Symmetrix CLI cheat sheet

symmaskdb | symdev | sympd | symcfg | symmask | symconfigure | file locations | common commands

First the Solution enabler software has to be installed which can be obtained from The should be unzip/untarred and the emc_install program should be run. You need to license the product and then run the following command to discover the connected symmetrix:


# /usr/symcli/bin/symcfg discover
# /usr/symcli/bin/symcfg list

Once installed the below table lists all common commands that can be used using the symcli command interface.

symmaskdb commands


create and initialises a device masking database. On completion, the database device cannot be written to by the operating system.

Note: This command only needs to be run once otherwise all SAN configuration is lost

backup backups up the database to a specified file
restore restore a database file
remove removes the meta member devices
list database lists for each symmetrix fibre director which devices in a symmetrix system a WWN can access
list devs (-wwn) lists all devices accessible to an HBA on a specified symmetrix system and all directors that access each device
list assignment (-dev) List the HBA assignments to devices
list capacity (-host) Lists the capacity of devices assigned to a particlur host

symdev commands

list list available devices
-v list detailed information of a device
show <symdevname> display meta device information
-noport list list available devices

sympd commands

list lists the symmetrix devices that are accessed through fibre channel and shows their controlling director, TID, LUN, device number and serial number. Also shows which device holds the device masking database (VCM).
list -vcm lists all the physical devices in the device masking database

symcfg commands

list -v lists whether the symmetrix director has device masking turned on
list -address -fa -available all lists all fibre directors in a symmetrix system and which devices they can access
list -sa all lists all fibre directors (FA) in a symmetrix system
list -sa 15D -v lists detailed information on a FA port
-application list list applications using the symmetrix
-connections list list host connections to the array

symmask commands

add devs add a device to the list of devices that a WWN can access in the database
remove devs remove a device from the list of devices that a WWN can access in the database
delete deletes all access rights for a WWN in the database
replace allows one HBA to replace another
set lockdown sets or clears the fibre channel ID lockdown
set visibility sets or clears visibility for noncontiguous LUNS
set lunoffset sets or clears a LUN base/offset skip for noncontiguous LUNS.
set heterogeneous sets or clears heterogeneous host inform with distinctive attributes
rename changes the AWWN for the specified WWN in the database and login history table

causes the symmetrix system to refresh its WWN related memory tables with the contents of the database

If you update the VCMDB you must run this command to see your changes

discover hba discovers the HBA on the host and assigns AWWN to the login history table entries for thoses WWNs that are not set
list logins Lists foreach fibre director which hosts and HBAs are logged into the symmetrix. (displays the login history table contents)
list hba lists WWNs of the fibre HBAs on this host.

symconfigure commands

-sid <sid> -f <filename> verify verify that we have access to the symmetrix and we can make changes
-sid <sid> -f <filename> preview confirm that the syntax is correct (since we use a mapping files)
-sid <sid> -f <filename> commit commit the changes to the database

control and log files locations

/var/symapi/db/symapi_db.bin default symapi database file
/var/symapi/config/netcnfg lists the network services available from that host
/var/symapi/config/options the options file contains behavior parameters that can be set to critically change default behavior of SYMCLI operations, SYMAPI calls and their control actions
/var/symapi/config/symavoid identifies devices to skip over when looking for devices
/var/symapi/config/gkavoid identifies devices not chosen as gatekeepers
/var/symapi/config/inqfile lists devices to be added to the symapi database
/var/symapi/log/symapi-<date>.log logfile for symcli.symapi functions, calls, activities

common commands

initialize the VCMDB

# symmaskdb -sid 084 init -f newinit.db

Note: This command only needs to be run once otherwise all SAN configuration is lost, also make sure the database is backed up regularly.

backup the VCMDB # symmaskdb -sid 084 -file <filename> backup
restore the VCMDB # symmaskdb -sid 084 -file <filename> restore
refresh the database

# symmask -sid 084 refresh

Note: Remember any changes to the VCMDB have to be uploaded to the symmetrix memory, otherwise you will not see your changes.

list the database # symmaskdb -sid 084 list database
list a specific device # symmaskdb -sid 084 -dev 0029 list assignment -v
FA Ports
List currently configured FA port settings (this is used primary for HP systems) # symcfg -sa <##|all> [-p <#>] list -v
List currently visable devices on a FA port

# symcfg -sid 084 -FA 15C -address list

Disk Devices
list all devices within the array # symdev list
# inq
list a specific device within the array # symmaskdb -sid 084 -dev 0029 list assignment -v
add access to the symmetrix devices

# symmask -sid 084 -wwn 10000000c9370c0a -dir 15c -p 0 add devs 0029,002A,002B

dir = director port
p = port number on the director port

Note: the devices are symmetrix devices ID's not LUN ID's. Also this is know as LUN masking.

remove access from the symmetrix devices # symmask -sid 084 -wwn 10000000c9370c0a remove devs 0029,002A
list devices available assigned to a specific host

# symmaskdb -sid 084 -host 10000000c9370c0a list capacity

display meta devices # symdev show <symdevname>
register the HBA with the VCMDB # symmask discover hba
List HBAs in local host # symmask list hba -v
List HBAs to FA port logins # symmask -sid 084 list logins
Build file contents
Meta devices files

Form meta from dev 0004, config-striped stripe_size=1920;
     add dev 0005 to meta 0004;
     add dev 0006 to meta 0004;
     add dev 0007 to meta 0004;
     add dev 0008 to meta 0004;

The run the following:

# symconfigure -sid 084 -f meta.txt verify
# symconfigure -sid 084 -f meta.txt preview
# symconfigure -sid 084 -f meta.txt commit

Mapping devices file (map devices to ports)

map dev 002e to dir 15C:0 target=0, lun=006;
map dev 002e to dir 16C:0 target=0, lun=006;
map dev 0042 to dir 15C:0 target=0, lun=007;
map dev 0042 to dir 16C:0 target=0, lun=007;

The run the following:

# symconfigure -sid 084 -f mappings.txt verify
# symconfigure -sid 084 -f mappings.txt preview
# symconfigure -sid 084 -f mappings.txt commit

Modifying FA Port settings (used for HP systems only)

set port1C:1 volume_set_addressing=enabled;
set port15C:1 volume_set_addressing=enabled;
set port16C:1 volume_set_addressing=enabled;
set port2C:1 volume_set_addressing=enabled;

The run the following:

# symconfigure -sid 084 -f port.txt verify
# symconfigure -sid 084 -f port.txt preview
# symconfigure -sid 084 -f port.txt commit