Installing OpenSSH on an AIX 7.1 server

I’m pretty new to AIX, and I’m learning all about its idiosyncrasies. One thing I still don’t understang is why SSH isn’t installed by default. The packages are located on the AIX 7 Volume 1 of 2 DVD, but for some reason the installer doesn’t feel the need to make sshd available to the system at install time. For those who care about security, the following steps will get SSH installed and operational on your AIX 7.1 server:

First, mount the “AIX 7 Volume 1 of 2” DVD in your drive (NIM installs aren’t covered here) and mount it up:

$ mount -V cdrfs -o ro /dev/cd0 /mnt

Once you mount the DVD you will need to change to the package directory:

$ cd /mnt/usr/sys/inst.images/

From there you can install the openssh and openssl packages:

$ installp -ac -Y -d . openssh.base openssl.base openssl.man.en_US openssh.man.en_US

This will install the packages and enable the SSH service. You can verify that the daemon started with the lssrc command:

$ lssrc -s sshd

Subsystem         Group            PID          Status 
 sshd             ssh              7340084      active

This is crazy simple and a great way to improve security on your AIX system.

Installing bash on an AIX 7.1 server

I’ve recently started managing a number of AIX hosts, which use ksh as their default shell. I don’t have anything against ksh, but I’ve spent a ton of time working with bash and have become extremely proficient with it. Given that, I like it to be part of all of my system builds. To make myself more at home on my AIX machines, I went ahead and installed bash on each host. This was super easy.

First I located the “AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications for POWER Systems”. This CD contains a bunch of GNU packages which can be installed with the rpm utility. To install bash, I changed to the ppc directory on the DVD and ran rpm with the install option:

$ cd /mnt/RPMS/ppc

$ rpm -ivh bash-3.2-1.aix5.2.ppc.rpm

After the package was installed I was able to type bash and marvel in its awesomeness. :)