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18. Installing the DB2 Information Center

The DB2 Information Center delivers the DB2 product documentation inside an Eclipse-based help system, and provides a convenient way to search and utilize the DB2 documentation.

18.1. Installing the Information Center locally

To begin, mount the DB2 Information Center CD in your system drive, or if you downloaded the compressed file through the Express-C website, expand the tarball containing the installation utilities.

Change to the base directory (doce/disk1/) and run the db2setup utility. This will launch the DB2 setup wizard. You can also use the other setup methods, but since the GUI installation sets up and configures everything for you, it's the method I recommend.

Installation Steps:

  1. Select the "Install a Product" option from the launcher, and then click the "Install New" button in the main panel.

  2. Read the description and click "Next".

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

  4. By default, the installation script will install the Information Center locally and generate a response file. The choice is up to you, but we're only doing a local install, so choose the "Install DB2 Information Center on this computer" option instead. 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 MB to 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 "db2icv91".

    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.

    These settings will change the configuration for all DB2 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

18.1.1. Post-installation notes

You can change which 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 /opt/ibm/db2ic/V9/cfg directory. The 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 a port under the maximum of 65535).

After making any changes, do a

/etc/init.d/db2icdv9 restart
to have your changes picked up by the Information Center (see below for more details on the db2icd daemon).

18.2. 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 db2icdv9 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 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 /opt/ibm/db2ic/V9/cfg/db2ic.conf file.

  2. stop — Halts a running Information Center.

  3. restart — 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.

18.3. Accessing an installed Information Center

There are three possible methods to access the DB2 Information Center:

  • Via the publib.boulder.ibm.com Web site (this is the default option enabled during a DB2 installation)

  • Via an intranet machine that is hosting the DB2 Information Center within your own organization

  • Via an Information Center that is installed and set up on your local machine

You can configure which access method will be used, either during the DB2 installation (only by specifying a "Custom" installation), or afterwards in the tools configuration panel (in the GUI tools), or from the command line.

To make the change using 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 environment settings are blank, which means that DB2 defaults to the http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/db2help/ Web site.

To invoke the DB2 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 Information Center from the command line, issue any of these commands:

  • db2icdocs
  • db2help
  • db2ic
  • db2cc -ic