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USB drive on AIX based system

Posted on 2014-03-26
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Last Modified: 2014-03-31
Does anyone use or know if it is possible to connect and use an external USB drive on an AIX based system? I am not referring to a thumb drive or usb stick, but rather a real disk enclosure  (of the 1-2 TB type) that you might otherwise connect to a Windows system.
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Question by:carlmd
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woolmilkporc earned 500 total points
ID: 39956200
This should work with the newer AIX versions (5.3 TL 9 and up - check with "oslevel -r").

You must have these filesets installed - check with "lslpp -l  |grep usb":

devices.usbif.08025002.rte
devices.usbif.08025002.diag
devices.common.IBM.usb.rte
devices.common.IBM.usb.diag


Get them from the original OS installation DVD if required.

If you're on an LPAR you must use the HMC to attach the "USB UHC spec" adapter to the LPAR in question.

Once you plugged in the USB drive run "cfgmgr" to detect it.
The device should show up as "usbms0" (maybe "usbms1" or higher if it's not your first USB mass storage device) in the device list:

lsdev | grep usb

Now make a mountpoint in your directory tree, e. g. "mkdir /usb_drive0" and try to mount the device:

mount -o log=NULL /dev/usbms0 /usb_drive0

If this fails with an error message the device needs to be preformatted with a JFS2 file system:

mkfs -V jfs2 -o ea=v2 /dev/usbms0

You will be asked for confirmation to destroy any data possibly present on the device. Answer with "yes".

After successful creation of the FS you should now be able to mount it (see above).
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by:carlmd
ID: 39956637
Just to confirm, you are of the opinion that I can use any "real" usb drive, and not just a flash drive. Is that correct?
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by:woolmilkporc
woolmilkporc earned 500 total points
ID: 39956682
Yes, that's correct. Since AIX 5.3 TL 9 you can use USB mass storage devices.

I' not sure if "any" USB disk can be used, however. There might well exist incompatible ones out there.
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by:carlmd
ID: 39966206
Thanks, will give it a try soon.
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