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Network Installation Management Guide and Reference

Installing to an Alternate Disk on a NIM Client (cloning or mksysb)

NIM allows you to install an AIX 4.3 or later mksysb image (mksysb resource) on a NIM client's alternate disk or to clone a NIM client's current disk onto an alternate disk and apply updates. Because the client system is running during installation, less time is required than with a normal install.

Note: See alt_disk_install for detailed information about the different ways NIM can customize an alternate disk installation.


  1. The NIM master must be configured. To install a mksysb image onto the alternate disk, the mksysb resource must be defined. See Configuring the NIM Master and Creating Basic Installation Resources.
  2. The NIM client must already exist in the NIM environment and must be running. To add the client to the NIM environment, see Adding a Standalone NIM Client to the NIM Environment .
  3. The bos.alt_disk_install.rte fileset must be installed on the NIM client. To install a new fileset on a NIM Client, see Customizing NIM Clients and SPOT Resources .

From Web-based System Manager

  1. Select the Machines Container.
  2. In the contents area, select the standalone machine for the alternate disk installation.
  3. From the Selected menu, choose Alternate Disk Installation --> Clone the Rootvg to an Alternate Disk or Install Mksysb on an Alternate Disk.
  4. Use the dialog to finish the installation.


  1. Enter the smit nim_alt_mksysb fast path from the NIM master.
  2. Select the Target Machine or Target Group to Install.
  3. Enter the Target Disk or Disks on the Target machine.
  4. Accept the default installation options, or supply different ones in the displayed dialog fields. Use the help information and the LIST option for guidance.
  5. The alternate disk installation will be initiated on the client, and progress can be seen with the lsnim command (smit lsnim). If the "Reboot when complete?" option is set to yes and the "Phase to execute" is all or includes Phase 3, the client will reboot from the newly installed disk when the alt_disk_install command is complete.
  6. To clone a disk onto a NIM client's alternate disk, enter the smit nim_alt_clone fast path from the NIM master.

From the Command Line

The alt_disk_install command is initiated on the target system, and progress is shown with the lsnim command. In addition, a log kept on the target system, /var/adm/ras/alt_disk_inst.log, contains progress messages and any error or warning messages that might occur. The /var/adm/ras/nim.alt_disk_install log will contain debug information, if requested.

Installing mksysb on an Alternate Disk

Initiate the alt_disk_install operation by entering:

nim -o alt_disk_install -a source=mksysb -a mksysb=Mksysb \-a disk='diskname(s)' ClientName

Specify the mksysb resource to be used and any additional options for customizing the installation. To perform a simple alternate disk mksysb install, specify the source, mksysb, and disk resources.

Note: For detailed information about the mksysb resources, see mksysb Resource.

Cloning the rootvg to an Alternate Disk

To clone a disk onto a NIM client's alternate disk, enter:

nim -o alt_disk_install -a source=rootvg -a disk=diskname(s) ClientName

Specify any additional options for customizing the installation.


The client machine machine1 is a running system with a disk, hdisk2, that is not currently occupied by a volume group.

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