HPUX Boot Process

The boot process on a HP server is reduce to three steps

PDC HPUX system come with firmware installed called Processor Dependent Code (PDC) The PDC run self-test operations and initialises the processor. The interface to the PDC commands is called the Boot Console Handler (BCH)
ISL The Initial System Loader is run after the PDC, there are a number of commands that can be run from the ISL
hpux utility that manages loading the HP-UX kernel and gives control to the kernel. Commands can be gven to the kernel. Sometimes this is called the Secondary System Loader (SSL)


The PDC can be used to obtain hardware information regarding the server i.e firmware, etc. using the BCH interface a number of commands can be used:

all Display the collection of all information provided by other display commands typically resident in information menu
auto used to display or set status autoboot, autosearch or autostart flags
boot initiate boot sequence
bootid display of modify boot id for the present processors
bootinfo display the PDC-level info about configured parameters used for system boot
boottimer sets a delay value in the system to wait for external mass storage device to come online
cache display the information about the acahe memory portion of all installed processors
chassiscodes display a queue of the most recent chassis codes
chiprevisions used to display the revisions of major very large scale integration (VLSI) in the system
clearpim used to clear (zero) the contents of the processor internal memory (PIM)
configuration used to enter the configuration submenu
coprocessor display information about all coprocessors
cpuconfig all the user to configure or deconfigure processors in the system
default et the system to pre-defined settings
fan display or set the speed of the fan
fastboot display or set the fastboot flag
fwrversion displat the revision of the currently installed firmware
help returns help info for the command given
information used to access the information menu
io display I/O interface on all I/O modules in the system
lanaddress allows the user to display the station address
lanconfig configure the lan card
main user interface for PDC
memory display memory info for total amount of physical memory as well as configured memory in system
memread used to read memory locations
monitor allows the user to view and change the monitor type for graphics card
path used to set/display the system paths from stable storage
pdt display/clear the page deallocation table (PDT)
pim displays processor internal memory (PIM) info
processor displays info about the processor in the system
reset resets the machibe state
search search for boot devices in the system
secure display/set the secure node flag
service allows the user to go to the service menu
time read/set the real time clock in GMT
warnings display any warning messages that may have resulted from the previous PDC self test execution


There are a number of commands that you can use with the ISL:

help help facility
ls list ISL utilites
autoboot set/clear autoboot flag in stable storage
autosearch set/clear autosearch flag in stable storage
primpath modify primary boot path
altpath modify alternate boot path
conspath modify system console path
display display boot and console paths
lsautofl list contents of autoboot file
fastsize set/display fastsize
800support boots the s800 support kernel from the boot device
700support boots the s700 support kernel from the boot device
readnvm display contents of one word of nvm
readss display contents of one word of stable storage
lsbatch list contents of batch file
batch execute commands in batch file
lsest list contents of extended self test (EST) file
est execute commands extended self test (EST) file

Secondary System Loader (hpux)

hpux can have a number of arguements:

automatic boot No interaction - autoboot sequence
hpux -is bring up system in single user
hpux default boot sequence
hpux vmunix.test boot object file vmunix.test
hpux ( boot from /stand/vmunix on the disk at path
hpux lan(32)/stand/vmunix boot from the network
hpux -v get hp-ux version numbers
hpux ll /stand list contents of /stand on root disk

The part of the boot that takes place after the hpux command is issued is in the four following parts

  1. hp-ux initialises the system hardware and devices
  2. hp-ux kernel data structures are created and initialised
  3. hp-ux searches for thr root filesystem
  4. hp-ux starts the init process called by /sbin/init - The init processes reads /etc/initab for direction

The following components are included in the startup/shutdown of hpux:

execution scripts these scripts are located in /etc/init.d
configuration variable scripts these files are located in /etc/rc.config.d
link files these files are located in the directory for the appropriate run level, sch as /sbin/rc0.d for run level 0 and /sbin/rc1.d for run level 1, etc
sequencer scripts this script invokes execution scripts based on run-level transition. This script is located in /sbin/rc