IBM Support

Registering a VOB or creating a new View or VOB reports error: Failed to record hostname

Technote (troubleshooting)


This technote explains how to resolve the error, cleartool Error: Failed to record hostname, when trying to register or create an IBM Rational ClearCase VOB or View on Microsoft Windows, UNIX or Linux.


Attempts to register or create a VOB or view results in the following error:

cleartool Error: Failed to record hostname in storage directory

VOB Example:

D:\>cleartool register –vob \\Hostname\ClearCaseStorage\CCVobs\vob1.vbs

cleartool Error: Failed to record hostname “Hostname” in storage directory “\\Hostname\ClearCaseStorage\Ccvobs\vob1.vbs”. Check that root or the ClearCase administrators group has permission to write to this directory

View Examples:

View Tool

Error creating view - '<view-tag>'

Fail to record hostname " HOST " in storage directory "<path to view storage>. Check that root or the ClearCase administrators group has permission to write to this directory.
Unable to create view "<global path to view storage>".

You may also see errors like the following in the view server log:

2008-08-22T14:15:43-04:00 admin_server(6036): Error: admin_server.exe(6036): Error: Can't determine if the file system on which "C:\ccviews\svc-us-deriv_reg_view.vws" lives supports acls.


The cause of the error ultimately stems from the inability of ClearCase to successfully record the hostname in the .hostname file located in the storage directory of the VOB or view.


Some of the known reasons why this problem occurs are below. The related solutions are presented in the same order.

  1. The .hostname file is corrupt.

  2. The permissions on the VOB or view server are incorrect or too restrictive.
    • The VOB or view storage and/or its contents are incorrect.

      This is a common occurrence after a VOB or view is moved or restored, and the file permission on the .vbs/.vws directory are too strict and need repair.

      Note: The .identity file on UNIX and Linux tends to have the wrong permission in this instance. If this file is missing, you are safe to copy over from another VOB storage (provided the permissions are the same).

    • The VOB or view storage location may have the wrong permissions set. When a VOB or view is created, it takes on the ACL from the storage directory (among other things). If the permissions on the storage directory is faulty, the .hostname will be created with the wrong permissions. When ClearCase attempts to write to this file, the error will occur.

      Note: On Windows, this may include the permissions set at the root of the partition as the ACLs are inherited.

  3. The Windows client is using a different ClearCase server process group or clearcase_albd account than that of the host to which the view is being stored. For example, clientA is attempting to create a view on serverA. ClientA is configured to use the clearcase group named clearcase_1 while the serverA is using a clearcase server group called clearcase_2. This includes differences in domain Qualification as well (DOMAINA\clearcase vs. DOMAINB\clearcase)

    Note: Same scenario may also apply with different clearcase_albd accounts.

  4. If the VOB is moved to another host and if there are additional groups in the .identity file that do not exist on the new host, this error will occur while attempting to register the VOB.

  5. The error may also be caused by any one of a number of different programs conflicting with Rational ClearCase on the local machine.

    The program could be legitimate and purposely installed on a system or it could also be spyware that is running unknowingly on a system.

    If the program is legitimate, please contact the vendor for information about moving it down the protocol stack.

    In either case, these problematic programs can be running on top of the TCP/IP stack on a Windows system which prevents ClearCase from functioning properly, such as the system's performance being impacted by freezing or hanging when accessing objects in a view.

    Refer to technote 1240722 Cannot bind an admin_server handle on Windows for a list of programs known to cause issues with ClearCase.

  6. The NFS interop environment may not be configured appropriately for ClearCase.
  7. The sticky bits are not set on the additional group files located in the view or VOB storage directory under the .identity directory (<path to VOB/view storage directory>/.identity).
  8. If there is an incorrect ClearCase group name or BUILTIN\Administrators group in the following key: HKLM\Software\Atria\CurrentVersion\ClearCaseGroupName

Resolving the problem

Solution 1

If the file is corrupt, the .hostname file must be deleted or renamed, and a new one will get recreated when cleartool register is run.

Windows Example:

  1. Rename the .hostname file:

    C:\Rational\Storage\VOB\vob1.vbs>ren .hostname old.hostname

    Note: If UNC pathing is required under VOB/ views with NAS storage, you only need to use the full path under the first argument of the rename command (for example, ren \\NAS\storage\view.vws\.hostname old.hostname)
  2. Register the VOB or view:

    cleartool register -replace -vob \\Hostname\ClearCaseStorage\CCVobs\vob1.vbs

    Note: The -replace switch is used because cleartool register created some entries for the VOB or view even though the command had failed previously.

  3. The VOB or view storage directory will now contain a new .hostname:

    C:\Rational\Storage\VOB\vob1.vbs>dir *.hostname
    Volume in drive C has no label.
    Volume Serial Number is 8723-79C9

    Directory of C:\Rational\Storage\VOB\vob1.vbs

    04/07/2006  02:18 PM                17 .hostname
    03/17/2006  02:37 PM                17 old.hostname

For more information on the cleartool sub-commands used in this technote, refer to IBM Rational ClearCase Command Reference, or run cleartool man <sub-command>.

Solution 2
  • The file system permission must be corrected on the VOB or view storage and/or its contents.

    The quickest solution would be to run the fix_prot utility against the problematic VOB or view storage. Review technote 1142606 for more details.

    An alternate route to resolving this issue is to compare the permission of the .vbs/.vws for a working VOB or view with the output for the non-working VOB or view, then change the permission of the non-working VOB or view to match the working VOB or view:
    • On UNIX (and Linux), do an ls -alR in the .vbs/.vws directory to determine the permission of the .vbs/.vws directory for a working and non-working VOB or view.
    • On Windows, consult your system administrator or operating system manuals for assistance with checking the file permission.

    To correct the protections on a VOB or view storage directory and its contents, refer to technote 1211784 for details on the appropriate commands.

  • The file system permission must be corrected on the VOB or view storage location and or the root of the partition.

    If the cleartool mkstgloc command was used to create the storage location, remove the storage location (cleartool rmstgloc) and create a new one.

    Note: This command does not remove the physical storage location, it only removes the registry entry in the ClearCase registry.

    If that fails, make sure the directory and/or share of the storage location has the appropriate permissions to allow the ClearCase users and groups (including the ClearCase service accounts such as the clearcase_albd on Windows) access to read and write.

    Also check the each directory up to and including the root of the partition on Windows as the ACLs are inherited from the parent folder.

Solution 3

Make sure the Windows client is configured to use the same ClearCase server process group and or clearcase_albd account as the server (or vice versa).

Hint: You can run the ClearCase Doctor on the client and server to verify the ClearCase Server Process group and account information.

If the account is different on the client, the only supported method to resolve this issue is to reinstall ClearCase from the correct release area to update the server process information.
Note: Manually changing the account in the registry or services may not be enough as there are permission issues on the file system to manage as well.

Review the IBM Rational ClearCase Administrator's Guide on the section titled Rational ClearCase and Windows domains for more information regarding the correct configuration required to share ClearCase data in a Windows domain environment.

Solution 4

  • Remove the invalid additional group entries in the .identity directory.
    1. As VOB owner or root, change directory to <vob-storage-dir>/.identity

    2. Run, rm group.<one-group-too-many>, to remove the files

    3. Run the cleartool register command once again.

Solution 5

In order to check to see if you have a program that is conflicting with ClearCase follow the instructions below:

  1. Click on Start > Run type winmsd and hit the Enter key.

    Note: A window will pop up that says System Information.

  2. In the left hand pane of the window, expand the Components item.

  3. Then expand Network and click on Protocol.

  4. In the right hand pane of the window you will see an Item and a Value column.

    Note: The first entry should be MSAFD Tcpip [TCP/IP] and the second should be MSAFD Tcpip [UDP/IP].

  • If the first item does not list MSAFD Tcpip [TCP/IP] and lists something else, then spyware is more than likely to be running on the system.


    Item Value
    Name OSMIM --> MSAFD Tcpip [TCP/IP]
    ConnectionlessService False
    GuaranteesDelivery True
    GuaranteesSequencing True
    MaximumAddressSize 16 bytes
    MaximumMessageSize 0 bytes
    MessageOriented False
    MinimumAddressSize 16 bytes
    PseudoStreamOriented False
    SupportsBroadcasting False
    SupportsConnectData False
    SupportsDisconnectData False
    SupportsEncryption False
    SupportsExpeditedData True
    SupportsGracefulClosing True
    SupportsGuaranteedBandwidth False
    SupportsMulticasting False

    Note: This is an example of the MarketScore spyware application signature.

    You will need to run a spyware removal tool to completely remove this program from the system.

  • If the first item lists something like SlipStream over MSAFD Tcpip [TCP/IP] then a conflicting program is installed on the ClearCase host.

    Remove this program by using the Add or Remove Programs in the Windows Control Panel.

Solution 6

Disable the Enable automatic mounting of NFS storage directories option in the ClearCase control panel.

To Disable the Enable automatic mounting of NFS storage directories option in the ClearCase control panel:

  1. Select Control Panel> ClearCase> Options
  2. Then de-select the box for, Enable automatic mounting of NFS storage directories.

Refer to the IBM Rational ClearCase Administrator's Guide under the topic of Automounting and NFS client software for full details.

Solution 7

chmod 2410 on the additional group files in .identity (example: chmod 2410 group.10101).

Refer to technote 1204876 Setting the UNIX setuid and setgid bits in a ClearCase VOB or view storage directory for additional information about setting the setuid and setgid bits (sticky bits).

Solution 8


This solution contains information about modifying the system registry. Before making any modifications to the Microsoft® Registry Editor, it is strongly recommended that you make a backup of the existing registry. For more information describing how to back up the registry, refer to the Microsoft Knowledge Base article 256986 at

Enter the correct clearcase administrators group name (for example: DOMAINX\clearcase) in the registry key: HKLM\Software\Atria\CurrentVersion\ClearCaseGroupName

If none of the above solutions resolve the issue, try stopping and restarting the ClearCase services.

Related information

About ClearCase permissions on Windows

Cross reference information
Segment Product Component Platform Version Edition
Software Development Rational ClearCase VOB
Software Development Rational ClearCase Permissions
Software Development Rational ClearCase View: Dynamic
Software Development Rational ClearCase View: Snapshot
Software Development Rational ClearCase View: Snapshot
Software Development Rational ClearCase Replica Creation

Document information

More support for: Rational ClearCase

Software version: 7.0, 7.0.1, 7.1, 2003.06.00

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

Reference #: 1234135

Modified date: 18 June 2009