AFS(1) AFS Command Reference AFS(1)NAMEafs - 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
kas Interface to the Authentication Server for administering security
and authentication information. This aspect of OpenAFS has been
pts Interface to the Protection Server for administering AFS ID and
group membership information.
uss Interface for automated administration of user accounts.
Deprecated, may be removed from a future version of OpenAFS. See
uss man page for more detail.
vos Interface to the Volume Server and Volume Location (VL) Server for
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]
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 (deprecated) 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 OpenAFS 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
potential 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
commands in this suite.
· getdate is the operation code. It tells the BOS Server on the
specified server machine (in this case "fs1.abc.com") to report the
modification dates of binary files in the local /usr/afs/bin
· "-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
values. The switch is -file and the values are "ptserver" and
"kaserver". This argument tells the BOS Server to report the
modification dates on the files /usr/afs/bin/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
neighbors. Spaces rather than commas also separate multiple values of
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
shortening parts of the command line. It is always acceptable to type a
command 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
prescribed 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
arguments; 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
· 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
current 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
(identified by the -server switch) and binary file name (identified by
the -file switch). The second argument accepts multiple values. By
complying 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
command 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
argument 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
possible 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
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
versions of AFS know the former name. For example, bos listhosts
has the alias bos getcell, its former name. It is acceptable to
abbreviate 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
OpenAFS QuickStart Guide 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
/vicepiv is the last permissible AFS partition name. In practice it
will not work well; stopping with /vicepiu is highly recommended.
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 /usr/vice/etc/CellServDB file but sometimes
depending on the ability of the local name service to resolve the
corresponding 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
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
description or alias:
% <command_name> -help
The apropos operation code displays the short description of any
command 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
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
privilege. See the reference page for each command.
SEE ALSOafsd(8), afsmonitor(1), backup(8), bos(8), bosserver(8), buserver(8),
butc(8), dlog(1), dpass(1), fileserver(8), fms(8), fs(1), fstrace(8),
kadb_check(8), kas(8), kaserver(8), kdb(8), klog(1), knfs(1),
kpasswd(1), kpwvalid(8), package(1), pagsh(1), prdb_check(8), pts(1),
ptserver(8), rxdebug(1), salvager(8), scout(1), sys(1), tokens(1),
translate_et(1), unlog(1), up(1), upclient(8), upserver(8), uss(8),
vldb_check(8), vlserver(8), volinfo(8), volserver(8), vos(1),
xfs_size_check(8), xstat_cm_test(1), xstat_fs_test(1)COPYRIGHT
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.
OpenAFS 2013-10-09 AFS(1)