IBM AIX (operating system)
name = AIX
kernel_type = Dynamic Extendable
ROMP, IBM POWER, PowerPC, IBM PS/2, System/370, ESA/390
Common Desktop Environment
UNIX System V
latest_release_version = 6.1
latest_release_date = November, 2007
marketing_target = Workstation, Server
programmed_in = C
prog_language = C
language = English
working_state = Current
license = Proprietary
website = [http://www.ibm.com/servers/aix/ IBM AIX]
"AIX" (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) is the name given to a series of proprietary
operating systems sold by IBMfor several of its computer system platforms, based on UNIX System Vwith 4.3BSD-compatible command and programming interface extensions.
AIX runs on up to 64
IBM POWERor PowerPCarchitecture central processing units and two terabytes (TB) of random access memory. The JFS2 file system—first introduced by IBM as part of AIX—allows computer files and partitions over 16 TB in size.
AIX Version 1, introduced in 1986 for the
IBM 6150 RTworkstation, was based on UNIX System VReleases 1 and 2. In developing AIX, IBM and INTERACTIVE Systems Corporation(whom IBM contracted) also incorporated source code from 4.2 and 4.3 BSDUNIX.
Among other variants, IBM later produced AIX Version 3 (also known as AIX/6000), based on System V Release 3, for their
IBM POWER-based RS/6000platform. Since 1990, AIX has served as the primary operating system for the RS/6000 series (later renamed " IBM eServerpSeries", then " IBM System p", and now " IBM Power Systems"). AIX Version 4, introduced in 1994, added symmetric multiprocessingwith the introduction of the first RS/6000 SMP servers and continued to evolve though the 1990s, culminating with AIX 4.3.3 in 1999. Version 4.1, in a slightly modified form, was also the standard operating system for the Apple Network Serversystems sold by Apple Computerto complement the Macintoshline.
In the late 1990s, under
Project Monterey, IBM and the Santa Cruz Operationplanned to integrate AIX and UnixWareinto a single 32-bit/ 64-bitmultiplatform UNIX with particular emphasis on running on Intel IA-64architecture CPUs. A beta testversion of AIX 5L for IA-64 systems was released, but according to documents released in "SCO vs. IBM", less than forty licenses for the finished Monterey Unix were ever sold before the project was terminated in 2002.
AIX 6 was announced in May of 2007 and ran an open beta from June 2007 until the general availability (GA) of AIX 6.1 on November 9th, 2007. Major new features in AIX 6.1 included full
role-based access control, workload partitions(which enable application mobility), and live partition mobilityon the POWER6 hardware.
In the SCO v. IBM lawsuit filed in 2003, the
SCO Groupalleged that (among other infractions) IBM had misappropriated licensed source codefrom UNIX System VRelease 4 for incorporation into AIX; SCO subsequently withdrew IBM's license to develop and distribute AIX. IBM maintains that their license was irrevocable, and continued to sell and support the product until the litigation was adjudicated.
2007-08-10the U.S. district court ruled that SCO does not own the copyrights to the Unix operating system. [cite web |url=http://www.nytimes.com/2007/08/11/technology/11novell.html |title=Judge Says Unix Copyrights Rightfully Belong to Novell |accessdate=2008-08-06 |publisher=NewYorkTimes |date=2007-08-10 ]
upported hardware platforms
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, who had previously ported UNIX System IIIto the IBM PCfor IBM as PC/IX. Installation media consisted of eight 1.2M floppy disks. The RT was based on the ROMPchip, the first commercial RISCchip, based on a design, the IBM 801, pioneered at IBM Research.
One of the novel aspects of the RT design was the use of a
microkernel, called Virtual Resource Manager (VRM). The keyboard, mouse, display, disk drives and network were all controlled by a microkernel One could "hotkey" from one operating system to the next using the Alt-Tab key combination. Each OS in turn would get possession of the keyboard, mouse and display. Besides AIX v2, the PICK OSalso utilized this microkernel.
Much of the AIX v2 kernel was written in the
PL/Iprogramming language, which proved troublesome during the migration to AIX v3.Fact|date=June 2008 AIX v2 included full TCP/IPnetworking, as well as SNA and two networking file systems: NFS, licensed from Sun Microsystems, and Distributed Services(DS). DS had the distinction of being built on top of SNA, and thereby being fully compatible with DS on the IBM midrange AS/400 and mainframe systems. For the graphical user interfaces, AIX v2 came with the X10R3 and later the X10R4 and X11 versions of the X Window Systemfrom MIT, together with the Athena widget set. Compilers for Fortranand C were available. One of the more popular desktop applications was the PageMaker desktop publishingsoftware.
IBM PS/2 series
AIX PS/2 (also known as AIX/386) was developed by
Locus Computing Corporationunder contract to IBM. AIX PS/2, first released in 1989, ran on IBM PS/2 personal computers with Intel 386and faster processors.
In 1988, IBM announced AIX/370, also developed by Locus Computing. AIX/370 was IBM's first attempt to offer
Unix-likefunctionality for their mainframe line, specifically the System/370. AIX/370 was released in 1990 with functional equivalence to System V Release 2 and 4.3BSD as well as IBM enhancements. With the introduction of the ESA/390architecture, AIX/370 was replaced by AIX/ESA in 1991, which was based on OSF/1, and also ran on the System/390platform. This development effort was made partly to allow IBM to compete with AmdahlUTS.Fact|date=June 2008 Unlike AIX/370, AIX/ESA ran both natively as the host operating system, and as a guest under VM. AIX/ESA, while technically advanced, had little commercial success, partially because UNIX functionality was added as an option to the existing mainframe operating system, MVS, which became MVS/ESA OpenEdition in 1999.Fact|date=June 2008
The release of AIX version 3 (sometimes called AIX/6000) coincided with the announcement of the first IBM RS/6000 models. The RS/6000 was unique in that it not only outperformed all other machines in integer compute performance, but also beat the competition by a "factor of 10" in floating-point performance. Fact|date=February 2007
Releases of AIX version 3 also took advantage of the developments in the POWER architecture.
AIX v3 innovated in several ways on the software side. It was the first operating system to introduce the idea of a
journalling file system, JFS, which allowed for fast boot times by avoiding the need to fsckthe disks on every reboot. Another innovation was the introduction of shared libraries, which avoided the need for an application to statically link to the libraries it used. The resulting smaller binaries used less of the hardware RAM, to run, and used less of the disk space to install. Besides improving performance, it was a boon to developers: executable binaries could be in the 10s of kilobytes instead of a megabyte for an executable statically linked to the C library. AIX v3 also ditched the microkernel of AIX v2, a contentious move that resulted in v3 being somewhat more "pure" (and containing no PL/1 code) than v2.
Other notable subsytems included:
IRIS GL, a 3D rendering library, the progenitor of OpenGL. IrisGL was licensed by IBM from SGI, then a small company which had sold only one thousand machines to date. SGI also provided the low-end graphics card for the RS/6000, capable of drawing 20,000 Gouraud-shaded triangles per second. The high-end graphics card was designed by IBM, a follow-on to the mainframe-based IBM 5080, capable of rendering 990K vectors per second.
PHIGS, another 3D rendering API, popular in automotive CAD/CAM circles, and at the core of CATIA.
* Full implementation of version 11 of the X Window System, together with Motif as the recommended widget collection and window manager.
* Network file systems: NFS from Sun; AFS, the
Andrew File System; and DFS, the Distributed File System.
* NCS, the
Network Computing System, licensed from Apollo Computer(later acquired by HP)
NeXTwindowing system (NeXT DPS). This was notable as a "plan B", in case the X11/Motif/IrisGL combination failed in the marketplace. However, it was highly proprietary: it hadn't been licensed to any other Unix vendor. This, in the face of the open systems challenge of X11/Motif and its lack of 3D capability, cemented its failure in the marketplace.
As of 2007, the current release of AIX runs on the RS/6000 and System p,
BladeCenterJS-series, IntelliStationPOWER, and System i5platforms.
Apple Network Servers
Apple Network Serversystems were PowerPC-based systems designed by Apple Computerto have numerous high-end features that standard Apple hardware did not have, including swappable hard drives, redundant power supplies, and external monitoring capability. These systems were more or less based on the Power Macintoshhardware available at the time but were designed to use AIX (versions 4.1.4 or 4.1.5) as their native operating system in a specialized version specific to the ANS.
AIX was only compatible with the Network Servers and was not ported to standard Power Macintosh hardware. Not to be confused is
A/UX, Apple's earlier version of Unix for 68k-based Macintoshes.
As part of
Project Monterey, a beta testversion of AIX 5L was released for the IA-64 ( Itanium) architecture in 2001, but this was abandoned before it became an official product due to the lack of interest in the finished Project Monterey system, as well as the overall lack of uptake of the IA-64 architecture by a skeptical marketplace, which largely gravitated towards the Project Trillianport of Linuxas the primary platform OS.Fact|date=July 2008
* AIX 6.1, [http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/p/os/aix/v61/index.html November 9, 2007]
Workload Partitions(WPARs) operating system-level virtualization
Live Application Mobility
** Role Based Access Control
** [http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/systems/scope/aix/topic/com.ibm.aix.security/doc/security/aix_sec_expert.htm AIX Security Expert] - A system and network security hardening tool
** Integrated Electronic Service Agent(tm) for auto error reporting
** Trusted Execution
** Concurrent Kernel Maintenance
** Kernel exploitation of
** Systems Director Console for AIX
** Integrated filesystem snapshot
* AIX 5L 5.3, [http://www-306.ibm.com/software/support/systemsp/lifecycle/ August 13, 2004]
** NFS Version 4
** Advanced Accounting
** Virtual Ethernet
** Exploitation of
** POWER5 exploitation
** JFS2 quotas
** Ability to shrink a
kernel schedulerhas been enhanced to dynamically increase and decrease the use of virtual processors. AIX 5L Version 5.3 ML3
* AIX 5L 5.2, [http://www-306.ibm.com/software/support/systemsp/lifecycle/ October 18, 2002]
** Ability to run on the IBM
BladeCenterJS20 with the PowerPC 970.
** Minimum level required for POWER5 hardware
** MPIO for
** Participation in Dynamic LPAR
Concurrrent I/O(CIO) feature introduced for JFS2released in Maintenance Level 01 in May 2003 [ [http://www.ibm.com/servers/aix/whitepapers/db_perf_aix.pdf Improving Database Performance With AIX Concurrent I/O - White Paper ] ]
* AIX 5L 5.1, May 4, 2001
** Ability to run on an
IA-64architecture processor, although this never went beyond beta, [ [http://www.unigroup.org/unigroup-0404.html Unigroup Next Meeting Announcement ] ]
** Minimum level required for POWER4 hardware and the last release that worked on the
Micro Channel architecture
64-bitkernel, installed but not activated by default
** Ability to run in a Logical Partition on
** The L stands for
Trusted Computing Base(TCB)
** Support for mirroring with striping
* AIX 4.3.3, September 17,1999
** Introduction of
* AIX 4.3.2, October 23,1998
* AIX 4.3.1, April 24,1998
* AIX 4.3, October 31,1997
** Ability to run on 64-bit architecture CPUs
Web-based System Manager
* AIX 4.2.1, April 25,1997
** NFS Version 3
* AIX 4.2, May 17,1996
* AIX 4.1.5, November 8,1996
* AIX 4.1.4, October 20,1995
* AIX 4.1.3, July 7,1995
** CDE 1.0 became the default GUI environment, replacing Motif X Window Manager.
* AIX 4.1.1, October 28,1994
* AIX 4.1, August 12,1994
* AIX 4.0, 1994
** Run on RS/6000 systems with
PowerPCprocessors and PCI busses.
* AIX 3.2 1992
* AIX 3.1, February 1990
** Journaled File System (JFS) filesystem type
* AIX 3.0 1989
** LVM (
Logical Volume Manager) was incorporated into OSF/1, and in [http://www.byte.com/art/9504/sec14/art2.htm 1995 for HP-UX] , and [http://www.usenix.org/events/usenix01/freenix01/full_papers/teigland/teigland_html/index.html the Linux LVM implementation is similar to the HP-UX LVM implementation] .
** SMIT was introduced.
IBM PS/2 releases
* AIX PS/2 v1.1, 1989
** last version was 1.3, 1992.
IBM 6150 RT releases
* AIX v1.0, 1986
* AIX v2.0
** last version was 2.2.1.
Common Desktop Environment(CDE) is AIX's default graphical user interface. As part of Linux Affinity and the free AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications (ATLA), open-source KDEand GNOMEdesktop are also available.
ystem Management Console
SMIT is the System Management Interface Tool for AIX. It allows a user to navigate a menu hierarchy of commands, rather than using the command line. Invocation is typically achieved with the command
smit. Experienced system administrators make use of the
F6function key which generates the command line that SMIT will invoke to complete the proposed task.
SMIT also generates a log of commands that are performed in the
smit.scriptfile automatically records the commands with the command flags and parameters used. The
smit.scriptfile can be used as an executable shell script to rerun system configuration tasks. SMIT also creates the
smit.logfile, which contains additional detailed information that can be used by programmers in extending the SMIT system.
smittyrefer to the same program, though
smittyinvokes the text-based version, while
smitwill invoke an X Window System based interface if possible; however, if
smitdetermines that X Window System capabilities are not present, it will present the text-based version instead of failing. Determination of X Window System capabilities is typically performed by checking for the existence of the
* AOS, IBM's educational-market port of 4.3BSD
List of Unix systems
Operating systems timeline
* [http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/p/os/aix/v61/index.html AIX Version 6.1 overview]
* [http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/systems/scope/aix/index.jsp AIX version 6.1 information center]
* [http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/p/os/aix/ IBM AIX page]
* [http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/wikis/display/WikiPtype/Home AIX Wiki]
* [http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/forums/dw_forum.jsp?forum=747&cat=56 AIX Forum]
* [http://www.ibm.com/developerworks/aix/ AIX & UNIX dW Zone]
* [http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/pseries/v5r3/index.jsp AIX 5.3 Documentation]
* [http://www.ibm.com/servers/aix/products/aixos/linux/ AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications]
* [http://www.ibm.com/servers/eserver/support/unixservers/aixfixes.html AIX fixes]
* [http://rootvg.net/index.php RootVG.net Independent portal for AIX & System p infomation]
* [http://www.pseriestech.org/forum/aix-for-power-systems/ pSeriesTech.Org AIX Support Forum]
* [http://www.elink.ibmlink.ibm.com/public/applications/publications/cgibin/pbi.cgi?CTY=US&FNC=SRX&PBL=GC23-3059-01 AIX/ESA V2R2 General Information]
* [http://www.unet.univie.ac.at/aix/aixprggd/genprogc/toc.htm AIX Version 4.3 General Programming Concepts: Writing and Debugging Programs]
* [http://www.ibm.com/support/electronic IBM Electronic Service Agent]
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