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Commands Reference, Volume 1

bffcreate Command


Creates installation image files in backup format.


bffcreate-q ] [  -S ] [  -v  ] [  -X ] [  -d Device ] [  -t SaveDir ] [  -w Directory ] [ -M Platform ] {  -l | PackageNameLevel ] ... |  -f  ListFileall }


The bffcreate command creates an installation image file in backup file format (bff) to support software installation operations.

The bffcreate command creates an installation image file from an installation image file on the specified installation media. Also, it automatically creates an installation image file from hyptertext images (such as those on the operating system documentation CD-ROMs). The installp command can use the newly created installation file to install software onto the system. The file is created in backup format and saved to the directory specified by SaveDir. The .toc file in the directory specified by the SaveDir parameter is updated to include an entry for the image file.

The bffcreate command determines the bff name according to this information:

Itanium-based platform or Neutral Packages     package.v.r.m.f.platform.installtype
POWER-based platform Packages package.v.r.m.f.installtype

Image Type Target bff Name
Installation image for the POWER-based platform package.v.r.m.f.I
Installation image for the Itanium-based platform. package.v.r.m.f.I.I
Installation image for Neutral* package.v.r.m.f.N.I
3.1 update for the POWER-based platform package.v.r.m.f.service#
3.2 update for the POWER-based platform package.v.r.m.f.ptf
4.X** or later updates for the POWER-based platform     package.part.v.r.m.f.U
Update image for the Itanium-based platform package.v.r.m.f.I.U
Update image for Neutral* package.v.r.m.f.N.U

* Neutral packages are installable on both the POWER-based platform and the Itanium-based platform.

** 4.X or later updates contain one package only. In addition, AIX Version 4 updates do not contain ptf IDs.

package = the name of the software package as described by the PackageName parameter

v.r.m.f = version.release.modification.fix, the level associated with the software package. The PackageName is usually not the same as the fileset name.

ptf = program temporary fix ID (also known as FixID)

The installation image file name has the form Package.Level.I. The Package is the name of the software package, as described for the Package Name parameter. Level has the format of v.r.m.f, where v = version, r = release, m = modification, f = fix. The I extension means that the image is an installation image rather than an update image.

Update image files containing an AIX 3.1 formatted update have a service number extension following the level. The Servicenum parameter can be up to 4 digits in length. One example is xlccmp.

Update image files containing an AIX 3.2 formatted update have a ptf extension following the level. One example is bosnet.

AIX Version 4 update image file names begin with the fileset name, not the PackageName. They also have U extensions to indicate that they are indeed update image files, not installation images. One example of an update image file is bos.rte.install.

The all keyword indicates that installation image files are created for every installable software package on the device.

You can extract a single update image with the AIX Version 4 bffcreate command. Then you must specify the fileset name and the v.r.m.f. parameter. As in example 3 in the Examples section, the PackageName parameter must be the entire fileset name, bos.net.tcp.client, not just bos.net.

Attention: Be careful when selecting the target directory for the extracted images, especially if that directory already contains installable images. If a fileset at a particular level exists as both an installation image and as an update image in the same directory, unexpected installation results can occur. In cases like this, installp selects the image it finds first in the table of contents (.toc) file. The image it selects may not be the one you intended and unexpected requisite failures can result. As a rule of thumb, you should extract maintenance levels to clean directories.


-d Device Specifies the name of the device where the original image resides. The device can be a CD, tape, diskette, or a directory. If the image is contained on tape, the tape device must be specified as no-rewind-on-close and no-retention-on-open (/dev/rmt*.1 for high-density tape and /dev/rmt*.5 for low-density tape). The default device is /dev/rfd0.
-f ListFile Reads a list of PackageNames and Levels from ListFile. PackageNames, each optionally followed by a level, should appear one per line of text. Any text following the second set of spaces or tabs on a line is ignored.
-l Lists the Package, Level, Image Type (I for installation images and U for update images), and Part(s) of all packages on the media.
-MPlatform Specifies that any of the following Platform values may be used to list or to create backup file format (bff) images of installable software products for a specific platform:

Specifies all packages.

Specifies Itanium-based platform packages only.

Specifies neutral packages, that is, packages that can be installed on both the Itanium-based platform and thePOWER-based platform.

Specifies POWER-based platform packages only.
-q Suppresses the request for media.
-t SaveDir Specifies the directory where the installation image files are to be created. The bffcreate command creates the specified directory if it does not exist. If the -t flag is not specified, the files are saved in the /usr/sys/inst.images directory.
-v Writes the name of the backup format file to standard output.
-w Directory Specifies the directory where a temporary working directory can be created. The bffcreate command creates the specified directory if it does not exist. The default directory is /tmp.
-S Suppresses multiple volume processing when the installation device is a CD-ROM. Installation from a CD-ROM is always treated as a single volume, even if the CD-ROM contains information for a multiple volume CD set. This same suppression of multiple volume processing is performed if the INU_SINGLE_CD environment is set.
-X Automatically extends the file system if space is needed.


Access Control: You must have root authority to run this command.


  1. To create an installation image file from the bos.net software package on the tape in the /dev/rmt0 tape drive and use /var/tmp as the working directory, type:
    bffcreate -d /dev/rmt0.1
    -w /var/tmp bos.net

  2. To create an installation image file from the package software package on the diskette in the /dev/rfd0 diskette drive and print the name of the installation image file without being prompted, type:
    bffcreate -q -v

  3. To create a single update image file from the bos.net.tcp.client software package on the CD in /dev/cd0, type:
    bffcreate -d
    /dev/cd0 bos.net.tcp.client

  4. To list the packages on the CD in /dev/cd0, type:
    bffcreate -l
    -d /dev/cd0

  5. To create installation and/or update images from a CD in /dev/cd0 by specifying a list of PackageNames and Levels in a ListFile called my MyListFile, type:
    bffcreate -d /dev/cd0
    -f MyListFile

  6. To create installation or update images of all Itanium-based platform software packages on the CD-ROM media, type:

    bffcreate -d /dev/cd0 -MI all
  7. To create installation or update images of all software packages on the CD-ROM media for the current platform, type:

    bffcreate -d /dev/cd0 all
  8. To list fileset information for the bos.games software package from a particular device, type:

    bffcreate -d /usr/sys/inst.images/bos.games -l
  9. To list all the Neutral software packages on the CD-ROM media, type:

    bffcreate -d /dev/cd0 -MN -l


/usr/sbin/bffcreate Contains the bffcreate command.
/usr/sys/inst.images Contains files in backup format for use in installing or updating a complete set or subset of software packages.
/usr/sys/inst.images/.toc The table of contents file for the default directory where a list of installation image files in the directory is maintained.

Related Information

The installp command, inutoc command.

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