Configuring YUM and creating local repositories on IBM AIX


IBM® AIX® Toolbox contains a collection of open source and GNU software built in RPM Package Manager (RPM) format for IBM AIX systems.

Yellowdog Updater, Modified (YUM) is an open source command line package management utility for RPM packages. It is a tool for installing, removing, querying, and managing RPM packages. YUM automatically determines dependencies for the packages getting updated or installed and thus fetches the dependent packages and installs them with the requested packages. It works with an existing software repository that contains RPM packages. The YUM repository can be accessed locally or over a network.

This tutorial explains the different methods to install YUM, create local YUM repositories of AIX Toolbox RPM packages, and configure YUM. These methods talk about the best solution to use in cases where an AIX system may or may not have access to the Internet.


This tutorial is best understood if users have some of the basic skills on:

Estimated time

It takes around 30 minutes for users to read and understand this tutorial.

Configuring YUM

You can configure YUM either by using the script or the YUM README file.

Using script

This is the preferred method and is useful if users have access to the Internet and can connect to the IBM public FTP server directly. The script doesn’t work with a proxy setup.

Download and run the script from the root user. This script performs the following tasks:

  • Downloads and updates to the latest version of rpm.rte (which is prerequisite for YUM).

  • Downloads, extracts, and installs the required RPM packages from latest yum_bundle.tar file.

Using YUM README file

This method is used if the AIX system doesn’t have access to the Internet to connect to the IBM public FTP server.

Follow the two manual steps mentioned in README-yum available on AIX Toolbox. After installing YUM manually, the AIX system needs to have access to the Toolbox repositories. To access Toolbox repositories, one of two methods mentioned below can be used.

  • Using a local YUM repository. Refer Creating a local YUM repository section.
  • Using a proxy setup. Refer YUM proxy configuration section.

Creating a local YUM repository

To setup a local YUM repository, one of the systems must have access to the Internet and this system serves as the repository to other AIX systems.

For better clarity, we call the system with Internet access where the local YUM repository is being created as the Repo server and other AIX systems that use its repository as the AIX Repo clients.

The Repo server must be an RPM-based system such as AIX or Linux®. The HTTP server must be running on the Repo server and the directory where repositories are created should be accessible by the AIX Repo clients using HTTP so that they can connect to it using YUM and retrieve the RPM packages.

Refer to the following steps (1-7) to create and use the local YUM repository.

Run steps 1-6 on the Repo server and step 7 on the AIX Repo clients.

  1. Install yum-utils and createrepo packages.

     yum install yum-utils
     yum install createrepo
  2. Create the AIX Toolbox repository entry

    On the Repo server, create AIX Toolbox repository entries in the repository file as shown below.

    On the Linux Repo server, you need to create the following repository file: /etc/yum.repos.d/AIX-Toolbox.repo

    On the AIX Repo server, the default YUM configuration file /opt/freeware/etc/yum/yum.conf is installed with YUM. Some repository entries would have been present already, but make sure you have following entries.

     name=AIX generic repository
     name=AIX noarch repository
     name=AIX 6.1 specific repository
     name=AIX 7.1 specific repository
     name=AIX 7.2 specific repository
  3. Verify whether the AIX repositories are enabled.

     # yum repolist
     AIX_Toolbox                                   | 2.9 kB 00:00:00
     AIX_Toolbox_61                                | 2.9 kB 00:00:00
     AIX_Toolbox_71                                | 2.9 kB 00:00:00
     AIX_Toolbox_72                                | 2.9 kB 00:00:00
     AIX_Toolbox_noarch                            | 2.9 kB 00:00:00
     (1/4): AIX_Toolbox_61/primary_db              | 8.7 kB 00:00:00
     (2/4): AIX_Toolbox_72/primary_db              | 8.0 kB 00:00:00
     (3/4): AIX_Toolbox_noarch/primary_db          | 39 kB 00:00:00
     (4/4): AIX_Toolbox/primary_db                 | 266 kB 00:00:00
     repo id                     repo name               status
     AIX_Toolbox            AIX generic repository        346
     AIX_Toolbox_61         AIX 6.1 specific repository   12
     AIX_Toolbox_71         AIX 7.1 specific repository   10
     AIX_Toolbox_72         AIX 7.2 specific repository   10
     AIX_Toolbox_noarch     AIX noarch repository         79
     repolist: 9,793
  4. Run reposync to sync all AIX Toolbox repository to the Linux system.

    Here, we need to provide the repository ID using the -r option, Otherwise, reposync will try to sync all enabled repositories.

    -p is the path where we want rpm files to be copied. -a specifies an architecture.

     # reposync -p <target_path> -r AIX_Toolbox -a ppc
     # reposync -p <target_path> -r AIX_Toolbox_61 -a ppc
     # reposync -p <target_path> -r AIX_Toolbox_71 -a ppc
     # reposync -p <target_path> -r AIX_Toolbox_72 -a ppc
     # reposync -p <target_path> -r AIX_Toolbox_noarch
  5. Verify whether all the repositories are synchronized.

     # ls <target_path>/
     AIX_Toolbox AIX_Toolbox_61 AIX_Toolbox_71 AIX_Toolbox_72
     # ls <target_path>/AIX_Toolbox

    Note: In this example, the above commands should show all the AIX Toolbox repository RPM package directories.

  6. Run createrepo to create the YUM repository for all the downloaded packages.

     # createrepo <target_path>/AIX_Toolbox
     # createrepo <target_path>/AIX_Toolbox_61
     # createrepo <target_path>/AIX_Toolbox_71
     # createrepo <target_path>/AIX_Toolbox_72
     # createrepo <target_path>/AIX_Toolbox_noarch
  7. Edit the /opt/freeware/etc/yum/yum.conf file on the AIX system.

    Edit this file to add and enable the newly created repository on the Linux system.


  • For the first time, reposync synchronizes all available RPM packages in the YUM repository, including the older RPM packages enabled through YUM. So, next time when package update happens, and we run reposync it copies only the updated RPM package, but the older RPM package will still be present in the system, and when we run createrepo, we will have the older as well as the newer RPM packages with the YUM repository. This will happen with sync as well.

  • reposync copies the RPMs from where we have repodata and doesn’t copy any repodata files, but only the RPMs with its directory structure. Repository structure will not be exactly the same as AIX Toolbox and users must edit the yum.conf file to point to the correct path.

For example, For AIX Toolbox we have:


With reposync, it copies RPMs as follows:

# ls <target_path>/AIX_Toolbox
a2ps     expat .........

So, after running createrepo on the Linux system, the repository URL in AIX should be something as:

baseurl=http://<Linux host/target_path>/AIX_Toolbox/

YUM proxy configuration

First, you need to set up YUM manually by following the two manual steps shown in the README-yum file. Set up the HTTP or HTTPS proxy server and allow proxy connections from the AIX Repo clients to the proxy server.

Now, either add the proxy entry in the /opt/freeware/etc/yum/yum.conf file as: proxy=http://<user>:<passwd>@<proxy server hostname>:<port number>

Or, export the http_proxy environment variable as: export http_proxy=http://<user>:<passwd>@<proxy server hostname>:<port number>

Here is the snippet of the yum.conf file with proxy entry.

proxy=http://<proxy server hostname>:<port number>
name=AIX generic repository


It is important to understand how enterprise wants to create or use the existing YUM repositories based on the kind of infrastructures they have.

This depends on the security standards defined by an individual organization. If standards allow to access public networks, then it is best to use AIX Toolbox repositories. Otherwise, having one single server to connect to a public network which serve the YUM repositories to private systems is the preferred method.

There are ways to setup YUM from ISO image too.