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        afs - Introduction to AFS commands


        AFS provides many commands that enable users and system administrators
        to use and customize its features. Many of the commands belong to the
        following categories, called command suites.
            Interface for configuring and operating the AFS Backup System.
        bos Interface to the Basic Overseer (BOS) Server for administering
            server processes and configuration files.
        fs  Interface for administering access control lists (ACLs), the Cache
            Manager, and other miscellaneous file system functions.
            Interface for tracing Cache Manager operations when debugging prob‐
        kas Interface to the Authentication Server for administering security
            and authentication information.
        pts Interface to the Protection Server for administering AFS ID and
            group membership information.
        uss Interface for automated administration of user accounts.
        vos Interface to the Volume Server and Volume Location (VL) Server for
            administering volumes.
        In addition, there are several commands that do not belong to suites.
        AFS Command Syntax
        AFS commands that belong to suites have the following structure:
        command_suite operation_code -switch <value>[+] [-flag]
        Command Names
        Together, the command_suite and operation_code make up the command
        The command_suite specifies the group of related commands to which the
        command belongs, and indicates which command interpreter and server
        process perform the command.  AFS has several command suites, including
        bos, fs, kas, package, pts, uss and vos.  Some of these suites have an
        interactive mode in which the issuer omits the operation_code portion
        of the command name.
        The operation_code tells the command interpreter and server process
        which action to perform. Most command suites include several operation
        codes. The man pages for each command name describe each operation code
        in detail, and the IBM AFS Administration Guide describes how to use
        them in the context of performing administrative tasks.
        Several AFS commands do not belong to a suite and so their names do not
        have a command_suite portion. Their structure is otherwise similar to
        the commands in the suites.
        The term option refers to both arguments and flags, which are described
        in the following sections.
        One or more arguments can follow the command name. Arguments specify
        the entities on which to act while performing the command (for example,
        which server machine, server process, or file). To minimize the poten‐
        tial for error, provide a command’s arguments in the order prescribed
        in its syntax definition.
        Each argument has two parts, which appear in the indicated order:
        ·   The switch specifies the argument’s type and is preceded by a
            hyphen (-). For instance, the switch -server usually indicates that
            the argument names a server machine. Switches can often be omitted,
            subject to the rules outlined in "Conditions for Omitting
        ·   The value names a particular entity of the type specified by the
            preceding switch. For example, the proper value for a -server
            switch is a server machine name like "fs3.abc.com". Unlike switches
            (which have a required form), values vary depending on what the
            issuer wants to accomplish. Values appear surrounded by angle
            brackets ("<>") in command descriptions and the online help to show
            that they are user-supplied variable information.
        Some arguments accept multiple values, as indicated by trailing plus
        sign ("+") in the command descriptions and online help. How many of a
        command’s arguments take multiple values, and their ordering with
        respect to other arguments, determine when it is acceptable to omit
        switches. See "Conditions for Omitting Switches".
        Some commands have optional as well as required arguments; the command
        descriptions and online help show optional arguments in square brackets
        Some commands have one or more flags, which specify the manner in which
        the command interpreter and server process perform the command, or what
        kind of output it produces. Flags are preceded by hyphens like
        switches, but they take no values. Although the command descriptions
        and online help generally list a command’s flags after its arguments,
        there is no prescribed order for flags. They can appear anywhere on the
        command line following the operation code, except in between the parts
        of an argument. Flags are always optional.
        An Example Command
        The following example illustrates the different parts of a command that
        belongs to an AFS command suite.
           % bos getdate -server fs1.abc.com -file ptserver kaserver
        ·   bos is the command suite. The BOS Server executes most of the com‐
            mands in this suite.
        ·   getdate is the operation code. It tells the BOS Server on the spec‐
            ified server machine (in this case "fs1.abc.com") to report the
            modification dates of binary files in the local /usr/lib/openafs
        ·   "-server fs1.abc.com" is one argument, with -server as the switch
            and "fs1.abc.com" as the value. This argument specifies the server
            machine on which BOS Server is to collect and report binary dates.
        ·   "-file ptserver kaserver" is an argument that takes multiple val‐
            ues. The switch is -file and the values are "ptserver" and
            "kaserver". This argument tells the BOS Server to report the modi‐
            fication dates on the files /usr/lib/openafs/kaserver and
        Rules for Entering AFS Commands
        Enter each AFS command on a single line (press <Return> only at the end
        of the command). Some commands in this document appear broken across
        multiple lines, but that is for legibility only.
        Use a space to separate each element on a command line from its neigh‐
        bors. Spaces rather than commas also separate multiple values of an
        In many cases, the issuer of a command can reduce the amount of typing
        necessary by using one or both of the following methods:
        ·   Omitting switches.
        ·   Using accepted abbreviations for operation codes, switches (if they
            are included at all), and some types of values.
        The following sections explain the conditions for omitting or shorten‐
        ing parts of the command line. It is always acceptable to type a com‐
        mand in full, with all of its switches and no abbreviations.
        Conditions for Omitting Switches
        It is always acceptable to type the switch part of an argument, but in
        many cases it is not necessary. Specifically, switches can be omitted
        if the following conditions are met.
        ·   All of the command’s required arguments appear in the order pre‐
            scribed by the syntax statement.
        ·   No switch is provided for any argument.
        ·   There is only one value for each argument (but note the important
            exception discussed in the following paragraph).
        Omitting switches is possible only because there is a prescribed order
        for each command’s arguments. When the issuer does not include
        switches, the command interpreter relies instead on the order of argu‐
        ments; it assumes that the first element after the operation code is
        the command’s first argument, the next element is the command’s second
        argument, and so on. The important exception is when a command’s final
        required argument accepts multiple values. In this case, the command
        interpreter assumes that the issuer has correctly provided one value
        for each argument up through the final one, so any additional values at
        the end belong to the final argument.
        The following list describes the rules for omitting switches from the
        opposite perspective: an argument’s switch must be provided when any of
        the following conditions apply.
        ·   The command’s arguments do not appear in the prescribed order.
        ·   An optional argument is omitted but a subsequent optional argument
            is provided.
        ·   A switch is provided for a preceding argument.
        ·   More than one value is supplied for a preceding argument (which
            must take multiple values, of course); without a switch on the cur‐
            rent argument, the command interpreter assumes that the current
            argument is another value for the preceding argument.
        An Example of Omitting Switches
        Consider again the example command from "An Example Command".
           % bos getdate -server fs1.abc.com -file ptserver kaserver
        This command has two required arguments: the server machine name (iden‐
        tified by the -server switch) and binary file name (identified by the
        -file switch). The second argument accepts multiple values. By comply‐
        ing with all three conditions, the issuer can omit the switches:
           % bos getdate fs1.abc.com ptserver kaserver
        Because there are no switches, the bos command interpreter relies on
        the order of arguments. It assumes that the first element following the
        operation code, "fs1.abc.com", is the server machine name, and that the
        next argument, "ptserver", is a binary file name. Then, because the
        command’s second (and last) argument accepts multiple values, the com‐
        mand interpreter correctly interprets "kaserver" as an additional value
        for it.
        On the other hand, the following is not acceptable because it violates
        the first two conditions in "Conditions for Omitting Switches": even
        though there is only one value per argument, the arguments do not
        appear in the prescribed order, and a switch is provided for one argu‐
        ment but not the other.
           % bos getdate ptserver -server fs1.abc.com
        Rules for Using Abbreviations and Aliases
        This section explains how to abbreviate operation codes, option names,
        server machine names, partition names, and cell names. It is not possi‐
        ble to abbreviate other types of values.
        Abbreviating Operation Codes
        It is acceptable to abbreviate an operation code to the shortest form
        that still distinguishes it from the other operation codes in its
        For example, it is acceptable to shorten bos install to bos i because
        there are no other operation codes in the bos command suite that begin
        with the letter "i". In contrast, there are several bos operation codes
        that start with the letter "s", so the abbreviations must be longer to
        remain unambiguous:
        bos sa for bos salvage
        bos seta for bos setauth
        bos setc for bos setcellname
        bos setr for bos setrestart
        bos sh for bos shutdown
        bos start for bos start
        bos startu for bos startup
        bos stat for bos status
        bos sto for bos stop
        In addition to abbreviations, some operation codes have an alias, a
        short form that is not derived by abbreviating the operation code to
        its shortest unambiguous form. For example, the alias for the fs setacl
        command is fs sa, whereas the shortest unambiguous abbreviation is fs
        There are two usual reasons an operation code has an alias:
        ·   Because the command is frequently issued, it is convenient to have
            a form shorter than the one derived by abbreviating. The fs setacl
            command is an example.
        ·   Because the command’s name has changed, but users of previous ver‐
            sions of AFS know the former name. For example, bos listhosts has
            the alias bos getcell, its former name.  It is acceptable to abbre‐
            viate aliases to their shortest unambiguous form (for example, bos
            getcell to bos getc).
        Even if an operation code has an alias, it is still acceptable to use
        the shortest unambiguous form. Thus, the fs setacl command has three
        acceptable forms: fs setacl (the full form), fs seta (the shortest
        abbreviation), and fs sa (the alias).
        Abbreviating Switches and Flags
        It is acceptable to shorten a switch or flag to the shortest form that
        distinguishes it from the other switches and flags for its operation
        code. It is often possible to omit switches entirely, subject to the
        conditions listed in "Conditions for Omitting Switches".
        Abbreviating Server Machine Names
        AFS server machines must have fully-qualified Internet-style host names
        (for example, "fs1.abc.com"), but it is not always necessary to type
        the full name on the command line. AFS commands accept unambiguous
        shortened forms, but depend on the cell’s name service (such as the
        Domain Name Service) or a local host table to resolve a shortened name
        to the fully-qualified equivalent when the command is issued.
        Most commands also accept the dotted decimal form of the machine’s IP
        address as an identifier.
        Abbreviating Partition Names
        Partitions that house AFS volumes must have names of the form /vicepx
        or /vicepxx, where the variable final portion is one or two lowercase
        letters. By convention, the first server partition created on a file
        server machine is called /vicepa, the second /vicepb, and so on.  The
        IBM AFS Quick Beginnings explains how to configure and name a file
        server machine’s partitions in preparation for storing AFS volumes on
        When issuing AFS commands, you can abbreviate a partition name using
        any of the following forms:
           /vicepa     =     vicepa      =      a      =      0
           /vicepb     =     vicepb      =      b      =      1
        After /vicepz (for which the index is 25) comes
           /vicepaa    =     vicepaa     =      aa     =      26
           /vicepab    =     vicepab     =      ab     =      27
        and so on through
           /vicepiv    =     vicepiv     =      iv     =      255
        Abbreviating Cell Names
        A cell’s full name usually matches its Internet domain name (such as
        stateu.edu for the State University or "abc.com" for ABC Corporation).
        Some AFS commands accept unambiguous shortened forms, usually with
        respect to the local /etc/openafs/CellServDB file but sometimes depend‐
        ing on the ability of the local name service to resolve the correspond‐
        ing domain name.
        Displaying Online Help for AFS Commands
        To display online help for AFS commands that belong to suites, use the
        help and apropos operation codes.  A -help flag is also available on
        every almost every AFS command.
        The online help entry for a command consists of two or three lines:
        ·   The first line names the command and briefly describes what it
        ·   If the command has aliases, they appear on the next line.
        ·   The final line, which begins with the string "Usage:", lists the
            command’s options in the prescribed order; online help entries use
            the same typographical symbols (brackets and so on) as this docu‐
        If no operation code is specified, the help operation code displays the
        first line (short description) for every operation code in the suite:
           % <command_suite> help
        If the issuer specifies one or more operation codes, the help operation
        code displays each command’s complete online entry (short description,
        alias if any, and syntax):
           % <command_suite> help <operation_code>+
        The -help flag displays a command’s syntax but not the short descrip‐
        tion or alias:
           % <command_name> -help
        The apropos operation code displays the short description of any com‐
        mand in a suite whose operation code or short description includes the
        specified keyword:
           % <command_suite> apropos "<help string>"
        The following example command displays the complete online help entry
        for the fs setacl command:
           % fs help setacl
           fs setacl: set access control list
           aliases: sa
           Usage: fs setacl -dir <directory>+ -acl <access list entries>+
           [-clear] [-negative] [-id] [-if] [-help]
        To see only the syntax statement, use the -help flag:
           % fs setacl -help
           Usage: fs setacl -dir <directory>+ -acl <access list entries>+
           [-clear] [-negative] [-id] [-if] [-help]
        In the following example, a user wants to display the quota for her
        home volume. She knows that the relevant command belongs to the fs
        suite, but cannot remember the operation code. She uses quota as the
           % fs apropos quota
           listquota: list volume quota
           quota: show volume quota usage
           setquota: set volume quota
        The following illustrates the error message that results if no command
        name or short description contains the keyword:
           % fs apropos "list quota"
           Sorry, no commands found
        Many AFS commands require one or more types of administrative privi‐
        lege. See the reference page for each command.


        IBM Corporation 2000. <http://www.ibm.com/> All Rights Reserved.
        This documentation is covered by the IBM Public License Version 1.0.
        It was converted from HTML to POD by software written by Chas Williams
        and Russ Allbery, based on work by Alf Wachsmann and Elizabeth Cassell.


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