AIX Startup Modes

Startup Modes

There are usually 4 startup modes available in AIX, they are Normal, SMS, Maintenance and Diagnostics.


  • System at a working stage
  • Multi-User mode
  • All process are up and running.
  • It show login screen to logon to the system.

System Management Service (SMS)

  • Using F1, we can go to SMS mode (RIPL)
  • Not AIX
  • Runs from the firmware
  • Used to select & set normal bootlist and from where the system want to boot or bootdevice
  • Used to set Power-On password and Supervisor password

Maintenance Mode

  • Maintenance mode
  • Fix machine problem that won’t boot in normal mode/boot
  • Used to recover root password
  • Restoration the mksysb backup from tape should be performed in this mode.
  • F5 to press the service bootlist


  • When your system doesn’t boot and you feel there could be a device related problem, you can startup in diagnostics mode
  • Diagnose and check the device for potential problems and then try for a normal startup.


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