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Migrating Users from One AIX System to Another AIX System

This document discusses migrating users from one AIX system to another. This does not include transferring the user's personal data or home directories.
The information in this document applies to AIX 5.2 and above.

Since the files involved in the following procedure are flat ASCII files and their format has not changed from V4 to V5, the users can be migrated between systems running the same or different versions of AIX (for example, from V4 to V5).

Files that can be copied over: 
/etc/group 
/etc/passwd
/etc/security/group 
/etc/security/limits 
/etc/security/passwd
/etc/security/.ids 
/etc/security/environ 
/etc/security/.profile 
 
NOTE: Edit the passwd file so the root entry is as follows

 root:!:0:0::/:/usr/bin/ksh

When you copy the /etc/passwd and /etc/group files, make sure they contain at least a minimum set of essential user and group definitions.

Listed specifically as users are the following:
root
daemon
bin
sys
adm
uucp
guest
nobody
lpd
Listed specifically as groups are the following:

system
staff
bin
sys
adm
uucp
mail
security
cron
printq
audit
ecs
nobody
usr 

If the bos.compat.links fileset is installed, you can copy the /etc/security/mkuser.default file over. If it is not installed, the file belongs in the /usr/lib/security directory.
If you copy over mkuser.default, changes must be made to the stanzas. Replace group with pgrp, and program with shell. A proper stanza should look like the following:

    user: 
            pgrp = staff 
            groups = staff 
            shell = /usr/bin/ksh 
            home = /home/$USER 
 
The following files may also be copied over, as long as the AIX version in the new machine is the same:

   /etc/security/login.cfg 
   /etc/security/user 
 
NOTE: If you decide to copy these two files, open the /etc/security/user file and make sure that variables such as tty, registry, auth1 and so forth are set properly with the new machine. Otherwise, do not copy these two files, and just add all the user stanzas to the new created files in the new machine.

Once the files are moved over, execute the following:

    usrck -t ALL 
    pwdck -t ALL 
    grpck -t ALL 
 
This will clear up any discrepancies (such as uucp not having an entry in  /etc/security/passwd). Ideally this should be run on the source system before copying over the files as well as after porting these files to the new system.
NOTE: It is possible to find user ID conflicts when migrating users from older versions of AIX to newer versions. AIX has added new user IDs in different release cycles. These are reserved IDs and should not be deleted. If your old user IDs conflict with the newer AIX system user IDs, it is advised that you assign new user IDs to these older IDs.

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