DLPAR Tools Open Sourced

The latest version of the powerpc-utils and powerpc-utils-papr packages have been released; source tarballs are available at http://powerpc-utils.ozlabs.org.

In addition to a few minor bug fixes there is a significant addition to the powerpc-utils-papr package: the newly open sourced DLPAR (Dynamic Logical PARtitioning) tools. These new tools are the drmgr and lsslot commands. Both of these commands were previously shipped from the IBM website in the (proprietary) rpa-dlpar and rpa-pci-hotplug packages. The inclusion of these tools in the powerpc-utils-papr package will now mean that DLPAR capabilities will be present at system install instead of having to download and install additional packages to enable this on System p.

So, what do these fancy new tools do? Good question. The drmgr command enables users to dynamically (at runtime) add and remove I/O, processors and memory. (Yes, memory remove is not currently supported on Linux for System p but that will be changing soon.) The drmgr command is meant to be driven from the HMC/IVM, not the command line, although it can be. This explains its slightly cryptic usage and limitations when used directly.

The lsslot is a command line tool that lists all DLPAR or hotplug capable I/O, PHBs (PCI Host Bridges), processors and memory slots on the system. Although its (unfortunate) naming implies that it will list all slots on the system, it does not.

Hopefully the powerpc-utils and powerpc-utils-papr packages are familiar to you. If not you may recognize the names they appear as in the various distros such as ppc64-utils on RHEL or just powerpc-utils on SuSE. Both of these distros combine the packages into one, whereas Gentoo ships them separately. Merging the packages is most likely a hold-over from when the they were the combined ppc64-utils package. Community requests asked to split the previous ppc64-utils package into a set of tools generic to the POWER platform (powerpc-utils) and those specific to PAPR based POWER platforms (powerpc-utils-papr).