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HP-UX 11i Version 3: February 2007

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swlist — display information about software products


swlist [-d|-r] [-i] [-R] [-v] [-a attribute] [-C session_file] [-f software_file] [-l level] [-s source] [-S session_file] [-t target_file] [-x option=value] [-X option_file] [software_selections] [@ target_selections]


  • This command supports operation on remote systems. See Operations on Remote Systems below.

  • swlist supports an interactive user interface that can be invoked by the swlist -i command. See Interactive Operation below.

  • For an overview of all SD commands, see the sd(5) man page by typing man 5 sd on the command line.


The swlist command displays information about software products installed at or available from the specified target_selections. It supports these features:

  • Specify bundles, products, subproducts, and/or filesets to list.

  • Display the files contained in each fileset.

  • Display a table of contents from a software source.

  • Specify the attributes to display for each software object.

  • Display all attributes for bundles, products, subproducts, filesets and/or files.

  • Display the full software_spec to be used with software selections.

  • Display the readme file for products.

  • Display the depots on a specified host.

  • Create a list of products, subproducts, and/or filesets to use as input to the other commands.

  • List the categories of available or applied patches.

  • List applied patches and their state (applied or committed).

Operations on Remote Systems

swlist supports operations on remote systems. By default, any user can list depots available or software installed on a remote target.

The swacl(1M) command may be used to change Access Control Lists (ACLs) to prevent a system from being accessed remotely. For example, entering both of the following commands:

  • swacl -D any_other -l root

    swacl -M other:r -l root

replaces the default ACL that protects the root filesystem with one that only allows local users to list software installed.

Interactive Operation

swlist supports an optional graphical user interface (GUI). (If your terminal or display cannot support the GUI, the command also provides a terminal user interface, in which screen navigation is done with the keyboard and no mouse.)

To invoke the GUI, type:

  • swlist -i or add the -i option with any other command-line options when you invoke the swlist.

Previewing Product and OS Update Information

To preview information about new software in the depot, you can use swlist to view the readme file for each product, including OS update information contained in the SD (SW-DIST product) readme. For example, to display the latest OS update information:

swlist -d -a readme -l product SW-DIST @ hostA:/depot11


When no options or operands are specified, swlist lists the software bundles (and products which are not part of a bundle) that are installed at the local host. swlist supports the following options:


List software available from a depot (instead of software installed on a root filesystem).


Invoke the swlist interactive user interface. The interactive interface lets you browse SD software objects. Invoking swlist -i -d lets you browse depot software. See the Interactive Operation and Remote Operation headings above for additional details.


Operates on an alternate root directory, which must be specified in the @ target_selections option. (This option is not required for alternate root operations but is maintained for backward compatibility. See the Alternate Root Directory and Depot Directory heading in sd(5) for more information.)


Shorthand for -l bundle -l product -l subproduct -l fileset.


List all the attributes for an object if no -a options are specified. (Vendor-defined attributes are not included. See the -a option.) The output lists one attribute per line in the format:

attribute_name attribute_value

(See sd(4) for details on all SD attributes.)

-a attribute

Display a specific attribute, such as revision, description, vendor information, size, vendor-defined attributes, or others. (See sd(4) for details on all SD attributes.) The output lists one attribute per line in the format:

attribute_name attribute_value

To display multiple attributes, specify multiple -a options.

To list the full set of attributes for a software object, use the -v option.

Note that the tag attribute (i.e. the identifier) is always displayed for product, subproduct, and fileset objects. The path attribute (i.e. the filename) is always displayed for file objects.

-c catalog

Write full catalog structure information into the directory specified by the catalog modifier. You can use this exported catalog structure for distributions and to list installed software catalog information.

If you use the -c catalog option, the -a attribute and -l level do not apply. All attributes down to the file level and the control scripts are written to the catalog.

-C session_file

Save the current options and operands to session_file. You can enter a relative or absolute path with the file name. The default directory for session files is /.sw/sessions/. You can recall a session file with the -S option. (Note that session management does not apply to the swlist interactive user interface invoked by the -i option.)

-f software_file

Read the list of software_selections from software_file instead of (or in addition to) the command line.

-l level

List all objects down to the specified level. Both the specified level(s) and the depth of the specified software_selections control the depth of the swlist output.

-s source

Specify the software source to list. This is an alternate way to list a source depot. Sources can also be specified as target depots and listed using the -d option.

-S session_file

Execute swlist based on the options and operands saved from a previous session, as defined in session_file. You can save session information to a file with the -C option. (Note that session management does not apply to the swlist interactive user interface invoked by the -i option.)

-t target_file

Read the list of target_selections from target_file instead of (or in addition to) the command line.

-x option=value

Set the session option to value and override the default value (or a value in an alternate option_file specified with the -X option). Multiple -x options can be specified.

-X option_file

Read the session options and behaviors from option_file.


swlist supports two types of operands: software selections followed by target selections. These operands are separated by the "at" (@) character. This syntax implies that the command operates on "software selections at targets".

Software Selections

swlist supports the following syntax for each software_selection:

bundle[.product[.subproduct][.fileset]][,version] product[.subproduct][.fileset][,version]

  • The = (equals) relational operator lets you specify selections with the following shell wildcard and pattern-matching notations:

    • [ ], *, ?

  • Bundles and subproducts are recursive. Bundles can contain other bundles and subproducts can contain other subproducts.

  • The \* software specification selects all products. Use this specification with caution.

The version component has the form:

[,r <op> revision][,a <op> arch][,v <op> vendor] [,c <op> category][,l=location][,fr <op> revision] [,fa <op> arch]

  • location applies only to installed software and refers to software installed to a location other than the default product directory.

  • fr and fa apply only to filesets.

  • r , a , v , c , and l apply only to bundles and products. They are applied to the leftmost bundle or product in a software specification.

  • The <op> (relational operator) component can be of the form:

    • =, ==, >=, <=, <, >, or !=

    which performs individual comparisons on dot-separated fields.

    For example, r>=B.10.00 chooses all revisions greater than or equal to B.10.00. The system compares each dot-separated field to find matches.

  • The = (equals) relational operator lets you specify selections with the shell wildcard and pattern-matching notations:

    • [ ], *, ?, !

    For example, the expression r=1[01].* returns any revision in version 10 or version 11.

  • All version components are repeatable within a single specification (e.g. r>=A.12, r<A.20). If multiple components are used, the selection must match all components.

  • Fully qualified software specs include the r=, a=, and v= version components even if they contain empty strings. For installed software, l= is also included.

  • No space or tab characters are allowed in a software selection.

  • The software instance_id can take the place of the version component. It has the form:

    • [instance_id]

    within the context of an exported catalog, where instance_id is an integer that distinguishes versions of products and bundles with the same tag.

Target Selections

swlist supports this syntax for each target_selection.


The colon (:) is required if both a host and directory are specified.


Default Options

In addition to the standard options, several SD behaviors and policy options can be changed by editing the default values found in:


the system-wide default values.


the user-specific default values.

Values must be specified in the defaults file using this syntax:


The optional command_name prefix denotes one of the SD commands. Using the prefix limits the change in the default value to that command. If you leave the prefix off, the change applies to all commands.

You can also override default values from the command line with the -x or -X options:

command -x option=value command -X option_file

The following section lists all of the keywords supported by the swlist commands. If a default value exists, it is listed after the "=".

The policy options that apply to swlist are:

admin_directory=/var/adm/sw (for normal mode)

admin_directory=/var/home/LOGNAME/sw (for nonprivileged mode)

The location for SD logfiles and the default parent directory for the installed software catalog. The default value is /var/adm/sw for normal SD operations. When SD operates in nonprivileged mode (that is, when the run_as_superuser default option is set to true):

  • The default value is forced to /var/home/LOGNAME/sw.

  • The path element LOGNAME is replaced with the name of the invoking user, which SD reads from the system password file.

  • If you set the value of this option to HOME/path, SD replaces HOME with the invoking user's home directory (from the system password file) and resolves path relative to that directory. For example, HOME/my_admin resolves to the my_admin directory in your home directory.

  • If you set the value of the installed_software_catalog default option to a relative path, that path is resolved relative to the value of this option.

SD's nonprivileged mode is intended only for managing applications that are specially designed and packaged. This mode cannot be used to manage the HP-UX operating system or patches to it. For a full explanation of nonprivileged SD, see the Software Distributor Administration Guide, available at the http://docs.hp.com web site.

See also the installed_software_catalog and run_as_superuser options.


Causes a target agent to exit if it has been inactive for the specified time. This can be used to make target agents more quickly detect lost network connections since RPC can take as long as 130 minutes to detect a lost connection. The recommended value is the longest period of inactivity expected in your environment. For command line invocation, a value between 10 minutes and 60 minutes is suitable. A value of 60 minutes or more is recommended when the GUI will be used. The default of 10000 is slightly less than 7 days.


Provides the "codeword" needed to unlock protected HP CD-ROM software.

Some HP software products are shipped on CD-ROM as "protected" products. That is, they cannot be installed or copied unless a "codeword" and "customer ID" are provided. The codeword is found on the CD-ROM certificate which you received from HP. You may use this default specification on the command line or the SD-UX interactive user interface to enter the codeword.

This default stores the codeword for future reference; it needs to be entered only once. If a new HP product is purchased and a previous codeword has already been entered for that CD-ROM, just enter the new codeword as usual and the codewords will be merged internally.

NOTE: For HP-UX B.10.10 and later systems, SD searches the .codewords file on the server that is providing protected software to other hosts. It looks for valid customer_id/codeword pairs. In doing so, SD eliminates the need to enter codewords and customer_ids on every host that is "pulling" the software.

To properly store the customer_id/codeword for a CD-ROM, run swinstall -p or swcopy -p on the host serving the CD-ROM. After the codeword has been stored, clients installing or copying software using that host and CD-ROM as a source will no longer require a codeword or customer_id.


For cumulative source depots, this option allows consistent software selections over time by swlist, swcopy, and swinstall. The default of zero includes all bundles, products, subproducts, and filesets in the source depot as candidates for selection (and autoselection of dependencies and patches), based on the software selections and other options. When set to a time (specified as seconds from epoch), only those bundles, products, and filesets (and the subproducts in the product) with a create_time less than or equal to the specified value are available for selection (or autoselection). To list the create_time of bundles, products and filesets, use:

swlist -a create_time -a create_date


This number, also printed on the Software Certificate, is used to "unlock" protected software and restrict its installation to a specific site or owner. It is entered using the -x customer_id= option or by using the interactive user interface. The customer_id can be used on any HP-UX 10.X or later system.


Defines the default location of the target depot.


Defines the directory path where the Installed Products Database (IPD) is stored. This information describes installed software. When set to an absolute path, this option defines the location of the IPD. When this option contains a relative path, the SD controller appends the value to the value specified by the admin_directory option to determine the path to the IPD. For alternate roots, this path is resolved relative to the location of the alternate root. This option does not affect where software is installed, only the IPD location.

This option permits the simultaneous installation and removal of multiple software applications by multiple users or multiple processes, with each application or group of applications using a different IPD.

Caution: use a specific installed_software_catalog to manage a specific application. SD does not support multiple descriptions of the same application in multiple IPDs.

See also the admin_directory and run_as_superuser options, which control SD's nonprivileged mode. (This mode is intended only for managing applications that are specially designed and packaged. This mode cannot be used to manage the HP-UX operating system or patches to it. For a full explanation of nonprivileged SD, see the Software Distributor Administration Guide, available at the http://docs.hp.com web site.)


Specifies the POSIX layout_version to which the SD commands conform when writing distributions and swlist output. Supported values are "1.0" (default) and "0.8".

SD object and attribute syntax conforms to the layout_version 1.0 specification of the IEEE POSIX 1387.2 Software Administration standard. SD commands still accept the keyword names associated with the older layout version, but you should use layout_version=0.8 only to create distributions readable by older versions of SD.

See the description of the layout_version option in sd(5) for more information.


Specify the level of the object to list.

The supported software levels are:


Show all objects down to the bundle level.


Show all objects down to the product level. Also use -l bundle -l product to show bundles.


Show all objects down to the subproduct level.


Show all objects down to the fileset level. Also use -l fileset -l subproduct to show subproducts.


Show all objects down to the file level.


Show all objects down to the control_file level.


Show all categories of available patches.


Show all applied patches.

The supported depot and root levels are:


Show only the depot level (i.e. depots which exist at the specified target hosts).


List all alternate roots.


List all registered shared roots (HP-UX 10.X only).


List all registered private roots (HP-UX 10.X only).

one_liner=revision title

Defines the attributes which will be listed for each object when no -a or -v options are specified. Each attribute included in the one_liner definition is separated by <tab> or <space>. Any attributes may be included in the one_liner definition. If a particular attribute does not exist for an object, that attribute is silently ignored. For example, the description attribute is valid for products, subproducts, and filesets, but the architecture attribute is only valid for products.

patch_one_liner=revision title patch_state

Specifies the attributes displayed for each object listed when the -l patch option is invoked and when no -a or -v option is specified. The default display attributes are title and patch_state.

rpc_binding_info=ncacn_ip_tcp:[2121] ncadg_ip_udp:[2121]

Defines the protocol sequence(s) and endpoint(s) on which the daemon listens and the other commands contact the daemon. If the connection fails for one protocol sequence, the next is attempted. SD supports both the tcp (ncacn_ip_tcp:[2121]) and udp (ncadg_ip_udp:[2121]) protocol sequence on most platforms. See the sd.5 man page by typing man 5 sd for more information.


Relative length of the communications timeout. This is a value in the range from 0 to 9 and is interpreted by the DCE RPC. Higher values mean longer times; you may need a higher value for a slow or busy network. Lower values will give faster recognition on attempts to contact hosts that are not up or not running swagentd. Each value is approximately twice as long as the preceding value. A value of 5 is about 30 seconds for the ncadg_ip_udp protocol sequence. This option may not have any noticeable impact when using the ncacn_ip_tcp protocol sequence.


This option controls SD's nonprivileged mode. This option is ignored (treated as true) when the invoking user is super-user.

When set to the default value of true, SD operations are performed normally, with permissions for operations either granted to a local super-user or set by SD ACLs. (See swacl(1M) for details on ACLs.)

When set to false and the invoking user is local and is not super-user, nonprivileged mode is invoked:

  • Permissions for operations are based on the user's file system permissions.

  • SD ACLs are ignored.

  • Files created by SD have the uid and gid of the invoking user, and the mode of created files is set according to the invoking user's umask.

SD's nonprivileged mode is intended only for managing applications that are specially designed and packaged. This mode cannot be used to manage the HP-UX operating system or patches to it. For a full explanation of nonprivileged SD, see the Software Distributor Administration Guide, available at the http://docs.hp.com web site.

See also the admin_directory and installed_software_catalog options.


Displays or hides superseded patches in command line swlist output. In the default state of false, swlist will not display superseded patches even if you perform a swlist command on the superseded patch. Setting this option to true permits display of superseded patches. This option applies to command line swlist only. In an interactive session, swlist -i always shows superseded patches regardless of the value of this option.


If no target_selections are specified, select the default target_directory of the local host as the target_selection for the command.


Defines the default software_selections. There is no supplied default. If there is more than one software selection, they must be separated by spaces.


Indicates the software view to be used as the default level for the software listing in the GUI. It can be set to all_bundles, products, or a bundle category tag (to indicate to show only bundles of that category).


Defines the default target_selections. There is no supplied default (see select_local above). If there is more than one target selection, they must be separated by spaces.


Controls how attribute values are displayed. A value of


displays only the attribute value.


displays both the attribute keyword and value. (See the -v option above.)

Session File

Each invocation of swlist defines a task session. The command automatically saves options, source information, software selections, and target selections before the task actually commences. This lets you re-execute the command even if the session ends before the task is complete. You can also save session information from interactive or command-line sessions.

Session information is saved to the file $HOME/.sw/sessions/swlist.last. This file is overwritten by each invocation of the command. The file uses the same syntax as the defaults files.

From an interactive session, you can save session information into a file at any time by selecting the Save Session or Save Session As option from the File menu.

From a command-line session, you can save session information by executing the command with the -Csession__file option. You can specify an absolute path for a session file. If you do not specify a directory, the default location is $HOME/.sw/sessions/.

To re-execute a saved session from an interactive session, use the Recall Session option from the File menu.

To re-execute a session from a command-line, specify the session file as the argument for the -S option.

When you re-execute a session file, the values in the session file take precedence over values in the system defaults file. Likewise, any command-line options and parameters take precedence over the values in the session file.

Environment Variables

The environment variables that affect the swlist command are:


Determines the language in which messages are displayed. If LANG is not specified or is set to the empty string, a default value of C is used. See lang(5) for more information.

NOTE: The language in which the SD agent and daemon log messages are displayed is set by the system configuration variable script, /etc/rc.config.d/LANG. For example, /etc/rc.config.d/LANG, must be set to LANG=ja_JP.SJIS or LANG=ja_JP.eucJP to make the agent and daemon log messages display in Japanese.


Determines the locale to be used to override any values for locale categories specified by the settings of LANG or any environment variables beginning with LC_.


Determines the interpretation of sequences of bytes of text data as characters (e.g., single-versus multibyte characters in values for vendor-defined attributes).


Determines the language in which messages should be written.


Determines the format of dates (create_date and mod_date) when displayed by swlist. Used by all utilities when displaying dates and times in stdout, stderr, and logging.


Determines the time zone for use when displaying dates and times.


The swlist command catches the signals SIGQUIT and SIGINT. If these signals are received, swlist prints a message, sends a Remote Procedure Call (RPC) to the agents to wrap up, and then exits.

Each agent will complete the list task (if the execution phase has already started) before it wraps up.


The output from swlist follows this rule with all options: only the lowest level listed (product, subproduct, fileset or file) will be uncommented. Among other things, this allows the output from swlist to be used as input to other commands. The one exception is the list that contains files; file-level output is not accepted by other commands.

The types of listings that can be selected are given below. Some of these listings are not exclusive choices, but rather ways to view the objects while controlling the amount of output.

  • Default Listing

  • Software Listing

  • Root Listing

  • Depot Listing

  • Multiple Targets Listing

  • Verbose Listing

Default Listing

If swlist is invoked with no software_selections and no target_selections, a listing of all installed products on the local host is produced. This listing contains one line for each product. The line includes the product tag attributes and all other attributes selected via the one_liner option.

If target_selections (i.e. target hosts) are specified, this same format listing is produced for the installed software at each of the specified hosts.

Software Listing

A listing of software objects is controlled by the specified software_selections, and also by the -l option ( swlist.level=). swlist lists the contents of each software object specified in the software_selections. For example, if you specify product selections, the subproducts and/or filesets contained immediately below each product will be listed. If you specify fileset selections, the files contained in each fileset will be listed.

The depth of objects listed is controlled with the -l option. This option can expand or restrict the depth in concert with the specified software selections. By default, the contents of a specified software selection are always listed (as described above). The -l option can defeat this listing by specifying a level equivalent to the level of objects in the software_selections. For example, if you want to list specific product selections but not their contents, use -l product. If you want to list specific fileset selections but not their contained files, use -l fileset. The software_selection options only apply if the level is bundle, product, subproduct, fileset, file, or patch.

Depot Listing

Another class of objects that swlist can display are software depots. For example, the user can list all registered depots on a given host. A combination of the -l depot option and target_selections operands can produce a variety of depot listings.

Multiple Targets Listing

Multiple target_selections (i.e. root filesystems, alternate roots, or depots) are listed sequentially: list all the requested objects and attributes from the first target_selection, followed by the second target_selection, etc.

Verbose Listing

The -v option causes a verbose listing to be generated. A verbose listing includes all attributes defined for an object. The swlist command prints the keyword and value for each attribute. The attributes are listed one per line. The user can post-process (filter) the output with grep(1), awk(1), and/or sed(1) to get the fields of interest.

The depot's attributes are displayed if swlist is called with the -v and -l depot options, and a specific depot target_selection.

Attributes for a particular software level (product/subproduct/fileset/file) are displayed based on the depth of the specified software_selections. For example, swlist -v product1.fileset1 will give all fileset attributes for fileset1. If the -v option is used with the -l option, the different listing are:

  • To display attributes for all products, use swlist -v -l product

  • To display attributes for all products and subproducts, use swlist -v -l subproduct

  • To display attributes for all products and filesets, use swlist -v -l fileset

  • To display attributes for all products, filesets, and files, use swlist -v -l file


The swlist command returns:


The software_selections and/or target_selections were successfully listed.


The list operation failed on all target_selections.


The list operation failed on some target_selections.


The swlist command writes to stdout, stderr, and to the agent logfile.

Standard Output

All listings are printed to stdout.

Standard Error

The swlist command writes messages for all WARNING and ERROR conditions to stderr.


The swlist command does not log summary events. It logs events about each read task to the swagent logfile associated with each target_selection.

You can use the swlist interactive interface (swlist -i -d) to view the swaudit.log file.

swagentd Disabled

If the swagentd daemon has been disabled on the host, it can be enabled by the host's system administrator by setting the SW_ENABLE_SWAGENTD entry in /etc/rc.config.d/swconfig to 1 and executing /usr/sbin/swagentd -r.


Run the swlist interactive interface:

swlist -i @ host1

Use interactive swlist to view a depot:

swlist -i -d @ /tmp/depot

List all of the products installed on the local host:


Generate a comprehensive listing that includes all filesets for the product NETWORKING:

swlist -v -l fileset NETWORKING

List all the attributes for the ARPA-RUN fileset:


List the C product installed on several remote hosts:

swlist cc @ hostA hostB hostC

List the FRAME product relocated to directory /opt on host1:

swlist FRAME,1=/opt @ host1

List all the versions of the FRAME product installed on the toolserver host:

swlist FRAME @ toolserver

List all products in a shared root (HP-UX 10.X only):

swlist -r @ /export/shared_roots/OS_700

List products in a client's private root (HP-UX 10.X only):

swlist -r @ /export/private_roots/client

List the contents of the local tape, /dev/rmt/0m:

swlist -d @ /dev/rmt/0m

  • or, alternatively:

swlist -s /dev/rmt/0m

List the tag and revision attributes for all products on the local tape /dev/rmt/0m:

swlist -d -a revision @ /dev/rmt/0m

  • or, alternatively:

swlist -a revision -s /dev/rmt/0m @

Display the README file for the FRAME product:

swlist -a readme FRAME

List the products stored in a remote depot:

swlist -d @ hostA:/depot

List all depots on a host:

swlist -l depot @ hostA

List the categories defined in the depot mounted at /CD.

swlist -d -l category @ /CD

  • Output:

    critical_patch 1.0 Patches to fix system hangs or data corruption S747_upgrade 2.0 Patches needed to upgrade to an S747 security_patch 2.0 Patches affecting system security

List a particular attribute of a category object identified by the tag critical_patch.

swlist -a description -l category critical_patch

Use the swlist -l option and patch level to display the values of a fileset's applied_patches attribute.

swlist -l patch BogusProduct

  • Output:

    BogusProduct 1.0 This is a Bogus Product BogusProduct.FakeFS Fake fileset PHZX-0004.FakeFS Patch for defect X superseded PHZX-3452.FakeFS Patch for defect Y applied

Another example showing just the patch:

swlist -l patch PHZX-0004

  • Output:

    PHZX-0004 1.0 Patch product PHZX-0004.FakeFS Patch for defect X superseded



Contains the user-specific default values for some or all SD options.


Contains session files automatically saved by the SD commands, or explicitly saved by the user.


Contains the master list of current SD options (with their default values).


The directory which contains all of the configurable (and non-configurable) data for SD. This directory is also the default location of logfiles.


Contains the active system-wide default values for some or all SD options.


The file which stores the list of depots registered at the local host.


The Installed Products Database (IPD), a catalog of all products installed on a system.


The default location of a source and target software depot.


swlist was developed by the Hewlett-Packard Company and Mark H. Colburn (see pax(1)).


swacl(1M), swagentd(1M), swask(1M), swconfig(1M), swcopy(1M), swinstall(1M), swjob(1M), swmodify(1M), swpackage(1M), swreg(1M), swremove(1M), swverify(1M), install-sd(1M), sd(4), swpackage(4), sd(5).

Software Distributor Administration Guide, available at http://docs.hp.com.

SD customer web site at http://docs.hp.com/en/SD/.

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