Best Practices: Alway use a Shared System Console for Your IBM i Partition

I_information_blanc_rouge_When working on an IBM i partition system console, the best practice is to always start the console as a shared system console. There are two ways to start a system console:

1=Connect dedicated – The console cannot be shared remotely by other users.

2=Connect shared – The console can be shared remotely by other users

Here’s what the partition console partition selection screen (where you start your system console from the HMC) looks like.

connecting to an IBM i system console

 

If you take option 1, only one remote user can attach to the console at a time and the console cannot be shared between users. This is more of a security setting where others cannot take over your console.

If you take option 2, the system console selection screen will prompt you to enter a session key before starting your system console session. Entering a session key gives you a number of advantages over using a dedicated system console, including:

  • If you’re connecting remotely and your telecom connection breaks, it won’t hang your system console session and make it unreachable remotely. The session will remain reachable from a remote system. All you have to do is connect again, put in the shared key password and continue running the session where you left off. If you disconnect remotely while running a dedicated console, you won’t be able to sign-in and restart the console again if the connection is broken.
  • If you’re working with other users or consultants, you can display and run the system console on the HMC itself AND you can also┬árun it on one or more remote desktops. This allows two groups working together to view and access the same system console screen.
  • You can kick off a long-running process on the console, such as an operating system upgrade, disconnect your shared system console, and then come back later to check its progress. You’re not dependent on keeping the PC running the system console up and running.

For these reasons, I consider running a shared system console a best practice to ensure you don’t have any problems with broken connections or keeping long-running console processes running. Try it the next time you start a console session. You’ll like it.

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About Joe Hertvik

Joe is the owner of Hertvik Business Services, a service company providing written white papers, case studies, and other marketing content to computer industry companies. He is also a contributing editor for IT Jungle and has written the Admin Alert column for the past ten years. Follow Joe Hertvik on Twitter @JoeHertvik. Email Joe for a free quote on white papers, case studies, brochures, or other marketing materials.
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