1. Installing GemStone/S 64 Bit Version 3.7

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This chapter describes the procedure for installing GemStone/S 64 Bitâ„¢ version 3.7.

For new users, we recommend that you set up GemStone initially on a single machine, to ensure that all the pieces work together. 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 described here.

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. Additional system resources may be necessary to support large applications.


  • IBM RS/6000 workstation running a POWER7, POWER8, or POWER9 processor.

RAM and Page space

  • While small installations can run on systems with only a few GB of physical RAM, increasing RAM, and so allowing a larger Shared page cache, is important for GemStone performance.
  • Total page space should be at least equal to the amount of RAM. We recommend installing twice as much page space as RAM.

Disk space

  • Space for the installed distribution files—you need approximately 700MB for GemStone/S 64 Bit, and additional space for other products.
  • Additional space as required for your repository.
  • The repository files should be located on a disk drive that does not contain page space.

Operating system

  • AIX version 7.1, TL3 SP5, on POWER8
  • AIX version 7.2, TL2 SP2, on POWER7 and POWER9


A C debugger allows C-level stack traces when a GemStone error occurs, or when using the pstack command. While not required for GemStone execution, it is strongly recommended that a debugger be installed, so diagnostic error stacks will be available.

  • dbx

C/C++ Compiler

GemStone requires a C/C++ compiler if you are developing C or C++ code for user actions or a C or C++ application; as described in the GemBuilder for C manual. It is not needed for the runtime application.

  • IBM XL C/C++ for AIX, V11.1

X Windows

An X Windows server allows you to use GemStone’s graphical VSD application on AIX. 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

1. File size and file descriptors

To use extents in the file system larger than 2 GB or to increase the number of file descriptors available, make these changes in /etc/security/limits:

Fsize = -1
nofiles = 2000

You must also have the Large File System enabled when creating a jfs file system using SMIT.

We recommend that you pregrow such extents to a size greater than 2 GB so any configuration difficulty is detected when the server is first started.

The default file descriptor limit of 1024 is adequate for up to about 500 GemStone users. Each user session requires two file descriptors, and others are needed for extents, transaction logs, and overhead. Use caution and increase the default setting only when necessary because doing so can have system side effects.

2. PAM

If you are using UNIX authentication for GemStone logins, or if you run NetLDI 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 in /etc/pam.conf.

The specific GemStone service 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 authentication. AIX does not provide an LDAP module as part of the core.

For example, to allow GemStone UNIX authentication, which uses PAM, to authenticate via a custom LDAP module:

gemstone.gem   	auth   	required   	/usr/lib/security/pam_ldap

For NetLDI running as root, to authenticate directly to the AIX security subsystem, use the following. This only applies for process running as root.

gemstone.netldi  auth   required   /usr/lib/security/pam_aix

If the following “other” stack is available in /etc/pam.conf, GemStone can use this to authenticate, via a custom LDAP module:

OTHER   auth    required        /usr/lib/security/pam_ldap

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

3. Large Memory Pages

The default size for memory pages is 4K (small), and AIX also transparently supports 64K (medium) pages; AIX automatically adjusts between these two page sizes.

Current releases of AIX also support larger pages sizes, including 16MB (large) pages. If you have a large repository, using large pages may improve performance. To use large pages, you must configure AIX to allocate large pages, and configure GemStone to request large pages.

To configure GemStone to use Large Pages:

a. Determine the number of huge pages that will be needed, based on your GemStone configuration. This is calculated by the utility largememorypages. This utility needs several details to compute the number of required pages: the shared page cache size, the maximum number of GemStone processes, and the number of shared counters. These can be provided by arguments or read from an existing configuration file. When using a configuration file, the file must have large memory pages enabled (SHR_PAGE_CACHE_LARGE_MEMORY_PAGE_POLICY).

largememorypages [-e path ][-z path][-F cacheFrames | -M cacheKB]
  [ -P maxProcesses] [-C maxSharedCounters][ -p 16MB ]

You may specify the required values using a valid configuration file. This is parsed as a Stone configuration file and the necessary values extracted.

-e path
specifies an executable config file (same as startstone -e).

-z path
specifies a system config file (same as startstone -z).

If a config file is not specified, then -M or -F and -P and -C are required. These arguments can be used in addition to the configuration file, in which case they override values set or computed in the configuration file:

-F cacheFrames
shared cache size expressed in 16 KB frames

-M cacheKB
shared cache size in bytes, with a optional units suffix.

-p 16MB
Only 16MB memory pages are supported on AIX.

-P maxProcesses

-C maxSharedCounters

The following example is for an (approximately) 20GB shared page cache, 200 processes, and 1900 shared counters:

os$ largememorypages -P 200 -M 20GB -C 1900 -p 16MB
Cache config is 1310720 pages = 20480 MB,  total is 22064 MB,  overhead 7% of configured size
Large page size requested is: 16 MB.
Large page overhead: 4.80 MB
For 1310720 pages, 200 processes and 1900 shared counters, 10 pusherThreads
  required cache size is 23135780864 bytes.
Number of 16 MB large pages required: 1379
<with further update commands>

b. Configure AIX to use large pages using the following commands, which are also output by largememorypages.

os$ vmo -r -o lgpg_regions=numPages -o lgpg_size=16777216
os$ vmo -p -o v_pinshm=1

After this has been executed, the bosboot command must be run to build a new kernel image, and the system must be rebooted

You can confirm large memory pages are available for use using vmstat -l.

c. The UNIX user running the shared cache monitor must be given permission to use large memory pages.

os$ chuser capabilities=CAP_BYPASS_RAC_VMM,CAP_PROPAGATE userId

Alternatively, you can run the SPC monitor process with an effective user ID of root:

os$ chown root $GEMSTONE/sys/shrpcmonitor 
os$ chmod u+s $GEMSTONE/sys/shrpcmonitor 

d. Configure GemStone to request large pages by setting the configuration option SHR_PAGE_CACHE_LARGE_MEMORY_PAGE_POLICY = 2.

4. 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; a system time earlier than the last checkpoint time may be taken as an indication of corrupted data and prevent GemStone from starting. The time comparisons use GMT.

5. 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 OS default may not be appropriate for your system. For further information, refer to your operating system documentation.

Install the GemStone Server

Installing GemStone can be done as a regular user, but to setup a multi-user repository with appropriate 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.

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 page space is available.:

We recommend that you allow at least 10 LPs of page for running GemStone and an additional 10 LPs if you will be developing GemStone applications.

To determine the current size of the paging device(s), which is usually found on the root volume group, rootvg:

os$ /etc/lsvg rootvg -l

Paging devices are of TYPE paging, and the LPs column shows the size of each device. An LP is 4 MB.

Page space can be expanded dynamically (without rebooting) using SMIT.

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 page space for the initial installation. Mounted partitions can result in executables running on the wrong machine and in file permission problems. Existence of page space on the same drive can dramatically slow GemStone disk accesses.

4. GemStone/S 64 Bit is provided as a compressed file with a name similar to GemStone64Bit3.7.0-RISC6000.AIX.zip. Move this distribution file to the directory location in which GemStone will be installed, InstallDir.

5. Unzip the distribution file using unzip.

6. The InstallDir now contains a GemStone directory with a name similar to GemStone64Bit3.7.0-RISC6000.AIX.

In addition to subdirectories, this directory also contains the text files version.txt, which identifies this particular product and release of GemStone, and externals.sha.txt, which lists shas for external projects included in this version.

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:

os$ 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:

os$ export GEMSTONE=InstallDir/GemStone64Bit3.7.0-RISC6000.AIX

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

Licensed Customer key file

Keyfiles for GemStone version 3.6.x and earlier are not valid with v3.7. Licenced customers can email keyfiles@gemtalksystems.com or contact GemTalk Technical Support to request a keyfile for version 3.7 for their platform or platforms.

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 v3.7 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):

os$ /etc/ping hostname 8 1

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 3.7.

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:

os$ $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 3.7

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.

For development systems without strict security requirements, it is recommended to run GemStone with the NetLDI in guest mode with captive account, which simplifies debugging. In this case, do not accept the default answers to the installation script questions regarding protecting the extent and running NetLDI as root.

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:

os$ cd $GEMSTONE/install
os$ ./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.

If you are running a development system without strict security requirements, we recommend not selecting the default.

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

Allow NetLDI to Run as Root?

The NetLDI 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.

If you are running a development system without strict security requirements, we recommend not selecting the default.

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, and edit the configuration file to reference this location. For more 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.

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 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 3.7 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 3.7 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:

os$ export GEMSTONE=installdir
os$ 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 3.7, 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 3.7; and Chapter 3 provides information on GemBuilder for Smalltalk.

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

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