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HP-UX System Administrator's Guide: Overview: HP-UX 11i Version 3



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A server or subset of a server (for example, a partition) running an independent copy of HP-UX.


Another type of computer (for example, a PC)



One of four commands that control the flow of print requests through the Line Printer Spooling System (spooler). accept instructs the spooler to allow new print requests to be added to the print queue of a printer or class.

See also reject, enable, disable.

Agile View 

A view of the I/O device tree using the more flexible and scalable persistent device special files, LUN hardware paths.

See also Legacy View.


American Standards Committee on Information Interchange. A standard used by computers for interpreting binary numbers as characters.


block special files 

See device special files.


A printed circuit assembly (PCA). Also called a card or adapter.

boot loader 

A software program, used in the boot sequence, to load the HP-UX kernel from disk and start it running.


A common data path over which data is transported.



A circuit board that contains processors and memory, all under the control of a cell controller (CC) chip.

cell board 

See cell.

Central Management Server 

A system in the management domain that executes the HP Systems Insight Manager software. All central operations within HP Systems Insight Manager are initiated from this system.

character special files 

See device special files.

cold install 

Installation of a fresh copy of HP-UX to either a blank disk device or disk volume or completely overwriting any previous contents on the device or volume — specifically, not an update.


Compartments are a method for isolating components of the system from one another. When configured properly, they can be effective in safeguarding HP-UX, its processes, and its resources.

components without usage rights 

See iCAP components.

continental cluster 

A group of clusters that use routed networks or common carrier networks for data replication and cluster communication to support package failover between separate clusters in different data centers. Continental clusters are often located in different cities or different countries and can span 100s or 1000s of miles.


Formerly referred to as a “CPU”. An individual processing unit on a processor chip. Sometimes referred to as a “processing core”.


device multipathing 

Used with agile addressing and persistent device special files, device multipathing allows multiple hardware paths to a device to use a single device special file. Using device multipathing, you can balance traffic loads between the various hardware paths to a device. You also have redundancy should one of the paths fail.

device special files 

Associated with physical and pseudodevices, device special files are used by the operating system and applications to write to and read from their associated devices.

Device file types:

  • Legacy Device Special Files — the traditional, hardware path dependent style of device special file. Each path to a device has its own device special file. Moving a device means using different device special files to access the device.

  • Persistent device special files — the newer, hardware path independent style of device special files. Because of the hardware path independence, moving a device to a different hardware path does not require you to use a new device special file, or even change the current one.

Device file access:

  • Block Special Files – Device files associated with block devices. Block devices transfer data in multi-byte blocks by means of the system's normal buffering mechanism.

  • Character Special Files – Device files associated with character-mode devices, such as printers, most terminals, and modems. Character-mode devices transfer data in an unbuffered stream.

device swap 

Swap space located in a dedicated disk volume or disk partition. Device swap is not part of a file system and is not memory based. Device swap is generally faster than file system swap because it is more direct (does not have the file system layer to traverse).

See also file system swap”, and “pseudo swap.

directory path 

A string of characters representing the sequence of directories that must be traversed from the root directory (“/”) to the directory represented by the path. Directory names in the path string are delimited by the slash character (“/”).

Example: /usr/share/man/man1.Z/cat.1


One of four commands that control the flow of print requests through the Line Printer Spooling System (spooler). disable instructs the spooler to prevent queued requests from flowing out of a print queue; in other words, to prevent the printing of requests from a queue.

See also accept, reject, enable.

disk group 

(1) A VxVM disk group is conceptually similar to an LVM volume group. It is a collection of VM disks that share a common configuration.

(2) A collection of individual disks that share a common role in disk array operation. All disks on the disk array will be a member of one of the following disk groups: a LUN, hot spare, or unassigned.

disk striping 

A method of writing to a logical disk device (for example, an LVM logical volume or VxVM Volume) comprised of multiple physical devices such that consecutive chunks of data (such as bits, bytes, or blocks, or extents) are distributed to different physical devices. This can speed up logical device access as multiple data chunks can be written or read simultaneously to or from the different physical devices.

dump concurrency 

The ability to dump to multiple devices in parallel, speeding up memory dumps and shortening system downtime.



One of four commands that control the flow of print requests through the Line Printer Spooling System (spooler). enable instructs the spooler to allow queued requests to flow out of a print queue; in other words, to actually be printed.

See also accept, reject, disable.


An indication, provided by any system component or application that something noteworthy has occurred. Events are made available to any interested entity by being posted to the Event Manager subsystem.

See also Event Manager (EVM).

Event Management Daemon 

Part of the Event Manager subsystem, the event management daemon (/usr/sbin/evmd) provides posting and notification services for system and application clients running on the local system.

See also Event Manager (EVM) and the evmd(1M) manpage.

Event Manager (EVM) 

An HP-UX subsystem that provides a mechanism for the posting and retreiving of events.

See also events and the evm(5) manpage.

extended campus cluster 

See extended distance cluster.

extended distance cluster 

A cluster with alternate nodes located in different data centers separated by some distance. Extended distance clusters are connected using a high speed cable that guarantees network access between the nodes as long as all guidelines for disaster tolerant architecture are followed. The maximum distance between nodes in an extended distance cluster is set by the limits of the data replication technology and networking limits.


A fixed size chunk of disk space used by the Logical Volume Manager to allocate space in a volume group. Logical volumes are managed as a collection of extents and extents are the unit of measure by which logical volumes are created or resized.


file system 

A disk based mechanism – residing in a disk partition, logical volume, or on optical media – used for organizing files, directories, links, and occasionally for paging operations. In HP-UX, file systems are hierarchical and can be joined via the mount process (see mount(1M)) to form larger directory hierarchies.

file system swap 

Swap space that resides within a file system. File system swap is slower than device swap because the file system is required to allocate the space in order to prevent files from being overwritten. This adds an extra layer of access that the kernel must traverse to write or read paged out memory.

See also device swap” and “pseudo swap.

fine-grained privilege 

A permission to perform a specific, low-level operation (for example, permission to execute a specific system call).

FTP (File Transfer Protocol) 

A method for transferring files over a computer network from one computer (a server) to another (a client). FTP also enables limited file operations (for example directory listings) on the remote computer. The two computers involved are a server and a client.

  • FTP Server – listens on the network for connection requests from clients.

  • FTP Client – initiates the connection to an FTP server and enables the user to transfer files and perform other file manipulation tasks on the server.


guest operating system 

See Integrity VM guest.


hard partition 

See nPartitions.

hardware partitioning 

See nPartitions.

hardware threading 

A hardware technique used in Itanium processors to enhance the computational performance of a core. Itanium processors are those used in HP Integrity Servers.

high availability cluster 

A group of servers functioning in a coordinated fashion to create a configuration that allows application services to continue in spite of a hardware or software failure.

HP SMH (System Management Homepage) 

The primary single system administration tool beginning with HP-UX 11i version 3. HP SMH supports HP-UX, HP supported versions of Linux, and Microsoft Windows operating systems.



(Instant Capacity) A group of technologies that allow you to activate/deactivate pre-purchased “stand-by” hardware components, paying only for the computing resources you actually consume. This allows you to handle temporary usage demands more cost efficiently.

iCAP components 

Components (for example, processing cores and memory), purchased at a reduced price, but without usage rights. These components can be activated when needed by purchasing either temporary or permanent usage rights.

Installed Product Database 

A database of software currently installed on a server, created and maintained by the Software Distributor suite of utilities. See “Software Distributor (SD)”.

Integrity VM guest 

An instance of HP-UX running within an Integrity virtual machine.

interleaved swap 

Swap space spanning multiple physical devices for read/write efficiency, similar to disk striping.

See also disk striping.



An acronym meaning Just a Bunch of Disks and representing a group of disk devices concatenated together to be treated as though they were a single large device.



The nucleus of the HP-UX operating system. Comprised of drivers and other code modules, the kernel centrally controls nearly all of the essential functions of an operating system (for example, memory management, communication between hardware and software, and process scheduling).

kernel modules 

Modular chunks of code that collectively make up the kernel. Some modules require a reboot in order to be added to (or removed from) a kernel, others do not.

kernel tunables 

Variables within the kernel that govern various kernel functions (for example, how many processes can simultaneously exist, or how physical memory is allocated). By altering the values of these variables the kernel’s behavior can be influenced (“tuned”).


lazy swap 

When a process is scheduled, enough swap space is usually reserved just in case the process needs to be paged out of physical memory to make room for other running processes.

Often, swap space is reserved but never used because the process it was reserved for did not get paged out, or only portions of it did. This results in wasted swap space. When enabled, lazy swap causes swap space to be reserved at the time memory contents for a process are actually paged out, rather than when the process is scheduled, yielding more efficient swap space utilization.

Legacy View 

A view of the I/O device tree using physical hardware path addresses and legacy device special files.

See also Agile View.

line printer spooling system 

An HP-UX subsystem used to control the flow of printing in order to:

  • prevent intermixed listings

  • prioritize print jobs

  • control who can use specific printers

  • allow for printer maintenance

  • group printers to associate them with a single print queue (See “printer class”)

local printer 

A printer that is physically attached to a server and directly controlled by the Line Printer Spooling System of an HP-UX instance running on that server.

logical volume 

A subdivision of a volume group, a logical volume can span multiple physical volumes or represent only a portion of one physical volume.

The size of a logical volume is measured in units called extents. The size of logical volumes can be altered after they are initially created. Logical volumes can be extended and, if their contents permit, reduced.

Once created, logical volumes can be treated just like disk partitions. They can be used for file systems, swap space, as dump devices, or for raw disk access.

LUN hardware path 

A virtual hardware path that represents the device itself, not the hardware path to it. A LUN hardware path represents all physical paths (“lunpath hardware paths”) to the LUN it represents. The first path element in a LUN hardware path is 64000, followed by a virtual bus address and virtual LUN ID. For example: 64000/0xfa00.0x22.

lunpath hardware path 

An individual physical hardware path to a mass storage device (usually a disk). Lunpath hardware paths are composed of a series of bus-nexus addresses separated by / (slash) characters leading up to the Host Bus Adapter (HBA). Beneath the HBA, additional address elements are represented in hexadecimal. The first elements represent a transport-dependent target address. The final element is a LUN address, which is a 64-bit representation of the LUN identifier reported by the targeted device.

See also LUN hardware path and persistent device special file.


major number 

The part of a device special file that determines whether the file is used for block access or character access and also used to determine which device driver to use when communicating with the device.

managed systems 

Any system managed by HP Systems Insight Manager, including servers, desktop PCs, and Remote Insight Boards.

management domain 

A collection of resources called managed systems that have been placed under the control of the HP SIM. Each Central Management Server is responsible for a management domain. The managed systems can belong to more than one management domain.

See also Central Management Server.


See metropolitan cluster.

metropolitan cluster 

A cluster that is geographically dispersed within the confines of a metropolitan area requiring right-of-way to lay cable for redundant network and data replication components.

minor number 

The part of a device special file that identifies the location of the interface to which a device is attached and defines driver-dependent characteristics. This information is organized by specific bit assignments.

See also device special files and major number.


See kernel modules.

mount points 

Directories in the HP-UX directory tree where file systems are logically attached. When mounted, the directory that is the root of a file system’s directory tree is represented by the HP-UX directory to which it is mounted. See mount(1M).


network based printer 

A printer connected directly to a network and having its own network interface (such as an HP JetDirect interface card) and network address. All printing to a network based printer must travel over the network.

See also remote printer.


(Serviceguard) Individual systems in a Serviceguard cluster. Systems could be standalone servers or instances of HP-UX running in a partition on a server.

(Networking) (Individual instances of HP-UX (or other operating systems) on a network, each identified by its own hostname and one or more IP addresses.

(Directory Tree) In the HP-UX directory tree, each directory, file, or link represents a node. Similarly, HP-UX keeps track of I/O devices using a hierarchy where each component in a hardware path (regardless of which addressing scheme is used) represents a node on the I/O tree.


Available on cell based servers, nPartitions (also known as hard partitions) provide both operating system and electrical isolation. If an operating system crash or hardware failure occurs in one nPartition on a server, operating systems and hardware in other nPartitions on the same server continue working, unaffected by the failure.

See also Virtual Partitions and Integrity VM guest.



Pronounced “oh ell star”. Represents all of the On-Line hardware manipulations (the * represents the UNIX wild-card character):

  • OLA = On-line ADD

  • OLD = On-line DELETE


  • OL*  = All of the above

operating environments 

Operating environments are individual software products that deliver specific HP-UX 11i configurations. Each operating environment is comprised of the "base" HP-UX 11i functionality, commonly needed network drivers, and selected additional layered software products (ISU Products). There are four operating environments in HP-UX 11i version 3:

  • HP-UX 11i v3 Base Operating Environment – (BOE)

  • HP-UX 11i v3 Virtual Server Operating Environment – (VS-OE)

  • HP-UX 11i v3 High Availability Operating Environment – (HA-OE)

  • HP-UX 11i v3 Data Center Operating Environment – (DC-OE)



A grouping of server resources dedicated to an instance of an operating system.

See also nPartition, virtual partition, Integrity VM guest.

persistent device special file 

A device file for mass storage devices (usually disks), that is associated with a LUN hardware path, and thus transparently supports agile addressing and multipathing. A persistent device special, therefore, remains unchanged if the LUN it is associated with is moved from one host bus adapter to another, or if a mass storage device fails and is replaced.

primary swap 

The initial location made available for paging operations during the system startup sequence. Defined using the swapon command. See swapon(1M).

See also secondary swap.

print destination 

A queue associated with a printer or printer class. Many of the Line Printer Spooling System commands, and other applications that provide printing services, use the a print destination to identify which printer or group of printers to affect. See the manpages lpadmin(1M) and lpalt(1M).

See also printer class, Line Printer Spooling System and print queues.

print queues 

A queue within the Line Printer Spooling System associated with a printer or printer class, used to hold print requests until they are printed.

print requests 

A print job submitted to the Line Printer Spooling System.

See also Line Printer Spooling System.

printer class 

A print queue representing a group of one or more printers; treated as a single print destination. Print requests submitted to a printer class (when printed) will be sent to one of the available printers defined in the class. The Line Printer Spooling System determines which printer is actually used to print any given request in the class queue.

printer interface scripts 

A script, used by the Line Printer Spooling System, to output print requests to a printer. When defined in the Line Printer Spooling System, a printer interface script is created which is a copy of a printer model script. Once created, the printer interface script can then be customized to tailor it to your needs.

printer model scripts 

Scripts — usually supplied as part of HP-UX or by a printer vendor — used as templates (models) from which printer interface scripts are created at the time printers are configured into the Line Printer Spooling System.

PRM groups 

A collection of users and applications that are joined together and assigned certain amounts of CPU, memory, and disk bandwidth resources.


A physical piece of silicon (a “chip”) containing one or more cores.

processor set 

A group of cores, defined by the psrset command (or indirectly higher level products such as the Workload Manager - WLM), for use as an independent scheduling domain. The default processor set consists of all the cores on the system (server or partition).

pseudo swap 

System memory used for swap space that allows users to execute processes in memory without allocating physical swap. Pseudo-swap is controlled by the operating-system parameter swapmem_on which by default is set to 1, enabling pseudo-swap.


A virtual device, emulated by the operating system, not corresponding to a physical device. In HP-UX 11i version 3, examples of pseudodevices include:


Receives and ignores all input.


A source of random numbers.

There are many others.



An acronym meaning Redundant Array of Independent Disks. RAID defines various ways (known as RAID Levels) to group mass storage devices to achieve data redundancy or read/write performance.


One of four commands that control the flow of print requests through the Line Printer Spooling System (spooler). reject instructs the spooler to prevent print requests from being added to a print queue.

See also accept, enable, disable.

remote printer 

A printer connected directly to a remote instance of HP-UX (“system”). Print requests to a remote printer must first travel over a network to the remote system. The Line Printer Spooling System on the remote system subsequently handles the printing of the requests as though they were local requests.

Note: The remote instance of HP-UX could be on the same physical server, in an alternate nPartition for example.

remote spooling 

Spooling to printers that are defined in the Line Printer Spooling System (spooler) of a different server or HP-UX instance. The local spooler accepts print requests and submits them to the remote spooler on your behalf. The remote spooler then handles the printing of the requests.

Role-Based Access Control 

Role-Based Access Control. An HP-UX mechanism to provide fine-grained access to system resources, commands, and system calls. Users are assigned to roles and users are granted access privileges according to roles.

root directory 

The top most directory in the HP-UX directory tree. The root directory is represented by the path “/”.

root file system 

The file system containing the root directory. It is the first file system mounted during the boot sequence and contains the mount points to which other file systems are mounted.

See also mount points.

root volume group 

The LVM volume group that contains the root file system and primary swap volume.

See also root file system and primary swap.


A configuration of system processes. Processes spawned by boot init is assigned to one or more run-levels. Only processes having an assignment corresponding to the current system run-level are processed.


SAM (System Administration Manager) 

The primary single system administration tool prior to HP-UX 11i version 3. SAM is supported only the HP-UX operating system.

See also HP SMH (HP System Management Homepage).

secondary swap 

HP-UX begins by paging on a single device only (see primary swap). That way only one device is needed at boot time. Additional swap areas, known as secondary swap areas, can be subsequently enabled in order to provide larger amounts of space for paging operations.

selective dump 

A memory dump containing only selected portions of memory. Selective dumps use less disk space and complete faster than full memory dumps.


Formerly referred to as a system or a computer. The physical cabinet containing cell boards, processors, memory, and power supplies.

Service Level Objectives 

Generally a specific, measurable item/objective within a broader, more comprehensive service-level agreement (SLA) contract.


HP’s product for implementing high availability clusters, alone or together with other products to form disaster tolerant networks.

See also continental clusters, extended distance clusters, high availability clusters and metropolitan clusters.

software depot 

An SD-UX format structure that contains one or more software products that can be installed on other systems or copied to other depots.

software partitioning 

See Virtual Partitions and virtual machine.

software threading 

A parallel computing technique used by applications and operating systems to enhance processing efficiency.


See line printer spooling system.

stale device special file 

A device special file no longer associated with a valid device. For example, a device file associated with a device that has been removed from a server.

storage stack 

The various layers of hardware and software the comprise HP-UX based storage systems. Layers in the storage stack include:

  • Storage Devices (disks, disk arrays, DLT libraries, and so on)

  • Drivers to access the storage devices

  • Volume Managers (for example, LVM, and VxVM)

  • Logical Volumes,

  • File systems (for example, HFS, and VxFS)


Used in this document in two ways:


A server or subset of a server (for example, a partition) running an independent copy of HP-UX.


Another type of computer (for example, a PC)

system default printer 

If defined, the system default printer is the print destination that will be used as a print destination if one is not otherwise specified. See lpadmin(1M) manpage (-d option) for details.



See kernel tunables.


Utility Meter 

The software and hardware device that receives PPU utilization information from the PPU software. The utility meter is initially installed and configured by an HP service representative.


virtual LUN ID 

The final element in a LUN hardware path (0x3 in the following example):


virtual machine 

Abstractions of real, physical machines. Multiple virtual machines can share a common set of physical resources.

See also Integrity VM guest.

Virtual Partition 

A software partitioning of a server or nPartition where each virtual partition contains an instance of an operating system. Though an nPartition can contain multiple virtual partitions, the inverse is not true — a virtual partition cannot span nPartition boundaries.

See also nPartitions.

virtual root node 

In a virtualized path to a device (in the agile view), instead of a series of bus-nexus addresses leading to the HBA, the path contains a virtual bus-nexus (with an address of 64000). This virtual bus-nexus is called the “virtual root node”. An example of a LUN hardware path (showing the virtual root node) is:


Virtual Server Environment (VSE) 

An integrated server virtualization offering for HP-UX, Linux, and Windows servers that provides a flexible computing environment maximizing usage of server resources.

VSE consists of a pool of dynamically sizeable virtual servers; each can grow and shrink based on service level objectives and business priorities. For more information, see http://hp.com/go/vse.

See also Service Level Objective.


Technologies for using your computing resources in ways not dependent on the physical characteristics of those resources. For example, a logical volume can span multiple physical disk devices.

virtualized LUN hardware path 

See LUN hardware path.

volume group 

A collection of physical volumes (physical disks), used by the Logical Volume Manager. Volume groups can be subdivided into logical volumes (flexible virtual disks that can contain file systems, swap space, or used as dump devices or raw disk access).

See also logical volume.


See Virtual Partitions.


WBEM (Web-Based Enterprise Management) 

WBEM is a set of management and Internet standard technologies developed by the Distributed Management Task Force (DMTF) to unify the management of enterprise computing environments.

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