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IBM AIX

“AIX” redirects here. For other uses, see AIX (disambiguation).
AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive, pronounced
/ˌeɪaɪˈɛks/[1] ) is a series of proprietary Unix operating systems developed and sold by IBM for several of its computer platforms. Originally released for the IBM 6150
RISC workstation, AIX now supports or has supported a
wide variety of hardware platforms, including the IBM
RS/6000 series and later POWER and PowerPC-based
systems, IBM System i, System/370 mainframes, PS/2
personal computers, and the Apple Network Server.
AIX is based on UNIX System V with 4.3BSDcompatible extensions. It is one of five commercial op- AIX Version 4 console login prompt
erating systems that have versions certified to The Open
Group's UNIX 03 standard (the others being Mac OS X,
Solaris, Inspur K-UX and HP-UX).[2]
Unix started life at AT&T's Bell Labs research center in
The AIX family of operating systems debuted in 1986, the early 1970s, running on DEC minicomputers. By
became the standard operating system for the RS/6000 1976, the operating system was in use at various academic
series on its launch in 1990, and is still actively developed institutions, including Princeton, where Tom Lyon and
by IBM. It is currently supported on IBM Power Systems others ported it to the S/370, to run as a guest OS unalongside IBM i and Linux.
der VM/370.[4] This port would later grow out to become
[5]
Unix offering by IBM’s competitor
AIX was the first operating system to utilize journaling UTS, a mainframe [6]
Amdahl
Corporation.
IBM’s own involvement in Unix
file systems, and IBM has continuously enhanced the
can
be
dated
to
1979,
when
it assisted Bell Labs in doing
software with features like processor, disk and network
its
own
Unix
port
to
the
370
(to be used as a build host
virtualization, dynamic hardware resource allocation (infor
the
5ESS
switch's
software),
making modifications to
cluding fractional processor units), and reliability engi[7]
the
TSS/370
hypervisor.
neering ported from its mainframe designs.[3]

1

It took until 1985 for IBM to offer its own Unix on the
platform: IX/370, developed by Interactive Systems Corporation and designed to compete with Amdahl UTS.[8]
The operating system offered special facilities for interoperating with PC/IX, Interactive/IBM’s version of Unix
for IBM PC compatible hardware, with licenses costing
$10,000 per sixteen concurrent users.[9]

History

AIX Version 1, introduced in 1986 for the IBM 6150 RT
workstation, was based on UNIX System V Releases 1
and 2. In developing AIX, IBM and Interactive Systems
Corporation (whom IBM contracted) also incorporated
source code from 4.2 and 4.3 BSD UNIX.
Among other variants, IBM later produced AIX Version
3 (also known as AIX/6000), based on System V Release
3, for their POWER-based RS/6000 platform. Since
1990, AIX has served as the primary operating system for
the RS/6000 series (later renamed IBM eServer pSeries,
then IBM System p, and now IBM Power Systems). AIX
Version 4, introduced in 1994, added symmetric multiprocessing with the introduction of the first RS/6000

IBM RS/6000 AIX file servers used for ibm.com in the 1990s

1

a jury returned a verdict finding that Novell. AIX 6 was announced in May 2007. Pin. One of the more popular desktop applications was the PageMaker desktop publishing software. enabling very high. workload partitions (which enable application mobility). For the graphical user interfaces. mouse and display.2 SMP servers and continued to evolve through the 1990s. AIX 7. IBM maintains that their license was irrevocable. together with default.client was repackaged to allow additional installation flexibility. mouse. without patible with DS on the IBM midrange AS/400 and mainusing message passing (i. the SCO Group alleged that (among other infractions) IBM had misappropriated licensed source code from UNIX System V Release 4 for incorporation into AIX. less than forty licenses for the finished Monterey Unix were ever sold before the project was terminated in 2002. the AIX source (for this initial version) consisted of one million lines of code. SCO subsequently withdrew IBM’s license to develop and distribute AIX.1 was announced in April 2010. display. alleging IBM contributed SCO’s intellectual property to the Linux codebase.tcp. in which the SCO Group filed a lawsuit against IBM.frame systems. which proved troublesome durtions channel to neighboring CPUs. the first commercial RISC chip. AIX v2 process Communication).the Athena widget set. In March 2010.net. IBM lawsuit. 2007. AIX 7. with general availability of AIX 7.2 principal feature is the Live Kernel Update capability which allows OS fixes to replace the entire AIX kernel with no impact to applications. semaphore-controlled Inter.e.1 included full role-based access control. The networking component. AIX 7. One could “hotkey” AIX 7. The RT was based on the ROMP microprocessor. In the late 1990s. culminating with AIX 4. including better scalability.2 planned for December 2015. IBM and the Santa Cruz Operation planned to integrate AIX and UnixWare into a single 32-bit/64-bit multiplatform UNIX with particular emphasis on running on Intel IA64 (Itanium) architecture CPUs. Several new features.[14] According to its developers. called Virtual Resource Manager (VRM).[11] 2 SUPPORTED HARDWARE PLATFORMS ning kernel memory and the kernel stack for applications with real-time requirements can provide performance improvements by ensuring that the kernel memory and kernel stack for an application is not paged out. and an open beta from one operating system to the next using the Alt-Tab ran until general availability of AIX 7. AIX V7. was also the standard operating system for the Apple Network Server systems sold by Apple Computer to complement the Macintosh line. and thereby being fully comprogram a cluster as if it were a single system.1 pins kernel memory and includes sup.[10] In 2003.available. licensed from Sun Microsystems. This enables TCP/IP networking. AIX was a component of the 2003 SCO v. .Much of the AIX v2 kernel was written in the PL/8 nize multiple LPARs through the multipath communica. 2 Supported hardware platforms 2. and it ran as an open beta from June 2007 until the general availability (GA) of AIX 6. bos. who argued they were the rightful owners of the copyrights covering the Unix operating system. but according to documents released in the SCO v. and Live Partition Mobility on the POWER6 a microkernel. were all controlled by a microkernel. Besides AIX v2. owns the rights to Unix. not the SCO Group. AIX 7. in a slightly modified form. IBM lawsuit.1.1.1 in September key combination. AIX administrators can use came with the X10R3 and later the X10R4 and X11 verthis new capability to cluster a pool of AIX nodes. the enhanced clustering and management capabilities were PICK OS also utilized this microkernel.3 in 1999. The keyboard.ing the migration to AIX v3.2 [13] was announced in October 2015. under Project Monterey. By sions of the X Window System from MIT. Unlike AIX 7.3. cess to support global petabyte shared memory space for and Distributed Services (DS).2 is only supported on systems based on POWER7 or later processors. Each OS in turn would get possession 2010. AIX v2 included full speed communication between processors.2M floppy disks.2 was also restructured to remove obsolete components.programming language. Version 4. The SCO Group. This was based on a design pioneered at IBM Research (the IBM 801) . who had previously ported UNIX System III to the IBM PC for IBM as PC/IX. [12] AIX 7. added. AIX is able to orga. and continued to sell and support the product until the litigation was adjudicated. as well as SNA and two networkmulti-terabyte memory address range and page table ac.ing file systems: NFS. Compilers for Fortran and C were port to allow applications to pin their kernel stack.1 includes a new built-in clustering capability called Cluster Aware AIX.[15] Installation media consisted of eight 1. enhanced security (Addition of AES encryption type for NFS v3 One of the novel aspects of the RT design was the use of and v4). attempted to revoke IBM’s license to sell or distribute the AIX operating system. disk drives and network hardware. of the keyboard.1 on November 9.1 IBM 6150 RT The original AIX (sometimes called AIX/RT) was developed for the IBM 6150 RT workstation by IBM in conjunction with Interactive Systems Corporation. A beta test version of AIX 5L for IA-64 systems was released. Major new features in AIX 6. DS had the distinction of AIX POWER7 clusters so that software developers can being built on top of SNA.

[20] 2.3. AIX/370 was released in 1990 with functional equivalence to System V Release 2 and 4.com in early 1998 The release of AIX version 3 (sometimes called AIX/6000) coincided with the announcement of the first POWER1-based IBM RS/6000 models in 1990. Locus also made available their DOS Merge was not ported to standard Power Macintosh hardware.4 or 4. IBM announced AIX/370.[7] and VM/IX. specifically the System/370 (the prior versions were a TSS/370 based Unix system developed jointly with AT&T c.3 IBM mainframes In 1988. redundant power a baseline tag price of $595. sold separately for another $250.3. while technically advanced.[10] AIX PS/2 (also known as AIX/386) was developed by Locus Computing Corporation under contract to IBM. AIX v3 innovated in several ways on the software side.[19] Support for PS/2 AIX ended in March 1995. and external monitoring capability.[16] ran on IBM PS/2 personal computers with Intel 386 and compatible pro.3BSD as well as IBM enhancements. first released in 1987.[17] IBM also offered a $150 AIX PS/2 DOS Server Program. other $300. but this never became an official product due to lack of interest.[18] The last version of PS/2 AIX is 1. It was released in 1992 and announced to add support for non-IBM (nonmicrochannel) computers as well. virtual machine environment for AIX.The Apple Network Server systems were PowerPC-based systems designed by Apple Computer to have numerous cessors.5 Apple Network Servers AIX PS/2. This development AIX RS/6000 servers running ibm. which provided 2. 2. and also ran on the System/390 platform. The TCP/IP stack for AIX PS/2 retailed for an. Unlike AIX/370. Apple’s earlier version of MS DOS 3.1984). a VM/370 based system developed jointly with Interactive Systems Corporation c. It was the first operating system to introduce the idea . AIX/370 was replaced by AIX/ESA in 1991. had little commercial success. DOS Merge was Unix for 68k-based Macintoshes.1.1980. IBM released a beta test version of AIX 5L for the IA-64 (Itanium) architecture in 2001. These syslike uucp were included in a separate Extension package tems were more or less based on the Power Macintosh priced at $250. AIX/ESA. which became MVS/ESA OpenEdition in 1999.2.5) as their native operating sys$200. while the C and FORTRAN compilers each had a price AIX was only compatible with the Network Servers and tag of $275.6 POWER/PowerPC-based systems file server and print server services for client computers running PC DOS 3. AIX/370 was IBM’s third attempt to offer Unix-like functionality for their mainframe line. including swappable hard drives. AIX/ESA ran both natively as the host operating system. nroff and troff for AIX were also sold hardware available at the time but were designed to use separately in a Text Formatting System package priced at AIX (versions 4. The X Window package was priced at $195.1. partially because UNIX functionality was added as an option to the existing mainframe operating system. which could run Not to be confused is A/UX. although some utilities supplies. high-end features that standard Apple hardware did not The product was announced in September 1988 with have.tem in a specialized version specific to the ANS.4 IA-64 systems 3 effort was made partly to allow IBM to compete with Amdahl UTS.2 IBM PS/2 series As part of Project Monterey. MVS. and as a guest under VM.[14] 2.4 IA-64 systems AIX PS/2 running on Virtual PC 2.3 applications inside AIX. also developed by Locus Computing. which was based on OSF/1. With the introduction of the ESA/390 architecture.

000 gouraud-shaded triangles per AIX 7.000 vectors per second. System p. The high-end graphics card was designed accelerators and eight-way hardware multithreading. the progenitor of tuning feature results in optimized performance without OpenGL. October 5. the Andrew File System. as well as IBM BladeCenter blades[21] and IBM PureFlex compute nodes based on Power Architecture technology. of a journaling file system. 2015 [22] . and at the core of 3. a contentious move that resulted in v3 containing no PL/I code and being somewhat more “pure” than v2. This self• IRIS GL.1 fully exploits systems based on POWER7 processors include the Active Memory Expansion feature. As of 2015. 3 Versions • PHIGS. 1987. For example. another 3D rendering API. Active Memory Expansion is a virtual memory compression system which employs memory compression technology to transparently compress in-memory data. This was notable as a “plan B” in case the X11+Motif combination failed in the marketplace. eServer p5. which allowed for fast boot times by avoiding the need to ensure the consistency of the file systems on disks (see fsck) on every reboot.1 CATIA. the Network Computing System.6. Another innovation was shared libraries which avoid the need for static linking from an application to the libraries it used. the Distributed File System. AIX RS/6000 servers running ibm. an LPAR running AIX appears to the OS applications to be configured with 80 GB of physical memory but the hardware actually only consumes 60 GB of physical memory. then still a small company which had sold only one thousand machines to date. capable of rendering 990. Besides improving performance. • Full implementation of version 11 of the X Window POWER/PowerPC releases • AIX V7. • DPS on-screen display system. which increases system flexibility where system administrators can configure logical partitions (LPARs) to use less physical memory. Utilizing Active Memory Expansion can improve system utilization and increase a system’s throughput. • Network file systems: NFS from Sun. and IBM. licensed from Apollo Computer (later acquired by HP).2 exploits POWER8 hardware features including second.2 POWER8 AIX features the low-end graphics card for the RS/6000. IRIS GL was licensed by IBM from SGI in administrative effort. and DFS. AIX 7 automatically manages the size of memory pages used to automatically use 4 KB. and used less disk space to install.com in early 1998 2. System i. by IBM. AIX runs on IBM Power. The resulting smaller binaries used less of the hardware RAM to run. it was a boon to developers: executable binaries could be in the tens of kilobytes instead of a megabyte for an executable statically linked to the C library. JFS. SGI also provided 2. a 3D rendering library. a follow-on to the mainframe-based IBM 5080. eServer pSeries and eServer i5 server product lines. AIX v3 also scrapped the microkernel of AIX v2. together with Motif as the recommended widget collection and window manager.1 POWER7 AIX features AIX 7.2. it was highly proprietary. This cemented its failure in the marketplace in the face of the open systems challenge of X11+Motif and its lack of 3D capability. • NCS. AFS. allowing more data to be placed into memory and thus expanding the memory capacity of POWER7 systems. popular in automotive CAD/CAM circles. System i5. Other notable subsystems included: 64 KB or a combination of those page sizes. System p5. NeXT.4 3 VERSIONS System. However. supported only by Sun.6. capable of drawing 20.

2017[25] • AIX 5L 5. November 9.3.3.1 POWER/PowerPC releases 5 • AIX Security Expert – A system and network security hardening tool • Encrypting JFS2 filesystem • Trusted AIX • Trusted Execution • Integrated Electronic Service Agent for auto error reporting • Concurrent Kernel Maintenance • Kernel exploitation of POWER6 storage keys • ProbeVue dynamic tracing • Systems Director Console for AIX • Integrated filesystem snapshot The default login banner for AIX 5.3 on PowerPC • Live update for Interim Fixes . 2012 • NFS Version 4 • SRIOV-backed VNIC. • An XML profile based system configuration management utility • Support for export of Fibre Channel adapters to WPARs • VIOS disk support in a WPAR • Cluster Aware AIX • AIX Event infrastructure • Role-based access control (RBAC) with domain support for multi-tenant environments • AIX V6. 2007[24] • Workload Partitions (WPARs) operating system-level virtualization • Live Application Mobility • Live Partition Mobility • Security • Role Based Access Control RBAC • Ability to shrink a JFS2 filesystem • AIX 5L 5. August 13. May 4. or dedicated VNIC virtualized network adapter support • Advanced Accounting • RDSv3 over RoCE adds support of the Oracle RDSv3 protocol over the Mellanox Connect RoCE adapters • Virtual Ethernet • Requires POWER7 or newer CPUs • AIX V7. 2006)[29] • Ability to run on an IA-64 architecture processor. 2010[23] • Virtual SCSI • Exploitation of Simultaneous multithreading (SMT) • Micro-Partitioning enablement • POWER5 exploitation • Support for 256 cores / 1024 threads in a single LPAR • JFS2 quotas • The ability to run AIX V5.1. 2002.replace the entire AIX kernel without impacting applications • Flash based filesystem caching • Cluster Aware AIX automation with repository replacement mechanism • Requires POWER4 or newer CPUs • AIX 6 withdrawn from Marketing effective April 2016 and from Support effective April.2 or V5. 2004. September 10.[26] end of support April 30.1. 2009[27] • Ability to run on the IBM BladeCenter JS20 with the PowerPC 970 • Minimum level required for POWER5 hardware • MPIO for Fibre Channel disks • iSCSI Initiator software • Participation in Dynamic LPAR • Concurrent I/O (CIO) feature introduced for JFS2 released in Maintenance Level 01 in May 2003[28] • AIX 5L 5.[26] end of support April 30. 2001 (Support discontinued April 1.1. although this never went beyond beta[30] .2. October 18.3 inside of a Workload Partition • kernel scheduler has been enhanced to dynamically increase and decrease the use of virtual processors.

[34] 4.1 Graphical • AIX 4. 1998 • First TCSEC security evaluation. April 25.1.tions (ATLA).2 IBM PS/2 releases ware and the last release that worked on the • AIX PS/2 v1.2. • Support for mirroring with striping • AIX v1. February 1990 • Journaled File System (JFS) filesystem type 4. August 12.6 4 USER INTERFACES • Minimum level required for POWER4 hard.0. • AIX 4. cessors and PCI busses.2 System Management Interface Tool SMIT is the System Management Interface Tool for AIX. The .3. Experirated into OSF/1. 1986 • AIX 4. 1998 • AIX 4.0 1989 mands. 1995 • AIX 4.script file. 1998[31] • AIX 4.1. Invocation • LVM (Logical Volume Manager) was incorpo.1. 1995 • CDE 1. but was changed to Korn shell (ksh88) in version 4 in view of XPG4 and POSIX compliance.2.2.3 IBM 6150 RT releases POWER4 • AIX v2.1.0 • The L stands for Linux affinity • Trusted Computing Base (TCB) • last version was 2. open-source KDE Plasma Workspaces and GNOME desktop are also available.1.3. October 31.0. 1994 ity and the free AIX Toolboxes for Linux Applica• Run on RS/6000 systems with PowerPC pro. October 28.[32] enced system administrators make use of the F6 funcand the Linux LVM implementation is similar tion key which generates the command line that SMIT to the HP-UX LVM implementation.0 became the default GUI environment. 1999 • Online backup function • Workload Manager (WLM) • Introduction of topas utility 4 User interfaces • AIX 4. As part of Linux Affin• AIX 4.1.1. It allows a user to navigate a menu hierarchy of com• AIX 3.5. commands that are performed in the smit.3.1. 1997 • Ability to run on 64-bit architecture CPUs • IPv6 • Web-based System Manager • AIX 4.[33] will invoke to complete it.3.1. 1996 • AIX 4.is typically achieved with the command smit. May 17. • AIX 3.3. AIX’s default graphical user interface The default shell was Bourne shell up to AIX version 3. SMIT also generates a log of • SMIT was introduced.1. 1989 Micro Channel architecture • 64-bit kernel. completed December 18. 1996 • AIX 4. installed but not activated by de• last version was 1. November 8. replacing Motif Window Manager. October 20.2 1992 • AIX 3.1. rather than using the command line.3. 1997 • NFS Version 3 • AIX 4. and in 1995 for HP-UX.3. April 24. 1992. July 7. 1994 The Common Desktop Environment. 1994 The Common Desktop Environment (CDE) is AIX’s default graphical user interface. fault • JFS2 • Ability to run in a Logical Partition on 3.4.2. October 23.3. September 17.

Bell System Technical Journal 57 (6): 2021–2048. 1985). [3] “UNIX turns 40”.com. p.script file automatically records the commands with [11] “Novell Wins Again — Jury Rules Copyrights Didn't Go the command flags and parameters used. Stephen C. The initial menu. M. smit and smitty refer to the same program. 1992). Pamela (August 25. Milner. Retrieved 2007-05-20. “A UNIX System Implementation for System/370” (PDF). 1987.com. [7] Felton. 2010-03-30.com |date|accessdate=1987-11-03}} [17] IBM Announces Broad Range of Unix-Related Tools. file. 1986.tb02141. . [19] Cate Corcoran (September 28. 8.. [1] Unix Pronunciation « Around Teh Table [2] “The Open Brand Register of Certified Products”. Miller.. p. 2011-02-09. if smit determines that X Window System capabilities are not present. IBM.log [12] “IBM AIX 7 preview”. A. InfoWorld.archive. G. 8. trieved 2015-10-05. IBM. Retrieved 2010-04-16.2 Announcement Letter”. 5 See also • AOS. it will present the text-based version instead [15] IBM joins 32-bit fray with RT line. Determination of X Window System capabiluary 27. Computerworld. Retrieved 2010-03-30. p. [18] AIX for PS/2. IBM’s educational-market port of 4. [10] Jones. 1985). 8. IBM. The smit. L. IBM Corporation.com/common/ssi/ of the DISPLAY variable. 8. [24] “IBM AIX Version 6. Retrieved 201509-29. The Open Group. Unix fully supported”. IBM 360/370/3090/390 [22] “IBM AIX 7. ISSN 0199-6649. [25] “Software withdrawal and support discontinuance: IBM AIX 6.7 [6] “Amdahl launches UTS mainframe unix”. “Software steals 3090’s thunder: VM gets XA version. when running in text mode. which contains additional detailed information that can be used by programmers in extending the SMIT sys[13] “IBM AIX 7. John (February 18. 1988. SMIT also creates the smit.script to SCO”. Retem. [5] Poulsen. [23] “IBM AP Announcement Letter”. 2010-04-16. 2005). AT&T Bell Laboratories Technical Journal 63 (8).com. ISSN 0010-4841. 1986). IBM. p. IBM Corporation. Computerworld. [4] Johnson.“No One Wants It"". [20] http://web. “2002 IBM Internal Email on Project Monterey .org/web/20030428132638/os2ports. “Users: new life for VM”.1002/j. pp. 1993. W. smit. Dennis M. though smitty invokes the text-based version. Retrieved 2010-12-27.2 Announcement Letter”. ities is typically performed by checking for the existence [16] {{cite web|url=http://www-01. 4841.1 operating system: Overview”. November 16. [9] Gallant. “Portability of C Programs and the UNIX System” (PDF). 2014-05-29. John (February 18.com. Retrieved 2014-05-29. (1978). Locus to co-develop PS/2 AIX system.. Computerworld.com.1”.html&lang=en&request_ locale=en |title=IBM AIX PS2 1987 Announcement Letter |publisher=IBM. Computerworld. IBM. [8] Gallant. Ritchie. ISSN 01996649. p.3BSD • List of Unix systems • nmon • Operating systems timeline • Service Update Management Assistant 6 References ShowDoc. IBM announces increased support for Unix on PCs. however. IBM System Director for Power Systems and associated licensed programs”. com/docs/aix/withdraw. February 22. Lars (2001). Retrieved 2010-12-27.x. ISSN 0010X Window System based interface if possible. 1.wss?docURL=/common/ssi/rep_ca/2/877/ ENUSZP87-0422/index. InfoWorld. Retrieved 2015-10-05. Products.ibm. (1984). J. Computerworld. Retrieved 2011-05-03. doi:10. file can be used as an executable shell script to rerun system configuration tasks. Retrieved 2011-02-09. Groklaw. 11. 16.html [21] “AIX Version 7. ISSN 0010-4841. Janof failing.1538-7305. p. while smit will invoke an [14] Patricia Keefe (July 6.1978. 55. IBM.

Simply AIX 4. ISBN 978-0-13021344-0. “How HP improved the performance. John. and ease of use of its flagship PA-RISC operating system”. IBM Software Support. Scott Trent. 21. p.3.1 overview • AIX version 5. [33] http://www.usenix.org/events/usenix01/freenix01/full_ papers/teigland/teigland_html/index. Tools. [28] Improving Database Performance With AIX Concurrent I/O . IBM Software Support.White Paper [29] IBM Software Support Lifecycle (XML) [30] Unigroup Next Meeting Announcement [31] IBM Press Release [32] Sontag. Carolyn Jones (1999).1 information center • AIX version 6. [27] “System p product lifecycle dates”. Retrieved 2010-12-27. Retrieved 2010-12-27.net . Prentice Hall PTR. 1996. Byte.1 knowledge center • AIX version 6.8 7 [26] “System p product lifecycle dates”. Archived from the original on October 20. Scripts and Explanations • 80-page marketing booklet from 1989 explaining IBM’s AIX vision at the time EXTERNAL LINKS .3 Documentation • AIX Virtual User Group • AIX/ESA V2R2 General Information • IBM AIX page • IBM Systems AIX Magazine • IBM Electronic Service Agent • AIX Health Check • Rootvg. reliability.Independent Portal for AIX & POWER • AIX shell accounts • AIX Commands.html [34] Casey Cannon. 7 External links • AIX Strength to Strength: Summary of features for AIX and related products • AIX Linkedin group • AIX Fix Central • AIX User Groups • Submit AIX Request for Enhancements • AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications • AIX version 7.

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