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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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lifinit — write LIF volume header on file


lifinit [-v nnn] [-d nnn] [-n string] [-s nnn] [-l nnn] [-e nnn] file


lifinit writes a LIF volume header on a volume or file.


lifinit recognizes the following options and command-line arguments which can appear in any order:


Sets volume size to nnn bytes. If nnn is not a multiple of 256, it is rounded down to the next such multiple.


Sets directory size to nnn file entries. If nnn is not an integer multiple of 8, it is rounded up to next such multiple.

-n string

Sets the volume name to be string. If the -n option is not specified, the volume name is set to the last component of the path name specified by file. A legal LIF volume name is 6 characters long and is limited to uppercase letters (A-Z), digits (0-9) and the underscore character (_). The first character (if any) must be a letter. The utility automatically performs translation to create legal LIF volume names. Therefore, all lowercase letters are converted to uppercase, and all other characters except numeric and underscore are replaced with a capital letter X. If the volume name does not start with a letter, the volume name is preceded by a capital letter X. The volume name is also right-padded with spaces or truncated as needed to be six characters long. If -n is used with no string, the default volume name is set to 6 spaces.


set the initial system load (ISL) start address to nnn in the volume label. This is useful when building boot media for Series 700/800 systems.


specifies the length in bytes of the ISL code in the LIF volume.


set the ISL entry point to nnn bytes from the beginning of the ISL. For example, specifying -e3272 means that the ISL entry point is 3272 (decimal) bytes from the beginning of the ISL object module.


forces the directory start location to be the nearest multiple of nnn Ч 1024 bytes from the beginning of the volume. This is necessary for booting Series 700/800 systems from LIF media.

If file does not exist, a regular HP-UX disk file is created and initialized.

The default values for volume size are 256 kilobytes for regular files, and the actual capacity of the device for device files.

The default directory size is a function of the volume size. A percentage of the volume size is allocated to the volume directory as follows:

Volume SizeDirectory Size
< 2MB~1.3%
> 2MB~0.5%

Each directory entry occupies 32 bytes of storage. The actual directory space is subject to the rounding rules stated above.

Do not mount the special file while using lifinit.


lifinit returns exit code 0 if the volume is initialized successfully. Otherwise it prints a diagnostic message and returns nonzero.


Initialize file x to be a LIF volume containing 500000 bytes with 10 directory file entries:

lifinit -v500000 -d10 x

Initialize device /dev/rdsk/c0t6d0 as a LIF volume using default initialization conditions (device must not be a mounted file system device):

lifinit /dev/rdsk/c0t6d0


To prevent media corruption, do not terminate lifinit once it has started executing.


lifinit was developed by HP.

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