Admin Alert: Finding TCP/IP Interface History And More On The NetServer GO Nets Installation Library
June 27, 2012 Joe Hertvik
For this week’s column, here’s some interesting information I found about discovering the history of your TCP/IP interfaces and how to retrieve the QUSRTOOL library for installing the IBM i NetServer GO NETS menu discussed in last week’s column.
Displaying The History Of Your IBM i TCP/IP Interfaces
If you’re on i 6.1 or above, here’s an easy way to determine when and how your TCP/IP interfaces were last started or stopped. You can do this by looking at the job log history of the TCP/IP control job, QTCPWRK (formerly named QTCPIP in V5R4Mx and below).
Whenever TCP/IP is activated or a TCP/IP interface is started, the QTCPWRK job activates all specified IP interfaces on your system. Each TCP/IP activation step is logged in the QTCPWRK job log. So if you’re on i 6.1 or above and you’re having a problem with your TCP/IP interfaces, you can perform the following steps to view your interface history.
1. View all QTCPWRK jobs on your system by running the following Work with Job (WRKJOB) command:
This will show you all the active and inactive QTCPWRK jobs on your system. You will always have one active QTCPWRK job on your system and depending on how often you IPL, you may have one or more inactive QTCPWRK jobs on the system (roughly one job for each time you IPL).
2. Select the active QTCPWRK job and take option 10=Display job log, if active, on job queue, or pending to see all the current TCP/IP interfaces on your system. This will show you when TCP/IP and all your TCP/IP interfaces were started and stopped on your system.
Viewing the QTCPWRK job is handy when you’re trying to figure out a TCP/IP issue on your system. We discovered QTCPWRK on a tech support call with IBM when my shop was trying to figure out why a credit card server had suddenly stopped communicating with the outside world. IBM asked us to look at the QTCPWRK job log and we discovered a job that had ended our local TCP/IP *LOOPBACK interface. The job log not only showed us when the interface had ended; it also showed us the name of the job that had ended it, so we could examine that job to see why it was misbehaving.
For i5/OS V5R4Mx, IBM used the QTCPIP job to control TCP/IP interface activation. They changed the name of this system job to QTCPWRK in i 6.1.
One other note on QTCPWRK: I found that IBM doesn’t have very good Web references on QTCPWRK, what it is, and what it does. Or at least there weren’t that many I could find as I was researching this article. So if you know of any good IBM-sponsored Web sites that discuss QTCPWRK, please let me know.
Yes, You Can Install GO NETS From QUSRTOOL On IBM i
In my last column on updated IBM i NetServer techniques, I mentioned loading the NetServer menu (GO NETS) from the QUSRTOOL library on your i5/OS V5R4Mx or i 6.1/7.1 partition. This led to some confusion as several people wrote in asking me if you could indeed load the NetServer menu from the QUSRTOOL library. Specifically, they wondered if QUSRTOOL was no longer delivered with the IBM i operating system and whether it was now a commercial product. Here’s the scoop.
The QUSRTOOL library has been part of the IBM i operating system since IBM released the AS/400 V1R1 operating system in the 1990s. Fathered by IBM i legend Jim Sloan, QUSRTOOL was intended to be a place where IBM could deliver functionality outside of the normal development process. QUSRTOOL was delivered as source code only, and it always contained the disclaimer that all code was delivered “as is” with no warranty. The tools in QUSRTOOL were given the IBM prefix “TAA” for (as far as I can tell) no particular reason.
In 1994, Jim Sloan contracted with IBM to license the TAA tools from IBM so that he could remarket them as a product for the AS/400 marketplace (which is today rechristened under the IBM i brand). The result was the TAA Productivity Tools product where Jim Sloan worked with fellow IBM i legend Al Barsa, and TAA Productivity Tools continue to be sold today. For more history on the TAA Production Tools product, see the History of the TAA Tools page on the TAA Productivity Tools website.
But even though IBM licensed the TAA Tools and Big Blue stopped delivering them with the OS/400 operating system and all its predecessors, IBM still delivers the QUSRTOOL library with all current operating systems. QUSRTOOL doesn’t contain TAA Tools anymore, but IBM does use QUSRTOOL to deliver some additional user tools, such as the GO NETS menu for performing NetServer functions from the green screen (as explained last issue).
The gist is that even though they have a common history with the QUSRTOOL library, TAA Tools and the current day QUSRTOOL library are two different animals. One is not exclusive of the other and both the TAA Productivity Tools product and the QUSRTOOL library can exist comfortably on your IBM i system.
If you don’t have the QUSRTOOL library for GO NETS installation installed on your system, it’s easy to retrieve it. Simply install the following program product options from your installation media for each of the following IBM i operating systems.
Once these options are available on your system, you’ll be able to install the GO NETS menu from the QUSRTOOL library, according to the instructions on the IBM i NetServer, GO NETS command screen tool website.
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Joe Hertvik is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company that provides written marketing content and presentation services for the computer industry, including white papers, case studies, and other marketing material. Email Joe for a free quote for any upcoming projects. He also runs a data center for two companies outside Chicago. Joe is a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column since 2002.