Avaya Shell Basics

Avaya Shell Basics

By the end of this post you will know the basics Avaya Aura Acronyms, commands, and procedures.

A lot has changed since the Avaya multi-vantage days. More and more, we find ourselves loading patches, updating service packs, dealing with Software Administrators, assisting, and adding virtual servers (machines) to their existing environment.

About two summers ago, I found myself deploying 5 VMs, and one SBCE for a client here in FL. The customer was adding System Platform, AAM, AES, SAL, and WebLM servers to their existing solution.

To be honest, I was there holding hands, and making sure that all the players involved had the assistance that they needed. There were some other engineers configuring the AES, CM, and SBCE, and I was responsible for the initial configuration.

From loading the OVAs, assisting creating the virtual machines, to rack and stack the SBCE, and the Media Gateways. I was pretty much doing it all by myself. It took around 4 days to have all the components in place.

I found myself having to learn on the go. I didn’t know what an OVA or OVF was. A couple of nights before, I did research and read all about it. So here, I bring you in one blog post, most the basic stuff that you need to know to begin the process.

Here I share 12 keys to learn Avaya Aura Linux

  • 1.- Distros
  • 2.- Bourne Shell
  • 3.- Software Packages and Acronyms
  • 4.- File Delivery and Structure
  • 5.- File Estruture and Permissions
  • 6.- Directory structure
  • 7.- Help Tools
  • 8.- Navigation commands
  • 9.- Utility commands
  • 10.- Environmental commands
  • 11.- History commands
  • 12.- The vi editor
  • References

1.- Distros

Using the RedHat for Enterprise and SentOS for SME. The Bourne Again Shell “BASH” is a command processor allowing you to type commands which ultimately will execute an action; these actions are normally script files analyzing variables and conditions.

2.- Bourne Shell

The roll of the command shell is to provide the user with a way to navigate the filesystem, launch and manage other programs. It provides a scripting framework for automating tasks. A quick way to learn which shell is active, run the ‘echo $SHELL” command.

3.- Software Packages and Acronyms

  • RHEL – Read Hat Enterprise Linux
  • ESXi – Are a group VMware group of tools that consist on the ESXi-Host, which runs the ESXi-Hypervisor software.
  • ESXi-Hypervisor – it is a platform that runs multiple operating systems on a host computer at the same time.
  • vSphere Client – it’s an application that connects to either a vCenter Server or a ESXi Server.
  • Vmotion – It enables the live migration of running virtual machines without interrupting service.

4.- File Delivery and Structure

  • Cluster – is a partition done when deploying a new VM (OVA)
  • tar – Tape archive tool or tape archiver (compressed files)
  • OVA – Open Virtual Appliance (contain files zipped into a single file structure; e.g. tar)
  • OVF – Open Virtualization Format (it contains packaged vm(s))
  • PAM -Pluggable Authentication Modules
  • RPM – ReHat Package Management (normally server’s patches)

5.- File structure

The filesystem Structure consist on data blocks, and inode tables.

when running a ll or ls -lrt command, you will notice some characters shown at the left part of your emulation window. The first character shown identifies the following=

  •   regular file
  • d directory
  • l Link
  • c special character
  • b Block
  • p Pipe
  • s Socket


  • Read = r – symbol / 4= decimal / 100 = binary
  • Write=   w- symbol / 2= decimal / 010 = binary
  • Execute= x- symbol / 1= decimal / 001 = binary

when put together it looks something like this image

File Structure

6.- Directory estruture

  • Proc – a processor is just a folder
  • etc – system configuration files
  • Home – users’ home directory
  • Root – The root home directory
  • var – variable data 
  • opt – third party applications gets installed here
  • usr – unix system resources – contains fonts, documentations, resources for application
  • tmp – is for temporary files. 10 days later it will be deleted by the system

7.- Help tools

  • man pages – these are manuals created to help you understand most of the tools available, simply type “man ls” and it will display the help file corresponding to the LS command. To exit out of the man help pages, just press the Q in your keyboard for quit.
  • – -help – It provides a basic template of how to run the command

8.- Navigation Commands

  • cd –  change directory
  • cd / – will also take you back to system’s root directory
  • cd . –  current directory
  • cd .. – will take you up one level
  • ls – list existing files and directories
  • echo $PATH = outputs the path.
  • pwd – displays the working directory

9.- Utility commands

  • date – self explanatory
  • mv – move files
  • rm – deletes files
  • cp – copies files
  • cat – displays entire file
  • less – same as cat, but normally used when displaying larger files
  • w, finger, users, and who – display accounts currently connected to the server
  • whoami – displays which account you are currently logged on as
  • lsof – displays open files
  • pstree – display system hierarchy
  • /sbin/ifconfig eth0  and ifconfig -a — displays some ethernet’s 0 configuration information.
  • grep ServerType /etc/ecs.conf – will display the server type (go to the reference section for server details.).
  • df – It displays how much space the file system is using and where it’s mounted.
  • df -hT – the h= human readable and the T= Filesystem type; displaying the size and available space allocated to each file system.
  • dmesg – this command allows you to see the Linux Kernel boot logs stored in /var/log/dmesg.
  • mount -o loop – It mounts files systems (use whenever copying ISOs to the local file system, avoiding the need of an external media such as flash-drives and dvd-rom drives.).
  • ssh – (secure access link) allows secure connecting between servers
  • sftp – secure file transfers
  • scp – secure copy

10.- Environmental Commands

Most of these commands are only available in the Communications Manager Server.

  • environment / env – displays system environment
  • almdisplay – display alarms
  • almclear  -n #id – Clear alarms
  • displaydenialevents – self explanatory
  • productid – self explanatory
  • displaypwd – displays Authentication File information
  • fasttop – realtime memory usage. It shows services and running applications. to exit press CRTL+C
  • hardware_info – displays the existing server’s memory and HDD sizes.
  • iostat -m – shows the CPU Average Usage, and HDDs.
  • sar – show system activity over time based on sad logs displaying data from 10 mins interval.
  • restartcause – self explanatory
  • statapp and systat – Displays server application status
  • statusserver and server – both of these commands output the same swversion – display system release and patches installed.
  • statuslicense – self explanatory

11.- History Commands

these are useful to find out which commands were previously executed, and linux accounts login information.

  • lastlog – displays server accounts, and login information.
  • history – shows previous executed commands.

12.- The vi editor

There are other editors out there, but I prefer the good old vi editor.

This editor has two modes command mode and insert mode. To return back to the command mode from the insert mode press ESC twice.

Basic Cursor Movement Commands

  • h – move the cursor to the left
  • j – move the cursor down one line
  • k –  move the cursor up one line
  • l – move the cursor to the right

Basic Editing Commands

  • i – switch to insert mode
  • ESC – switch to command mode
  • a –  move right and switch to insert mode (append)
  • x – delete the character under the cursor
  • dd – delete the line under the cursor
  • dw –  deletes the entire word

Copy and Paste

  • yy – will copy the line
  • yw –  copy from the cursor position to the end of the word
  • y$ – copy from the cursor position to the end of the line.
  • yt c – copy from the cursor position to the first ‘c’ forward.
  • p – paste
  • shift+p – paste to the left of the cursor, or above it if pasting one or more lines.

Saving and exiting

  • :w – write (save) the file to disk
  • :q – quit (exit) if all changes have been saved
  • :wq or SHIFT+Z+SHIFT+Z – save and exit
  • :w! – save the file even if it is marked read-only
  • :q! – exit even if changes have not been saved
  • :wq! – save and exit even if the file is read-only


  • to go to a straight line in the file type= :136 (136 is the line number)
  • gg – move to the very beginning of the file
  • /moon – move to the word moon
  • /hour|day – searches for hour and day


Sever Types=

  • xen = Virtual Platform
  • icc = S8300
  • tn8400 = TN8400
  • ibmx305 = S8500A
  • ibmx306 = S8500B
  • ibmx306m = S8500C
  • ibmx305 = S8500A
  • ibmx306 = S8500B
  • ibmx306m = S8500C
  • isp2100 = S8700
  • dl380g3 = S8710
  • dl385g1 = S8720
  • hs20 = HS20 Blade
  • hs20_8832_vm = HS20 VM Blade


Get my fresh content


For a total list of SHELL commands open the link, page 8= https://downloads.avaya.com/css/P8/documents/100059380


I purposely left some commands, to let you share them with us!

So go ahead, and leave us a comment. I can’t wait to see which ones you frequently use the most.


Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.