Virtual Network Computing (VNC)
A free X window server running natively on IBM i
Virtual Network Computing (VNC) is a free X window server running also natively on IBM i. VNC offers to SAP customers on IBM i the possibility to run GUI related SAP tools directly on i.
Company: IBM Deutschland
Starting with IBM i 5.4, the product 5799PTL (IBM Tools for Developers for i5/OS) includes VNC. VNC is an X window server running natively on IBM i. This means that the graphical output of a program is handled on IBM i and only the presentation of the output is done by a client software on Windows or Linux. This offers the possibility to use GUI related SAP tools directly without starting every single time an extra program or browser for presenting the graphical output. Once the VNC software is available and started you can start any GUI related tool without extra work to make the output visible. Especially the stopping and restarting of a tool becomes easier.
VNC should be used by experts only. It is not officially supported by SAP. The supported way to start an SAP tool is described in the SAP installation documentation or the SAP Help.
This How-to page promotes VNC. It shall motivate SAP customers on i to try out whether VNC helps them to work more efficiently with GUI related SAP tools on IBM i.
A sufficient and complete description of VNC on i is available from IBM. You can find the IBM documentation using this url:
There are two typical scenarios to use VNC as an SAP customer. First the installation of new SAP systems and second the maintenance of already running SAP systems.
How-to use VNC
The next sections describe in detail the use of VNC. Especially the handling of the three GUI related tools SAPinst, JSPM, and Configtool is explained.
I. Initial Preparation of VNC (only done once)
II. Initial Preparation of an IBM i User for VNC (only done once per user)
Create a VNC password file for your IBM i user you plan to use for VNC (for example the SAP system user <SID>ADM or the installation user SAPIUSR - the creation of an installation user is described in the installation documentation). You only need to do this the first time you want to use VNC or when you want to change your VNC password. Create a file named passwd containing your encrypted password by running the following commands on your IBM i host:
III. Starting the VNC Server and the VNC Client
IV. Starting SAPinst Using VNC
Note: This procedure does not work with the old SAPinst running on Windows which relies on the TMKSVR. It only works with the SAPinst running on PASE directly started on IBM i.
Prerequisite: VNC is already running as described above.
Perform the following steps to start SAPinst:
The SAPinstGUI appears in your VNC viewer on your Windows PC.
V. Stopping the VNC Server
After your installation or maintenance task is done you can stop the VNC server by using command:
VI. Starting Maintenance SAP Tools Using VNC
To start other programs than SAPinst in principle you just have to do the same steps as before. Only slide differences have to be taken into account. Especially take care that you are using the SAP system user <SID>ADM for maintenance tasks.
The following steps are the same for the SAP tools JSPM und Configtool:
A. Starting the JSPM Using VNC
Depending on the SAP release the JSPM is handled differently for IBM i. The program JSPM is always started by a script file named go directly on the IBM i host. But for old releases a batch file StartGUI.bat on Windows is needed and for new releases a browser is needed to connect to the running JSPM on i. Starting the JSPM using VNC does not need a batch file
Start the JSPM as <SID>ADM using the following two commands:
After some moments the GUI of the JSPM appears in your VNC viewer on your Windows PC.
B. Starting the Configtool Using VNC
The standard way for IBM i is to start the configtool on a Windows PC by double-clicking on the batch file configtool.bat in the directory \usr\sap\<SID>\<instance>\j2ee\configtool.bat. But it is also possible to start the configtool directly on IBM i using VNC:
Start the configtool as <SID>ADM using following two commands:
Now the GUI of the Configtool appears in your VNC viewer on your Windows PC.