1. Installing GemStone/S 64 Bit Version 3.5.6

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This chapter describes the procedure for installing GemStone/S 64 Bitâ„¢ version 3.5.6. We recommend that you set up GemStone initially on a single machine, to ensure that all the pieces work together. At the end of this chapter, we suggest refinements you might want to make. Further setup to run a distributed system are described in the System Administration Guide. You will need to adjust the installation process to meet your specific needs.

If you are upgrading to this release from a previous version of GemStone/S 64 Bit, follow the instructions in the appropriate later chapter of this Installation Guide. These upgrade instructions will provide details on steps that need to be taken before and after the installation as described in this chapter.

GemStone/S 64 Bit on MacOS is supported for development use only, not for use in production.

Review the Installation Procedure

The following list summarizes the steps to install GemStone/S 64 Bit.

Check the System Requirements

Before you install GemStone/S 64 Bit, ensure that the following system requirements are satisfied. Systems meeting these requirements are suitable for installing GemStone/S 64 Bit and beginning development, but additional system resources may be necessary to support large applications.


  • Intel Core 2 Duo or later

RAM and Swap space

  • While small installations can run on systems with only a few GB of physical RAM, increasing RAM is important for GemStone performance.
  • Adequate free disk space on the machine’s boot partition beyond other system needs.

Disk space

  • Space for the installed distribution files—you need approximately 450 MB for GemStone/S 64 Bit, and additional space for other products.
  • Additional disk space as required for your repository.

The repository files should be located on a disk drive that does not contain swap space. Use of multiple disk drives is advisable for servers.

Operating system

  • MacOS 11.1 (Big Sur) with Darwin 20.2.0 kernel
  • MacOS 10.15.6 (Catalina) with Darwin 19.6.0 kernel


  • llldb 12.3.0

lldb is installed as part of the Xcode command line tools package.

A debugger is not required for GemStone execution, but is useful for generating GemStone stack traces. You may need to be logged in as root, or as a user with administrative privileges, in order to use a debugger with GemStone processes.

C/C++ Compiler

  • Big Sur: Apple clang version 12.0.0 (clang-1200.0.32.28)
  • Catalina: Apple clang version 11.0.3 (clang-1103.0.33.17)

GemStone requires a C/C++ compiler only if you are developing C or C++ code for user actions or for a C or C++ application. This compiler is required only for development work, not for execution.

X Windows

An X Windows server allows you to use GemStone’s graphical VSD application on Mac. Alternatively, GemStone statistical data may be viewed on Windows, by transferring the data files, or by mounting the file system on Windows. X Windows is not required for GemStone execution.

Configure the Operating System

The kernel must be configured to support shared memory and semaphores. See your operating system documentation for further information. These requirements apply both to server nodes and to client nodes.

1. Kernel parameters

In earlier releases of MacOS, to specify shared memory and other kernel parameters, you could define the file /etc/sysctl.conf (if it did not exist), or edit the settings in this file, to modify kernel parameters. With “Big Sur”, the requirements have changed.

In “Big Sur”, you must create a plist file with the name com.gemtalksystems.shared-memory.plist, and put this file in /Library/LaunchDaemons/.

After defining either of these files, or making changes to the settings, you will need to reboot so the changes take effect.

Shared Memory

The maximum shared memory segment should be set to a value larger than your desired Shared Page Cache size, and not more than 75% of your real memory size. In addition, for most system you will need to increase the system-wide limit on shared memory segments.

Note that kern.sysv.shmmax is configured in bytes, but kern.sysv.shmall is configured in pages with a base page size of 4096.

For example, if you have 8192 MB of real memory:

8192 MB * .75 = 6144 MB
6144 MB * 220 = 6442450944 bytes

To set shared memory, you would include the following text in the /etc/sysctl.conf file, creating this file if it does not exist. The setting of the shared memory size is read from this file during the boot process.

# Shared Memory setting for GemStone
Number of Processes

The default limits on the number of processes are adequate for up to about 250 GemStone users, for configurations establishing security via captive account. To allow more processes for the GemStone administrative userid, increase the settings for kern.maxprocperuid and kern.maxproc in /etc/sysctl.conf.

Setting kernel parameters

The following example contents of com.gemtalksystems.shared-memory.plist would apply to a system with 8MB of RAM, as described above.

You may download this file, and update with your required settings, from: https://docs.gemtalksystems.com/current/com.gemtalksystems.shared-memory.plist

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8"?>
<!DOCTYPE plist PUBLIC "-//Apple//DTD PLIST 1.0//EN" "http://www.apple.com/DTDs/PropertyList-1.0.dtd">
<plist version="1.0">
2. PAM

If you are using UNIX authentication for GemStone logins, or if you run NetDLI as root with setuid (i.e. not in guest mode), you must have PAM (Pluggable Authentication Module) configured on the server. You may include a specific GemStone authorization service name, or allow the default “other” authentication definitions to be used.

PAM authentication definitions are files under the directory /etc/pam.conf/.

The specific GemStone service file names are gemstone.gem for user authentication, and gemstone.netldi for a NetLDI running with authentication.

The libraries that are specified in the stack depend on how you are configuring PAM to perform the authenticaton. The examples below are for PAM configured to invoke LDAP for authentication.

For example, to allow GemStone UNIX authentication, which uses PAM, to authenticate via LDAP, create a file named /etc/pamd.conf/gemstone.gem with the following contents:

auth	required	pam_opendirectory.so

Note that this is for GemStone UNIX authentication, not for GemStone LDAP authentication. When you configure GemStone authentication as LDAP, it authenticated directly with LDAP, not via PAM.

For NetLDI authentication, again using LDAP, create a file named /etc/pamd.conf/gemstone.netldi with the following contents:

auth	required	pam_opendirectory.so

You can allow the “other” authentication stack to be used for GemStone authentication by editing the file /etc/pamd.conf/other so it includes the following:

auth	required	pam_opendirectory.so

Consult your System Administrators for more information on how authentication is handled on your system.

3. System clock

The system clock must be set to the correct time. When GemStone opens the repository at startup, it compares the current system time with the recorded checkpoint times as part of a consistency check. A system time earlier than the time at which the last checkpoint was written may be taken as an indication of corrupted data and prevent GemStone from starting. The time comparisons use GMT.

4. TCP keepalive option

GemStone processes ordinarily use the TCP keepalive option to determine how long they will wait after communications activity ceases unexpectedly. This setting can be useful for reaping stale RPC Gems, but the operating system default may not be appropriate for this purpose. For further information, refer to your operating system documentation.

Install the GemStone Server

Installing GemStone can be done as a regular user, but in order to set up shared security, some portions of the installation should be done when logged in as the root user. Other steps of the installation are done as the unix user who will be the GemStone administrative account.

In addition to the installation directory, these are the portions of the system that are affected by the installation of GemStone:

Optional raw partitions for repository extents and transaction logs.

Internet services database, for NetLDI name lookup.

Default location for server lock files, host name id file, and log files for GemStone network servers (NetLDIs). See the System Administration Guide for details.

1. Log in as the GemStone administrator to the machine on which you are installing GemStone. This part of the installation should not be done as root, to ensure all the files are not owned by root.

2. Determine that adequate swap space is available.:

3. Select the drive on which you will install the GemStone software, and the installation directory on this drive, InstallDir. Make this directory the current working directory.

We recommend that you avoid choosing either an NFS-mounted partition or one containing UNIX swap space for the initial installation. Mounted partitions can result in executables running on the wrong machine and in file permission problems. Existence of swap space on the same drive can dramatically slow GemStone disk accesses.

4. GemStone/S 64 Bit is provided as a .dmg file with a name similar to GemStone64Bit3.5.6-i386.Darwin.dmg.

5. Double click on this file to open it, and drag the installation tree to InstallDir.

6. The InstallDir now contains a GemStone directory with a name similar to GemStone64Bit3.5.6-i386.Darwin.

In addition to subdirectories, this directory also contains two text files: PACKING, which lists all of the GemStone files, and version.txt, which identifies this particular product and release of GemStone.

The GemStone server is now installed.

Set the Environment

Perform the following steps to properly configure the operating environment.

1. Set the environment variable GEMSTONE.

a. If more than one installation of any GemStone/S product resides on this machine, check for existing GemStone environment variables:

> env | grep GEM

All GemStone environment variables are displayed.

b. If any environment variables exist and are not appropriate for the new installation, you must specifically unset each one. For example:


c. Set the environment variable GEMSTONE to the full pathname (starting with a slash) of your new GemStone installation directory. For example:

> export GEMSTONE=InstallDir/GemStone64Bit3.5.6-i386.Darwin

Set the GemStone Key File

To run GemStone, you must have a key file for the correct version of GemStone/S 64 Bit and for the appropriate platform. The keyfile must be located where GemStone can find it on startup:

  • A file specified by the KEYFILE configuration parameter in the configuration file used by the stone. This is not set by default, but may be defined to read a keyfile with any name in any location.
  • $GEMSTONE/sys/gemstone.key
  • $GEMSTONE/sys/community.starter.key

Licensed Customer key file

You may use a keyfile from any v3.5.x version with v3.5.6; keyfiles from 3.4.x and earlier are not valid with v3.5.6. If you are upgrading from v3.4.x or earlier, or you have questions about your keyfile or license limits, email keyfiles@gemtalksystems.com, or contact GemTalk Technical Support.

Community key file

The GemStone distribution includes a community key file, community.starter.key., with product and system limits per the Community and Web Edition License. See https://gemtalksystems.com/licensing for details on the license terms.

If you do not install a custom keyfile, this starter keyfile will be used instead.

Installing a keyfile

To specify the location and name of the keyfile using the KEYFILE configuration parameter, edit the configuration file that will be used by the v3.5.6 stone to include the location and name of the keyfile.

You may also put the keyfile in the default location, $GEMSTONE/sys/gemstone.key. This requires modifying the write permissions of the $GEMSTONE/sys directory; ensure you change this back to not writable, after this update.

Verify TCP/IP

To run GemStone, TCP/IP must be functioning, even if your machine is not connected to a network.

Verify that TCP/IP networking software is functioning (1 is the number 1):

> /sbin/ping -c 1 hostname

where hostname is the name of your machine. If ping responds with statistics, TCP/IP is functioning.

Define the NetLDI Service

The NetLDI service, by default gs64ldi, can be defined in your system services database to return the NetLDI listening port. A NetLDI is required for some local and all remote sessions to log into GemStone, and it can be resolved by name or directly by port number. If you are defining NetLDI services by name, the same NetLDI service name and port number must be defined on the remote machines as on the Stone’s node.

The following steps can be skipped if you will be using the NetLDI port rather than name. Using the port number requires that this same port be specified when the NetLDI is started up, and when sessions login. The details are described in the System Administration Guide.

If you are upgrading from a previous version, you may need to keep the NetLDI for that version running. In this case, select a distinct name and/or port for the NetLDI for GemStone/S 64 Bit 3.5.6.

1. Determine whether the gs64ldi service is already defined. How to do this will depend on how your system is set up. The GemStone distribution includes an executable that will allow you to do this:

unix> $GEMSTONE/install/getservbyname gs64ldi
s_name=gs64ldi s_port = 50377 s_proto = tcp

If gs64ldi is defined, skip the rest of this procedure and continue with the installation at Run the Installation Script.

If it is not defined, continue performing this procedure.

2. Add an entry similar to the following to the system services database:

gs64ldi 50377/tcp #GemStone/S 64 Bit 3.5.6

Choose a port number that is not being used by another service. The port number should be in the range 49152 <= port <= 65535, to confirm to IANA standards (http://www.iana.org/assignments/port-numbers).

3. If several machines will be running GemStone, have the UNIX system administrator update the system services database for each machine. This includes Windows client machines as well as UNIX nodes. Note that the port number must be the same for every machine.

Run the Installation Script

The installation script verifies your environment, creates lock file directories, sets up the extent files, and can be used to configure certain types of security for multi-user systems. It is not required to run the installation script; however, if you are new to GemStone, or installing GemStone on a new server, running the install script is recommended.

1. Log in as root.

You can run the installation script as a non-root user, however, some options are not available as a non-root user. To ensure that the installation is successful, you must install as root. See the System Administration Guide for details on setting up GemStone server file security.

2. Invoke the installation script from the install subdirectory:

 unix> cd $GEMSTONE/install
 unix> ./installgs

installgs is an interactive script that analyzes your system configuration and makes suggestions to guide you through installing GemStone on your machine. You can run the script multiple times; it will skip completed tasks.

You can usually terminate execution of the installation script with Ctrl-C without risk to your files. When it is not safe to do so, the message Please do not interrupt appears on the screen.

During installation, you are asked several questions. The entire installation dialog is not reproduced here, but the main points are addressed. Some questions may not be asked, depending on answers to previous questions.

Whenever you are asked to answer “yes” or “no,” answer with y or n. When the script offers a default answer in square brackets (such as “[y]”), press Enter to accept the default.

Set up directories for server lock files and NetLDI logs?

The default location for server lock files and NetLDI log files is /opt/gemstone, although /usr/gemstone may be used in legacy installations. A different location can be specified using the environment variable GEMSTONE_GLOBAL_DIR; however, all Gemstone processes that will interact on this machine must have this environment variable set to the same directory.

If the directory does not exist, the installation script offers to create /opt/gemstone and the subdirectories locks and log, and to set access (770) to these directories.

If you answer no to creating the directories, you must create them (or provide a symbolic link) before starting the server.

Set the owner and group for all the files in the distribution?

If you answer yes, the script will prompt you for the owner and group you want to use. Refer to Chapter 1 of the System Administration Guide for more information about setting owner and group permissions.

If you answer no, the permissions will remain the same as when the files were extracted from the distribution media.

Protect the repository file?

The default gives only the owner read and write access (600) through ordinary UNIX commands. Other users can read and write the repository through a GemStone session. If you choose not to protect the repository, the setuid bit is cleared from all executables, which causes them to run under ownership of the user who invokes them.

Default: Set the repository permission to 600, and leave the setuid bit applied.

Allow NetLDI to Run as Root?

The NetLDI is a network server that permits remote processes to interact with the repository. There are two ways to set up a NetLDI so that it can provide services to all GemStone users: it can run as root, or it can run in guest mode with a captive account.

  • To run NetLDIs as root, accept the default “yes” response. Ownership of the NetLDI executable is changed to root, and the setuid bit is set. Any GemStone user will be able to start a NetLDI process that is accessible to all GemStone users because it will always run as root. For certain services, users will need to authenticate themselves by supplying a password.
  • To run NetLDIs in guest mode with a captive account, answer “no” to the prompt, because those modes are not permitted if the NetLDI runs as root. “Guest mode” means that GemStone users do not have to supply a UNIX password to use NetLDI services. The “captive account” is an account that owns all processes the NetLDI starts; typically, it is the GemStone administrative account that owns the files. You must start the NetLDI while logged in as that account.

Default: Change ownership of the netldi executable to root, and set its setuid bit.

Set up an Extent?

GemStone is distributed with a read-only copy of the initial repository in
$GEMSTONE/bin/extent0.dbf. Before you can start GemStone, this file must be copied to a suitable location and made writable. The script offers to copy the file to its default location of $GEMSTONE/data.

If you are a new GemStone user, we recommend that you answer y. If you are an existing GemStone user, you might prefer to answer n, then copy the extent to a different location yourself. (If you choose a location other than the default, you must edit your configuration file before starting GemStone. For information, see the System Administration Guide.)

Default: Place a writable copy of extent0.dbf in $GEMSTONE/data.

Start a NetLDI?

You can start a NetLDI that runs as root by answering yes to this prompt and the confirmation that follows.

However, if you want to start the NetLDI in guest mode with a captive account, you must do that after completing the installation. For more information about guest mode with captive account, see Chapter 3 of the System Administration Guide.

Default: Do not start a NetLDI at this time.

Start an Object Server?

As root, you cannot start an object server (Stone), but the script offers to start one as another user.

Default: Do not start an object server at this time.

3. Log out as root

After running installgs, log out as user root.

Further work is done as the GemStone administrative user.

Complete GemStone Configuration

The following should be done by an administrative user, not as root.

Change Passwords for Administrative Accounts

GemStone comes with a number of built-in System user accounts, which are needed to perform administrative operations (such as adding application user accounts).

  • The DataCurator account is used to perform system administration tasks.
  • The SystemUser account ordinarily is used only for performing GemStone system upgrades.
  • The GcUser account is used by the garbage collection task, which runs automatically as a separate login.

The initial password for these administrative accounts is swordfish.

Access to each of these accounts should be restricted; you should always change the passwords for these accounts, to provide basic security for your application.

The chapter entitled “User Accounts and Security” in the System Administration Guide tells you how to change the passwords.

Add GemStone User Accounts

For each of the users in your system, you should establish GemStone accounts, which involves creating an individual UserProfile in GemStone.

The chapter entitled “User Accounts and Security” in the System Administration Guide provides information on how create accounts for GemStone users, and the options for authentication. This task can be done by executing Smalltalk code, or using GemBuilder for Smalltalk tools. See the GemBuilder for Smalltalk Users’s Guide for information on the GUI tools in GemBuilder.

Users must set environment

After GemStone/S 64 Bit 3.5.6 has been installed, you should notify each person who will be using GemStone about the installation, and explain how to setup their environment.

Each user must:

  • Set the environment variable GEMSTONE to the full pathname (starting with a slash) of the GemStone/S 64 Bit 3.5.6 directory.
  • update their path to include the $GEMSTONE/bin directory.
  • Optionally, update the man path (MANPATH variable) to include the $GEMSTONE/doc directory. GemStone provides man pages for utility functions.

These last two steps can be done using scripts that are part of the GemStone distribution. The directory $GEMSTONE/bin contains the files gemsetup.sh and gemsetup.csh, which define the GemStone environment for users by modifying the PATH and MANPATH variables to include $GEMSTONE/bin and $GEMSTONE/doc, respectively.

For example:

unix> export GEMSTONE=installdir
unix> export PATH=$GEMSTONE/bin:$PATH

If the user will use GemStone frequently, consider adding these steps to the login shell initialization file.

Install the default TimeZone

GemStone/S 64 Bit is shipped with a default time zone of US Pacific. If you are in another Time Zone, edit the file installtimezone.txt in the GemStone upgrade directory, then file it in as SystemUser.

Further Configuration and Administration

This chapter has guided you through installation of GemStone/S 64 Bit 3.5.6, with the objective of getting a simple, default configuration up and running.

The next chapters explain the process of upgrading a previous version of GemStone/S 64 Bit to version 3.5.6; and Chapter 5 provides information on GemBuilder for Smalltalk.

For more information and details on customizing your GemStone object server, Gem client processes, and setting up distributed configurations, see the System Administration Guide.

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