IBM Support

VIO Server Updates

Technote (FAQ)


Can I use "oem_setup_env" from root to update my VIO server?


My AIX file sets appear to be the wrong level after I updated my VIO server with updateios.


Short summary for updating VIOS

1. The only supported way to do any updating of VIOS is from VIOS Fix Packs or Service Packs from fix central, or ifixes given to you by IBM.
2. Installing by downloading AIX TL/SP packages is NOT supported.
3. Updating individual VIO filesets is also not supported under oem_setup_env. This is because the updates are tested as a whole.
4. Any updates done MUST use updateios command.

The best reason NOT to update via AIX media is that you can run into build date problems. Build dates are relatively recent additions to installp filesets. They are there to prevent regressing. For example if you had AIX 6.1 TL5 with your bos.rte.install built middle of 2012. If you tried to update to 6.1 TL6 with bos.rte.install from middle of 2011, it would fail.

The oslevel issue. VIOS should be monitored with the "ioslevel" command from the padmin command line and the "oslevel" command from root command line mostly ignored.

Additional Information: In the downloads of the VIOS we include an installable bundle of bos.alt_disk_install. The bundle includes bos.alt_disk_install.rte and bos.alt_disk_install.boot_images. When the "updateios" command is run with the -install flag, it installs everything it can. Including bos.alt_disk_install.boot_images at

The "oslevel" command is a statement of what level of AIX you have fully installed. It is NOT a statement of what is most recently installed.

You install AIX 6.1 TL 6. You have all filesets at the proper level. The "oslevel" command will tell you that you are at 6.1 TL6. Then you add one more fileset at Now "oslevel" will now say you are 6.1.0 because that new fileset isn't at what it must be.


  • VIOS is an appliance and as such updateios must be used for updating.
  • Update your VIO servers only with VIOS media.
  • Ignore "oslevel" output on VIO servers.
  • Check your "updateios" installs/updates with "# lppchk -v" if you feel you need more than the "ioslevel" command
  • Never update your VIO servers with filesets that are not specific to VIOS unless given to you by IBM specifically for your VIO server.

Related information

Virtual I/O Server

Document information

More support for: Virtual I/O Server

Software version: 2.1.0.x-FP20.x, 2.1.1.x-FP21.x, 2.1.2.x-FP22.x,,,, 2.2.0,,,,,,,

Operating system(s): AIX

Software edition: Enterprise, Express, Standard

Reference #: T1018852

Modified date: 17 August 2012