6. Installing the DB2 UDB Information Center

The new DB2 UDB Information Center is a new initiative from IBM to improve the documentation delivery system in Version 8.2. It's based on the open-source Eclipse architecture help system, and provides a better way to serve up the DB2 UDB documentation.

6.1. Installing the Information Center locally

In this example, we'll install the Information Center on Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 3, just because the DB2 UDB installation was so smooth.

To begin, mount the CD in the drive, or expand the tarball containing the installation utilities. Since the DB2 UDB Information Center has it's own Java based installer, any Java issues that you experienced above while installing DB2 UDB will likely recur here. However, the fixes we've provided for the DB2 UDB install should work for the DB2 UDB Information Center install too.

After mounting, run the "db2setup" utility from the base directory. This will launch the Java-based setup wizard. You can also use the other setup methods we've talked about, but since the GUI installation sets up and configures everything for you, that's the method we recommend.

Installation Steps:

  1. Select the "Install Products" option from the launcher, and then the "DB2 UDB Information Center" from the next panel, and click "Next".

  2. Read the description and click "Next".

  3. Read the license agreement, and if you agree, select "Accept" and click "Next".

  4. If you want to keep your installation settings in a response file (for installing on a different machine with identical settings), check the empty box, otherwise click "Next".

  5. Add any additional languages that you want to have installed. English is installed by default and cannot be deselected. Each additional language will add anywhere from 5–50 MB to the installation size. Click "Next".

  6. The next panel is where things get a little interesting. Here you can specify the service name that the Information Center will run under. An entry will be added to the /etc/services file for this service. You probably don't need to change this, unless you have another service running as "db2icserver".

    Also, this panel is where you specify the system port that the Information Center will use to serve up the documentation. By default, this is port 51000.

    The check box on this page will change the configuration for all DB2 UDB products installed on the local system, so that their help system will use the parameters you define here.Click "Next".

  7. Read the summary of what will be done, then click "Finish" to start the file installation

6.1.1. Troubleshooting

After installation, there are a couple of minor gotchas that you might run into.

First of all, there is a bug in the CD installation that won't unlock the CD mount. When you try to unmount the CD, you'll get the dreaded "device is busy" message from the OS. The solution here is to restart the Information Center daemon with the commands:
cd /tmp
/etc/init.d/db2icd restart
After the restart is complete, you can unmount the CD cleanly. This information is covered in an ibm.com technote (http://www.ibm.com/support/docview.wss?uid=swg21179518)

Another configuration change that you can make is to change what directory the Information Center uses as a temporary working directory. To do this, modify the DB2_ECLIPSEIC_DATA parameter in the db2ic.conf file found in the /var/db2/v81/ directory. This temporary directory can be anywhere where the "bin" user can write to.

Also in this file, you can change the port used to serve up the Information Center, in case you change your mind later on about the one you set up during the install. Just change the DB2_ECLIPSEIC_PORT parameter to the new number (though it must be under 65535).

After making any changes, do a
/etc/init.d/db2icd restart
to have your changes picked up by the Information Center (see below for more details on the db2icd daemon).

6.2. The Information Center daemon

The Information Center daemon is set up during installation and is used to launch the background process that runs the Information Center. The daemon script, named db2icd is installed to the /etc/init.d/ directory, and start up symbolic links are added to the /etc/init.d/rc.X/ run-level folders. By default, the daemon is turned on for run-levels 2, 3 and 5. You can modify these run-levels with any system init utility (chkconfig, ntsysv, or any of the X-based variants).

There are 5 commands you can pass to the daemon:

  1. start — Starts the Information Center, using the configuration parameters set in the /var/db2/v81/db2ic.conf file.

  2. stop — Brings down the Information Center.

  3. restartor reload— A combination command that stops, then starts the daemon again.

  4. reload — Same as restart.

  5. status — Provides information on whether the Information Center is running, and if it is running, what the process IDs (PID) are.

6.3. Accessing an installed Information Center

There are three places where you can access the DB2 UDB Information Center from your client:

  1. Access the publib.boulder.ibm.com Web site (this is the default set during a client installation)

  2. Access an intranet machine that is hosting the DB2 UDB Information Center within your own organization

  3. Access an Information Center that is set up on your local machine

You can configure the access points during the installation (only by specifying a "Custom" installation) or afterwards either in the tools configuration panel (in the GUI tools), or from the command line.

For the GUI tools (Control Center), open the Tools menu, select Tools Settings, and then the Documentation tab. On this panel, you can specify a host URL and port where an Information Center can be found. When putting a hostname in, do not add the "http://" prefix, or any subdirectories – just type in the hostname, and the internal code will do the rest.

To change the access points from the command line, execute these commands:
db2set DB2_DOCHOST=host_URL
db2set DB2_DOCPORT=host_port
where host_URL is the location hostname of the Information Center. This could be: mydocserver.myorg.net or localhost (for a local installation), and host_port is the port number where the Information Center was installed.

By default, these DB2 UDB environment settings are blank, which means that DB2 UDB defaults to the http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/db2help/ Web site.

To invoke the DB2 UDB Information Center from the GUI tools, click on the "?" icon in the toolbar, any of the "Help" hyperlinks or buttons, or by selecting any of the menu items in the "Help" menu.

To invoke the DB2 UDB Information Center from the command line, issue the db2icdocs or db2helpcommands.