IBM Support

User gets error -951 when connecting to the database server on Linux, HP-UX or Solaris

Technote (troubleshooting)


All users get error "Get Shadow password for user [username]" when connecting to database server running on Linux, HP-UX or Solaris

Resolving the problem


When you try to connect to the database server you get error -951, and any user that tries to connect to the database server gets the same error as well.

  • If the instance is up and you are trying to connect you will see the following error message:
      Get Shadow Password for user [informix] failed!
      Check for password aging/account lock-out.
      listener-thread: err = -951: oserr = 0: errstr = informix: Incorrect password or user informix is not known on the database server.
  • If you are initializing for the first time you will also see the following message
      Error building sysmaster database
The instance is initialized but the sysmaster database creation fails.


$INFORMIXDIR/bin/oninit has wrong permissions and/or attributes


Assign $INFORMIXDIR/bin/oninit to user root and group informix, permissions 6754 by executing the following command as user root or user with root privileges

    chown root:informix $INFORMIXDIR/bin/oninit

    chmod 6754 $INFORMIXDIR/bin/oninit

    Document information

    More support for: Informix Servers

    Software version: 10.0, 11.1, 11.5, 11.7, 12.1

    Operating system(s): HP-UX, Linux, Solaris

    Reference #: 1218436

    Modified date: 11 October 2011