this calls the program /usr/sbin/geninstall

So the next aspect of this question is: what does geninstall call?


(aka BFF - backup file format)

The installp/bff format uses the command installp.
installp is simple to use from the command line:
installp is also a package manager in that it can also resolve and install dependencies - when available in the /software/repository/directory
The following commands demonstrate some common actions with LPP/installp/BFF packaging.

To install some.fileset.name from /software/repository/directory while also finding and installing dependancies - as well as increase filesystems size should that be necessary

  • installp -d /software/repository/directory -agX some.fileset.name
    -d: directory with software package/packages in BFF format
    -a: apply -g: resolve and apply dependencies, if any -X: increase target filesystem size, if needed

List software in repository

  • installp -d /software/repository/directory -L -d: directory with software package/packages in BFF format -L: List LPP packages in directory

Regenerate the TOC in /software/repository/directory

  • inutoc /software/repository/directory Uninstall some.fileset.name

  • installp -ug some.fileset.name
    -u: uninstall argument(s) -g: uninstall, recursively, software that depends on some.fileset.name

Listing/verification of already installed packages

  • lslpp -L
    List installed LPP packages - do not distinguish between root, usr or shared components
  • lslpp -l
    List installed LPP packages - include the distinct root, usr and/or shared components
  • lppck -v some.fileset.name
    -v: verify contents of Verify some.fileset.name integrity
  • lslpp -h some.fileset.name
    -h: history of List the installation history (install dates) of current and previous versions of some.fileset.name -w: where is
  • lslpp -w /some/file/name
    Identify the fileset that contains /some/file/name

RPM - RedHat Package Manager

rpm on AIX is standard rpm - see any Linux guide for instructions on how to use it. Note that the version of RPM installed is 'ancient'. Some options you expect may be missing.

michael@x071:[/usr/sbin]rpm --version
RPM version 3.0.5

/usr/bin/rpm is installed by default, and is part of the fileset named rpm.rte

michael@x071:[/usr/sbin]lslpp -w /usr/bin/rpm
  File                                        Fileset               Type
  /usr/bin/rpm                                rpm.rte               File

Starting with AIX 7.2 (which I do not have access to right now) has rpm version 4, and yum is also included to help with RPM dependency hell


InstallShield Multi Platform

I have never tried to install ISMP from the command-line, so no quick summary here. The main 'user' of this packaging method has been '3rd-party' VAR and software vendors. IBM software group has also been a frequent user - more in the past (e.g., db2v6 or v7, and the initial versions of apache-1 and httpd-2).

Personal Notes

  • For me personally, ISMP is a 'historical note', as I see it less and less (not even IBM software group seems to use it anymore). Further, RPM is something I prefer to avoid on AIX. Not because I dislike RPM - but because the common flaw (imho) is that RPM packages do not know what installp has installed (and v.v.) and RPM overwrites the contents of other installp packages without warning or thereafter remove bits without warning. This knife cuts two ways: 'the new' gets broken when 'the old' has an update applied. In short - mix -> and make a murphy day!

  • personally, in 2001 I thought three different installers was a great idea. And geninstall to control them all. Experience with troubleshooting things suddenly gone wrong have taught me otherwise!


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