Putting the i(Series) in TCP/IP

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IBM introduced TCP/IP protocol on the AS/400 with OS/400 V3R2. Still today, however, this protocol remains underutilized even though many iSeries TCP/IP applications have been added, including a Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) server and a Domain Name System (DNS) server. Today, the iSeries supports many TCP/IP applications you may not be aware of. In this article, we'll look at some of these applications and explore how to make the most of TCP/IP.

Your TCP/IP Configuration

Before we examine the TCP/IP "goodies," let's look at some of the components of your TCP/IP configuration. Navigate to the Configure TCP/IP menu by typing the command CFGTCP. Figure 1 shows the menu that is displayed.

Figure 1: This menu contains the options to configure TCP/IP. (Click images to enlarge.)

Option 1 displays the Work with TCP/IP Interfaces display, which is used to configure options related to each interface. When you modify interfaces through this display, you'll see the screen shown in Figure 2.

Figure 2: Use this screen to modify a TCP/IP interface.

On this screen, the Line Description can contain either the name of a previously created line description or special values *VIRTUALIP, *OPC, or *LOOPBACK. One unusual capability when creating a TCP/IP interface on the iSeries is that you can define two unique IP addresses to a single Ethernet adapter. This means that you can actually have your iSeries accessible to two distinct and separate subnets. Figure 3 illustrates this using the Work with TCP/IP Interfaces display.

Figure 3: A single iSeries Ethernet line can be assigned multiple IP addresses.

Notice that IP addresses and are both assigned to line ETHLINE. Based on the subnet masking shown, an IP address in the range of through will be able to access the system through address Again, based on the subnet mask defined, any computer with an IP address in the range of through will have access to the system through IP address Option 2 on this menu defines TCP/IP routes to other networks. If, for example, your iSeries existed on a TCP/IP network with a subnet mask of and you needed to give iSeries access to a network with a subnet mask of, which is accessed through a router with an IP address of, you would use the ADDTCPRTE command to add a route for this network:


Alternatively, if the iSeries was in TCP/IP network with a proxy server at IP address, you could configure the iSeries to allow Internet access by creating a default route using this command:


TCP/IP port restrictions are defined through option 4 on the CFGTCP menu. You can use this screen to restrict access to specific TCP/IP services by user. Figure 4 shows the Work with TCP/IP Port Restrictions display.

Figure 4: With port restrictions, you can control access to a specific TCP/IP application.

You can specify a lower and upper port number as well as whether the application is TCP or UDP protocol. If a port restriction is created for a given port or range of ports, only the user specified will have access to the defined port or ports. In the example above, the user MFAUST will be the only one with access to ports 20 and 21, which are generally used for the FTP service. This leads us to the topic of TCP/IP applications.

iSeries TCP/IP Applications

The iSeries has a complete set of standard TCP/IP applications, yet I'm constantly amazed by how underutilized those applications are in most iSeries shops. The following table contains a list of the standard TCP/IP applications on the iSeries. Many of these applications will look familiar. Others may not.

File Transfer Protocol. Used to send and receive files to and from an iSeries.
Terminal emulation protocol used to log into the iSeries or remote systems.
Hypertext Transfer Protocol. Used by Internet browser-based applications.
Domain Name Service. Used to keep track of server names and associated IP addresses.
Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol. Used to automatically configure TCP/IP network clients based on parameters defined on the DHCP server.
Post Office Protocol. Used to retrieve email from an Internet mail server.
Simple Network Management Protocol. Allows TCP/IP-based devices (computers, printers, routers) to be monitored using a single protocol.
Simple Mail Transfer Protocol. Also used for email purposes, generally used to send messages to an Internet mail server.
Remote execution command protocol. Allows commands to be issued from a client to execute on the server.
Bootstrap Protocol. Similar to DHCP. Used to assign IP addresses to network-connected devices.
Line Printer Daemon protocol. The TCP/IP standard for sending data to a network-connected printer within a TCP/IP network.


FTP is commonly used to download files from Internet Web sites. What you may not know is that you can also use FTP to execute commands and call programs on the iSeries. This is extremely useful when you want to create a process that will run a program on the iSeries to create a data file to be downloaded. Here's an example:

get ftpfile.ftpmbr ftpfile.txt

This sample FTP script starts by connecting to the system at IP address The next two lines send the user name and password to be used to log into the system. Next, the FTP command QUOT is used with the ADDLIBLE command to add any required libraries to the current FTP session's library list. The QUOT FTP command allows us to run OS/400 commands from an FTP session. The FTP session works much like a Client Access 5250 session or Telnet session in that, when you log in, your session receives a default library list that is currently defined on the QFTP job description. Any libraries added to this library list (as in the example) will remain in the session library list until the session is logged out or ended. The next command in the script again uses the QUOT command to execute the command CALL BLDFTPDTA, which would be a program to build the data to be downloaded. Then, the FTP command "get ftpfile.ftpmbr ftpfile.txt" retrieves the contents of the physical file named ftpfile with the physical file member named ftpmbr into the PC file ftpfile.txt. Finally, the quit command ends the FTP session.

This technique could be modified slightly to send data to the iSeries and then run a program to process the data sent. This would be done by first replacing the "get" command with a "send ftpfile.txt ftpfile.ftpmbr" command and then moving the QUOT CALL command to after the new send command. You can execute this script from a Windows-based PC client by using the FTP command's –S option:

FTP –S c:myftpscp.scp


Telnet protocol is used by within the Personal Communications portion of iSeries Access for Windows for terminal emulation purposes. What you may not realize is that most other terminal emulators will also allow you to access an interactive display session on the iSeries. To do this from a Windows workstation, simply go to a command prompt and type this:


When this statement is executed, a connection will be attempted to the specified IP. Since the destination system is an iSeries, an iSeries sign-on screen will be displayed for this IP address (Figure 5).

Figure 5: A sign-on display from a Telnet session looks like this.

The drawback to using the Windows Telnet client for this type of connection is that the keyboard mapping does not conform to iSeries standards. This means that function keys and other control keys have to be sent using unusual key sequences. "Roll up," for example, is achieved by pressing CTRL+U, while CTRL+D is "Roll down." The current key mapping info can be viewed via the DSPVTMAP command when signed into the iSeries from a VT100 Telnet client. The following table shows the standard keyboard mappings.

Standard Keyboard Mappings
5250 Function
VT Key(s)
5250 Function
VT Key(s)
5250 Attention
Redraw Screen
5250 Help
ESC-1 or F1
Page Down (Roll Up)
ESC-2 or F2
Page Up (Roll Down)
ESC-3 or F3
System Request
ESC-4 or F4
Erase Input
Error Reset
Field Exit
Field Minus
New Line
ESC+Line Feed
Field Advance
Field Backspace
Cursor Up
Up arrow
Cursor Down
Down Arroe
Cursor Left
Left Arrow
Cursor Right
Right Arrow
Clear Screen
Test Request
Toggle Indicator Lights

Despite the keyboard mapping issue, this can be useful when you need to access the iSeries from a PC that doesn't have iSeries Access for Windows installed. Since most "non-Windows" operating systems include a Telnet client, this can also be an option for accessing an iSeries from a machine running Linux or UNIX.


HTTP is used by WebSphere and the other iSeries Web server options (Apache, Tomcat, etc.). This has become one of the more commonly used iSeries TCP/IP components, and with good reason. The universal appeal of Web browser interfaces in addition to the multitude of options now available for developing HTTP browser-based applications on the iSeries make this a great alternative for developing iSeries applications. Conveniently, the iSeries includes an administrative console that is (ironically enough) browser-based. You can access this application from your Web browser through port 2001 by navigating to, where represents the IP address of your iSeries. Figure 6 shows the browser-based admin tool for the iSeries Web server.

Figure 6: This is the browser-based HTTP admin console.

From this console, you can configure Web servers as well as start and stop individual server instances.


LPD servers not only allow iSeries printers to be accessed from a TCP/IP client, but also allow the iSeries to access any network-connected, TCP/IP-enabled printer, including printers connected through general-purpose interface boxes like the HP Jetdirect printer server boxes. When configuring these devices, you have two separate options: creating a *LAN device description for the printer or creating a remote output queue. To configure a device description as *LAN, the print server must support either IBM or HP Printer Job Languages (PJL) by defining the System Driver Program (SYSDRVPGM) parameter as either *IBMPJLDRV or *HPPJLDRV on the CRTDEVPRT command. Here's an example:

     LANATTACH(*IP) PORT(9100) FONT(11)                  

This command creates a printer device description for a LAN-attached HP/PCL6-compatible IP printer named LPDPRT01 at IP address Older print server devices that do not support either of these options can also be used for iSeries printing by using the CRTOUTQ command:


Replace RMTQUENAME with a name identifying your printer and replace with the IP address of your printer. You can also use the MFRTYPMDL parameter to define the manufacturer type and model number of the printer being defined. And you can use the RMTPRTQ option to define the name of the specific port to which the printer is connected in the case of multi-port printer servers. With this option, you can also specify a shared printer name when connecting to a printer on an iSeries or Windows printer server. This is where using the iSeries as a TCP/IP printer server comes into play. For example, you can send a text file from a Windows-based PC to an iSeries printer using this LPR command:

LPR MYFILE.TXT –S –P prtdevname

Here, represents the iSeries IP address and prtdevname represents the printer device description on the iSeries. You can also create an LPR port that points to an iSeries printer from a Windows-based PC. To add a generic text printer using this method, go to the Windows control panel and select Add Printer. When the wizard is displayed, click Next and identify that you are installing a local printer. (This may not make sense, but Windows looks at an LPR printer device as a local printer port, not a network printer.) Then, select the Create a New Port radio button and choose the LPR Port option from the drop-down box. You'll see the dialog shown in Figure 7.

Figure 7: Use this dialog when adding an LPR port to the iSeries in Windows.

On this dialog, the first box defines the IP address of your iSeries. The second box identifies the name of the device description for the corresponding iSeries printer. Click OK, and the wizard will prompt you for the device manufacturer's name and model. After you select the appropriate printer from the provided list, your new printer will be installed.


The iSeries also has the ability to send Internet email messages using SMTP. The configuration requirements are minimal and begin with using the CHGSMTPA command:


The IP address shown represents the IP address of the server used to relay Internet email messages on your network. Next, use the ADDDIRE command to create a gateway for sending messages to the mail server:


Finally, use the CHGDSTA command to define the route to your SMTP server:


This command uses the previously created directory entry as the route for any SMTP email messages. Once you've made these configuration changes, you can send messages using the SNDDST command:

SNDDST TYPE(*LMSG) TOINTNET((This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.')) 
       DSTD('Test SMTP Message')                             
       LONGMSG('This is a test message to illustrate how easy 
                it is to configure the iSeries for sending  
                SMTP Internet mail messages.')               

After you replace the sample email address with a valid Internet email address, the message is sent to the desired recipient.

For more information on using the iSeries for SMTP, see The iSeries and AS/400 Programmer's Guide to Cool Things.

These are just a few examples of the powerful TCP/IP-based applications available. In addition to these canned applications, you can create your own custom IP-enabled applications using the iSeries Socket APIs. When you consider all of the IP options available, it's easy to see why IBM put the i(Series) in TCP/IP.

Mike Faust is an Application Programmer for Fidelity Integrated Financial Solutions in Maitland, Florida. Mike is also the author of the books The iSeries and AS/400 Programmer's Guide to Cool Things and Active Server Pages Primer. You can contact Mike at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Mike Faust

Mike Faust is a senior consultant/analyst for Retail Technologies Corporation in Orlando, Florida. Mike is also the author of the books Active Server Pages Primer, The iSeries and AS/400 Programmer's Guide to Cool Things, JavaScript for the Business Developer, and SQL Built-in Functions and Stored Procedures. You can contact Mike at

MC Press books written by Mike Faust available now on the MC Press Bookstore.

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    • How do I replicate the IFS or back it up?
    • How do I secure the IFS?

    Understanding what the integrated file system is and how to work with it must be a critical part of your systems management plans for IBM i.


  • Expert Tips for IBM i Security: Beyond the Basics

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access

    Don't miss this chance to take your knowledge of IBM i security beyond the basics.



  • 5 IBM i Security Quick Wins

    SB PowerTech WC GenericIn today’s threat landscape, upper management is laser-focused on cybersecurity. You need to make progress in securing your systems—and make it fast.
    There’s no shortage of actions you could take, but what tactics will actually deliver the results you need? And how can you find a security strategy that fits your budget and time constraints?
    Join top IBM i security expert Robin Tatam as he outlines the five fastest and most impactful changes you can make to strengthen IBM i security this year.
    Your system didn’t become unsecure overnight and you won’t be able to turn it around overnight either. But quick wins are possible with IBM i security, and Robin Tatam will show you how to achieve them.

  • How to Meet the Newest Encryption Requirements on IBM i

    SB PowerTech WC GenericA growing number of compliance mandates require sensitive data to be encrypted. But what kind of encryption solution will satisfy an auditor and how can you implement encryption on IBM i? Watch this on-demand webinar to find out how to meet today’s most common encryption requirements on IBM i. You’ll also learn:

    • Why disk encryption isn’t enough
    • What sets strong encryption apart from other solutions
    • Important considerations before implementing encryption



  • Security Bulletin: Malware Infection Discovered on IBM i Server!

    SB PowerTech WC GenericMalicious programs can bring entire businesses to their knees—and IBM i shops are not immune. It’s critical to grasp the true impact malware can have on IBM i and the network that connects to it. Attend this webinar to gain a thorough understanding of the relationships between:

    • Viruses, native objects, and the integrated file system (IFS)
    • Power Systems and Windows-based viruses and malware
    • PC-based anti-virus scanning versus native IBM i scanning

    There are a number of ways you can minimize your exposure to viruses. IBM i security expert Sandi Moore explains the facts, including how to ensure you're fully protected and compliant with regulations such as PCI.



  • Fight Cyber Threats with IBM i Encryption

    SB PowerTech WC GenericCyber attacks often target mission-critical servers, and those attack strategies are constantly changing. To stay on top of these threats, your cybersecurity strategies must evolve, too. In this session, IBM i security expert Robin Tatam provides a quick recap of IBM i security basics and guides you through some advanced cybersecurity techniques that can help you take data protection to the next level. Robin will cover:

    • Reducing the risk posed by special authorities
    • Establishing object-level security
    • Overseeing user actions and data access




  • 10 Practical IBM i Security Tips for Surviving Covid-19 and Working From Home

    SB PowerTech WC GenericNow that many organizations have moved to a work from home model, security concerns have risen.

    During this session Carol Woodbury will discuss the issues that the world is currently seeing such as increased malware attacks and then provide practical actions you can take to both monitor and protect your IBM i during this challenging time.


  • How to Transfer IBM i Data to Microsoft Excel

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_Generic3 easy ways to get IBM i data into Excel every time
    There’s an easy, more reliable way to import your IBM i data to Excel? It’s called Sequel. During this webinar, our data access experts demonstrate how you can simplify the process of getting data from multiple sources—including Db2 for i—into Excel. Watch to learn how to:

    • Download your IBM i data to Excel in a single step
    • Deliver data to business users in Excel via email or a scheduled job
    • Access IBM i data directly using the Excel add-in in Sequel

    Make 2020 the year you finally see your data clearly, quickly, and securely. Start by giving business users the ability to access crucial business data from IBM i the way they want it—in Microsoft Excel.



  • HA Alternatives: MIMIX Is Not Your Only Option on IBM i

    SB_HelpSystems_WC_GenericIn this recorded webinar, our experts introduce you to the new HA transition technology available with our Robot HA software. You’ll learn how to:

    • Transition your rules from MIMIX (if you’re happy with them)
    • Simplify your day-to-day activities around high availability
    • Gain back time in your work week
    • Make your CEO happy about reducing IT costs

    Don’t stick with a legacy high availability solution that makes you uncomfortable when transitioning to something better can be simple, safe, and cost-effective.



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  • Backup and Recovery on IBM i: Your Strategy for the Unexpected

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates the routine tasks of iSeries backup and recovery, saving you time and money and making the process safer and more reliable. Automate your backups with the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution. Key features include:
    - Simplified backup procedures
    - Easy data encryption
    - Save media management
    - Guided restoration
    - Seamless product integration
    Make sure your data survives when catastrophe hits. Try the Robot Backup and Recovery Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Manage IBM i Messages by Exception with Robot

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Managing messages on your IBM i can be more than a full-time job if you have to do it manually. How can you be sure you won’t miss important system events?
    Automate your message center with the Robot Message Management Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated message management
    - Tailored notifications and automatic escalation
    - System-wide control of your IBM i partitions
    - Two-way system notifications from your mobile device
    - Seamless product integration
    Try the Robot Message Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Easiest Way to Save Money? Stop Printing IBM i Reports

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413Robot automates report bursting, distribution, bundling, and archiving, and offers secure, selective online report viewing.
    Manage your reports with the Robot Report Management Solution. Key features include:

    - Automated report distribution
    - View online without delay
    - Browser interface to make notes
    - Custom retention capabilities
    - Seamless product integration
    Rerun another report? Never again. Try the Robot Report Management Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • Hassle-Free IBM i Operations around the Clock

    SB HelpSystems SC 5413For over 30 years, Robot has been a leader in systems management for IBM i.
    Manage your job schedule with the Robot Job Scheduling Solution. Key features include:
    - Automated batch, interactive, and cross-platform scheduling
    - Event-driven dependency processing
    - Centralized monitoring and reporting
    - Audit log and ready-to-use reports
    - Seamless product integration
    Scale your software, not your staff. Try the Robot Job Scheduling Solution FREE for 30 days.

  • ACO MONITOR Manages your IBM i 24/7 and Notifies You When Your IBM i Needs Assistance!

    SB DDL Systems 5429More than a paging system - ACO MONITOR is a complete systems management solution for your Power Systems running IBM i. ACO MONITOR manages your Power System 24/7, uses advanced technology (like two-way messaging) to notify on-duty support personnel, and responds to complex problems before they reach critical status.

    ACO MONITOR is proven technology and is capable of processing thousands of mission-critical events daily. The software is pre-configured, easy to install, scalable, and greatly improves data center efficiency.