AIX 5.1 onlinet runaway process?

We often get "runaway" procs that eat CPU.  Normally these are instances of the survey software we use and I just kill them.

However we have a process called "onlinet" using 25% CPU (which seems to be the max for a single process.)

It indeed has no parent process (PPID is 1).

I have no idea what it is for, so I am a little scared to kill it.

Esspecially because we have NO software support on this machine.   IBM stopped supporting AIX 5.1 at all in April.  So we have hardware support only.

Can anyone (perhaps my favorite AIX guru; wmp) give any insight?     ;)  
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Gerwin Jansen, EE MVETopic Advisor Commented:
Hi, remark about your 25% max, you have a 4 core machine (or 4 CPU) that you run AIX on. That's why you get 25% max for a single process.

Can you find where the onlinet process is on your system? Try this command:
find / -name onlinet 2>/dev/null

Open in new window

Can you post the path where onlinet is found?

this could be the agent of the UPS software "Powerware Onlinet".

Do you have a UPS and a monitoring agent for that device?
If you have it there must also be a serial connection between a tty port of the AIX box and the UPS.

Normally the agent is started from /etc/inittab - see if you can find it there.

But why it should be going postal from time to time - no idea!

It must be 10 years since I last heard about that piece of software!

Maybe you don't use the UPS anymore but forgot to remove the agent from inittab?
This could be a (highly theoretical) explanation for its misbehaviour.


P. S. Many thanks for the nice "AIX Guru" compliment!


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Actually I found an old OnliNet Manual - maybe it could help:
IT Pros Agree: AI and Machine Learning Key

We’d all like to think our company’s data is well protected, but when you ask IT professionals they admit the data probably is not as safe as it could be.

XetroximynAuthor Commented:
That explains it!!   Our old UPS just failed, (stared smoking!!)  And we got a new UPS.   This was about a week ago   Currently we don't have the new UPS set up via serial cable yet.  

Do you think it is safe to kill the onlinet process then?  Is there any chance that could trigger the system to power down or something like that?

p.s. @ gerwinjansen: here is the path
    root   680154        1 107   Dec 14      - 9353:43 /usr/onlinet/onlinet
If you don't have your old UPS anymore the agent does no longer receive any signals from it (obviously). Since the agent did not shut down your system up to now it is out of function and you can safely kill it.

Don't forget to remove its entry from inittab. If it is set to respawn the agent would otherwise come back immediately, without respawn it would come back after a reboot.
XetroximynAuthor Commented:
XetroximynAuthor Commented:
Oh -- so when we get the new UPS hooked up, could this same process work for it?  Or would that only work with very specific UPS?
I think that's specific, and I strongly assume that your new UPS came with its own software which you'll have to install.

Hopefully it will run under 5.1 ...
XetroximynAuthor Commented:
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