There are some links which are stored in /usr/lib directory ... So, if you install multiple versions, only one of them can be available in that directory ... Therefore care has to be taken to know when using those files .. IBM recommends to use db2rmln to remove those links before installing multiple versions
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The problem we were having was that the db2 environment was not being set properly and therefore we were having strange things happen when we ran normal db2 commands against the instance we wanted to be connected to.
We wound up changing our db2env script to include an if statement, where if it is the 8.1.7 instance, it ran the .db2env for that instance. That way, we can switch between the different (v8.1.5 and v8.1.7) binaries.
On your comment on the "db2rmln" command that IBM recommends... We did not see in the fixpack instructions where this was said to run. Because of this, the db2rmln was not run before we applied the 8.1.7 altfixpack. Things seem to be working okay so far. Please let me know if you think this could become an issue...