The db2support Problem with Db2 11.1, Fix Pack 3 (LUW)

IBM released fix pack 3, mod pack 3 for Db2 11.1 earlier this year, and there was a high-severity problem in the initial version of that fix pack. IBM fixed the problem and re-released the fix pack within about a day, but the bug was reported far and wide, while I’m not sure the resolution of the bug was, so I thought I’d cover it quickly.

When IBM released fixpack 3 for 11.1 back on April 10, there were quickly reports of a very serious data corruption problem caused by db2support. This is most shocking because with Db2, we do not see a lot of data corruption – I have seen it fewer than 5 times in a 17-year career, and almost all are associated with major storage subsystem issues. The other reason this is shocking is because db2support is a utility we use to generate the output to share with IBM in the case of major system issues. It is not a command we consider risky or likely to cause a problem. It is not generally something we hesitate to run on a production system.

IBM says that a very small number of people actually downloaded the fix pack before the issue was discovered and fixed, and the fix pack re-issued, and IBM individually contacted each and every client who downloaded it to let them know of the issues.

The situation is a bit strange, because usually with an issue like this, we see a replacement fixpack with a slightly different name for issues similiar to this. Usually we would expect to see Fixpack 3a, and then have the original fix pack be unavailable. In this case, IBM re-issued the fix pack, but they did not rename it in any way. If you downloaded fix pack 3 prior to April 10, you may have ththe earlier version with this issue. If you want to check an existing installation, you can do the following to verify it is OK:

  • Go to ~/sqllib/bin and run:
    strings -a db2support_internal | grep "Apr 10"
  • If this yields a line with:
    Apr 10 2018 

    Then you have the updated and OK version.

IBM published a tech note with all the details of the issues here. This issue only impacts Linux and UNIX environments.

Ember Crooks
Ember Crooks

Ember is always curious and thrives on change. She has built internationally recognized expertise in IBM Db2, spent a year working with high-volume MySQL, and is now learning Snowflake. Ember shares both posts about her core skill sets and her journey learning Snowflake.

Ember lives in Denver and work from home

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  1. Thanks for the info blog !
    Small correction:
    Db2 Version 11.1 Mod 3 Fix Pack 3 was initially released on 14th March 2018
    It apparently was corrected on April 16 (not on April 10)
    (I downloaded it on 22 March ; so that has the bug. BTW: I did NOT get notified at all by IBM , but spotted the issue on social media …. )

    Strange and Confusing is :
    The download page (,
    on 22 march displayed this as:
    “Mod 3 Fix Pack 3” Db2 Version 11.1 Mod 3 Fix Pack 3
    Signature: Build level: s1803021700 Release Date: 14.Mar.2018

    If you NOW ( 7th June 2018) look on the download site, it STILL displays that Build and Release Date …
    Would indeed be nice if IBM at least update this information: it should at least mention April 16, 2018 (and most likelt also another build level) ….

    • Nope, only in the versions of fix pack 3 downloaded prior to April 16th. Other fix packs unaffected, and Fix Pack 3 downloaded after April 16th unaffected.

      • I am upgrading from to Do you know if anyone has reported on this fixpack ? It was released on Nov 21. 2018.

        • I haven’t heard from anyone who has applied it yet. I consider fix packs stable after they’ve been out a week or two, though. Unless you have a really crazy app, they tend to be safe.

  2. Hi Amber
    I downloaded db2 11.1 in a brand new server which doesn’t have any instances/databases created yet. But found out that the software I downloaded was for only db2 products but not fixpack.. So the fixpack level is 0 on my server 🙁
    Should I uninstall the db2 and re install with fix pack software or is there a way I can just install fixpack separately to my server?

    • You can apply a fix pack to your existing code.

      If you install from the fix pack code, then you will have to download and install a license file.

      I usually install from the fix pack code, then install the license after, but there’s noting wrong with applying the fix pack after. If you don’t have any instances/databases, then you only have to run the installFixPack, and not all the other steps that normally come with a fix pack.

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