Guide to fixes

Fix terminology


An Authorized Program Analysis Report (APAR) is a problem report specific to an IBM program and release, that has an associated fix. APARs can be viewed in the APAR database.

Cumulative PTF packages

Cumulative PTF packages are the primary method of performing preventive maintenance for specific releases of the IBM i operating systems and IBM licensed programs. This type of fix package contains fixes generally recommended by IBM and is updated on a periodic basis.

Cumulative PTF packages are labeled according to the date they are released, and operating system software version. For example, Cumulative PTF package C6220730 can be broken down as follows.

Firmware fixes

The following types of firmware (Licensed Internal Code) fixes are available.

Browse Getting firmware fixes (POWER8), Getting firmware fixes (POWER7), Getting firmware fixes (POWER7) or Getting firmware fixes (POWER6) for more information on working with firmware fixes.

For information on ordering firmware fixes, see Recommended fixes.

Fix cover letter

Fix cover letters provide information about the fixes that they accompany. They explain the contents of a fix, what problem the fix resolves, what special instructions are associated with the fix, and what prerequisites or corequisites must also be installed on your system for the fix to function properly.

For more information on how to view and work with cover letters, see Fix cover letters.


Fixes are changes to your software, Licensed Internal Code, or machine code that fix known problems, add new function, and keep your server or Hardware Management Console operating efficiently. Fixes can consist of documentation updates, code updates, or both.

Software fixes are also commonly called Program Temporary Fixes (PTFs).

Group PTF

A Group PTF, also known as a PTF Group, is a name used to order and manage a group of logically related PTFs, such as database, Java, or HIPER fixes. When new fixes become available for a function, Group PTFs are dynamically updated.

To browse current Group fixes, see the Preventive Service Planning - PSP database and select the PTF Groups by Release view.

For additional information, refer to Types of fixes.

HMC fixes

Hardware Management Console (HMC) fixes are updates or changes to the machine code of the HMC.

The HMC is a dedicated workstation that runs integrated system management software. The HMC manages hardware tasks and configures logical partitions on managed IBM Power systems. It also acts as a focal point for hardware detection and reporting.

The HMC interface can be used to install and manage your HMC machine code and server firmware fixes. IBM recommends that you install HMC machine code fixes before installing server firmware fixes so the HMC is current and can handle fixes or new function updates that you apply to the server.

More information:

HIPER fixes

High impact or pervasive (HIPER) fixes are single PTFs that resolve a problem that may have a high impact on the operations of your server, or a low-impact pervasive problem that affects most IBM i partitions.

Licensed programs

Licensed programs (LPs) are IBM licensed programs such as IBM HTTP Server and WebSphere Application Server.

Marker PTF

A marker PTF is a way to identify what level of Cumulative PTF package is applied to your system. Because the set of PTFs for the same SF99xxx Group PTF number may potentially be different each time you order the PTF, a marker PTF is included with the Cumulative PTF Package PTF Group.

For additional information go to Displaying level of fixes.


Program temporary fixes (PTFs) are also referred to as fixes. A PTF is temporary only in the sense that it disappears with the next release of the product, when the code patch is integrated into the base product code.

PTFs can be downloaded through IBM's Fix Central and applied to the server or can be managed through the HMC.

PTF Group

A PTF Group, also known as a Group PTF, is a name used to order and manage a group of logically related PTFs, such as database, Java, or HIPER fixes. When new fixes become available for a function, PTF Groups are dynamically updated.

To browse current PTF Groups, see the Preventive Service Planning - PSP database and select the PTF Groups by Release view.

Recommended fixes

Recommended fixes are the set of fixes which the Rochester IBM Support Center recommends you apply to your server, in addition to the Cumulative PTF package, the HIPER Group PTF, and the Database Group PTF.

Separate recommendations are provided for each supported release for specific products or functions.

See Recommended fixes for the latest fixes and ordering information.

Server firmware fixes

Fixes for server firmware are updates or changes to the licensed internal code on your IBM i server.

Server firmware is the licensed internal code that enables hardware, such as the service processor. Server firmware fixes can be ordered using Fix Central.

For ordering information, see Recommended fixes.

Service pack

A service pack is a collection of code fixes (not PTFs) for a specific product.

For more information on service pack types and how to download and work with service packs, see the following information.

Superseded fix

A superseded fix is a PTF that has been included in a newer PTF along with additional fixes or updates.

If a PTF was temporarily applied on your server and you install a superseding PTF, the original PTF is automatically permanently applied to the server, and the new PTF is used.