AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive, pronounced /ˌeɪaɪˈɛks/) is a series of proprietary Unix operating systems developed and sold by IBM for several of its computer platforms. Originally released for the IBM RT PC 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 4.3BSD-compatible extensions. It is one of six commercial operating systems that have versions certified to The Open Group's UNIX 03 standard (the others being macOS, Solaris, Inspur K-UX, HP-UX, and eulerOS).
The AIX family of operating systems debuted in 1986, became the standard operating system for the RS/6000 series on its launch in 1990, and is still actively developed by IBM. It is currently supported on IBM Power Systems alongside IBM i and Linux.
AIX was the first operating system to have a journaling file system, and IBM has continuously enhanced the software with features such as processor, disk and network virtualization, dynamic hardware resource allocation (including fractional processor units), and reliability engineering ported from its mainframe designs.
|Source model||Closed source|
|Latest release||7.2.3 / September 2018|
|Marketing target||Workstation, Server|
|Platforms||IBM ROMP, IBM POWER, PowerPC, x86 (IBM PS/2), System/370, ESA/390|
|Kernel type||Monolithic with dynamically loadable modules|
|Default user interface||Korn shell (ksh88), Common Desktop Environment,|
(Plasma Workspaces and GNOME optional)
Unix started life at AT&T's Bell Labs research center in the early 1970s, running on DEC minicomputers. By 1976, the operating system was in use at various academic institutions, including Princeton, where Tom Lyon and others ported it to the S/370, to run as a guest OS under VM/370. This port would later grow out to become UTS, a mainframe Unix offering by IBM's competitor Amdahl Corporation. IBM's own involvement in Unix can be dated to 1979, when it assisted Bell Labs in doing its own Unix port to the 370 (to be used as a build host for the 5ESS switch's software). In the process, IBM made modifications to the TSS/370 hypervisor to better support Unix.
It took until 1985 for IBM to offer its own Unix on the S/370 platform, IX/370, which was developed by Interactive Systems Corporation and intended by IBM to compete with Amdahl UTS. The operating system offered special facilities for interoperating with PC/IX, Interactive/IBM's version of Unix for IBM PC compatible hardware, and was licensed at $10,000 per sixteen concurrent users.
AIX Version 1, introduced in 1986 for the IBM RT PC 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 SMP servers and continued to evolve through 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 Server systems sold by Apple Computer to complement the Macintosh line.
In the late 1990s, under Project Monterey, 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 IA-64 (Itanium) architecture CPUs. A beta test version of AIX 5L for IA-64 systems was released, but according to documents released in the SCO v. IBM lawsuit, less than forty licenses for the finished Monterey Unix were ever sold before the project was terminated in 2002. In 2003, the SCO Group alleged that (among other infractions) IBM had misappropriated licensed source code from UNIX System V Release 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.
AIX was a component of the 2003 SCO v. IBM lawsuit, in which the SCO Group filed a lawsuit against IBM, alleging IBM contributed SCO's intellectual property to the Linux codebase. The SCO Group, who argued they were the rightful owners of the copyrights covering the Unix operating system, attempted to revoke IBM's license to sell or distribute the AIX operating system. In March 2010, a jury returned a verdict finding that Novell, not the SCO Group, owns the rights to Unix.
AIX 6 was announced in May 2007, and it ran as an open beta from June 2007 until the general availability (GA) of AIX 6.1 on November 9, 2007. Major new features in AIX 6.1 included full role-based access control, workload partitions (which enable application mobility), enhanced security (Addition of AES encryption type for NFS v3 and v4), and Live Partition Mobility on the POWER6 hardware.
AIX 7.1 was announced in April 2010, and an open beta ran until general availability of AIX 7.1 in September 2010. Several new features, including better scalability, enhanced clustering and management capabilities were added. AIX 7.1 includes a new built-in clustering capability called Cluster Aware AIX. AIX is able to organize multiple LPARs through the multipath communications channel to neighboring CPUs, enabling very high-speed communication between processors. This enables multi-terabyte memory address range and page table access to support global petabyte shared memory space for AIX POWER7 clusters so that software developers can program a cluster as if it were a single system, without using message passing (i.e. semaphore-controlled Inter-process Communication). AIX administrators can use this new capability to cluster a pool of AIX nodes. By default, AIX V7.1 pins kernel memory and includes support to allow applications to pin their kernel stack. Pinning 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.
AIX 7.2 was announced in October 2015, and released in December 2015. 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, by live migrating workloads to a temporary surrogate AIX OS partition while the original OS partition is patched. AIX 7.2 was also restructured to remove obsolete components. The networking component, bos.net.tcp.client was repackaged to allow additional installation flexibility. Unlike AIX 7.1, AIX 7.2 is only supported on systems based on POWER7 or later processors.
The original AIX (sometimes called AIX/RT) was developed for the IBM RT PC workstation by IBM in conjunction with Interactive Systems Corporation, who had previously ported UNIX System III to the IBM PC for IBM as PC/IX. According to its developers, the AIX source (for this initial version) consisted of one million lines of code. Installation media consisted of eight 1.2M floppy disks. The RT was based on the IBM ROMP microprocessor, the first commercial RISC chip. This was based on a design pioneered at IBM Research (the IBM 801) .
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 OS also included this microkernel.
Much of the AIX v2 kernel was written in the PL/8 programming language, which proved troublesome during the migration to AIX v3. AIX v2 included full TCP/IP networking, 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 System from MIT, together with the Athena widget set. Compilers for Fortran and C were available.
AIX PS/2 (also known as AIX/386) was developed by Locus Computing Corporation under contract to IBM. AIX PS/2, first released in 1987, ran on IBM PS/2 personal computers with Intel 386 and compatible processors.
The product was announced in September 1988 with a baseline tag price of $595, although some utilities like uucp were included in a separate Extension package priced at $250. nroff and troff for AIX were also sold separately in a Text Formatting System package priced at $200. The TCP/IP stack for AIX PS/2 retailed for another $300. The X Window package was priced at $195, while the C and FORTRAN compilers each had a price tag of $275. Locus also made available their DOS Merge virtual machine environment for AIX, which could run MS DOS 3.3 applications inside AIX; DOS Merge was sold separately for another $250. IBM also offered a $150 AIX PS/2 DOS Server Program, which provided file server and print server services for client computers running PC DOS 3.3.
In 1988, IBM announced AIX/370, also developed by Locus Computing. AIX/370 was IBM's fourth attempt to offer Unix-like functionality for their mainframe line, specifically the System/370 (the prior versions were a TSS/370-based Unix system developed jointly with AT&T c.1980, a VM/370-based system named VM/IX developed jointly with Interactive Systems Corporation c.1984, and a VM/370-based version of TSS/370 named IX/370 which was upgraded to be compatible with Unix System V). 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/390 architecture, AIX/370 was replaced by AIX/ESA in 1991, which was based on OSF/1, and also ran on the System/390 platform. This development effort was made partly to allow IBM to compete with Amdahl UTS. 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.
The Apple Network Server (ANS) systems were PowerPC-based systems designed by Apple Computer to 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 Macintosh hardware 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 called AIX for Apple Network Servers.
AIX was only compatible with the Network Servers and was not ported to standard Power Macintosh hardware. It should not be confused with A/UX, Apple's earlier version of Unix for 68k-based Macintoshes.
AIX v3 innovated in several ways on the software side. It was the first operating system to introduce the idea of a journaling file system, JFS, 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. Another innovation was shared libraries which avoid the need for static linking from an application to the libraries it used. The resulting smaller binaries used less of the hardware RAM to run, and used less disk space to install. Besides improving performance, 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. AIX v3 also scrapped the microkernel of AIX v2, a contentious move that resulted in v3 containing no PL/I code and being somewhat more "pure" than v2.
Other notable subsystems included:
As of 2015, AIX runs on IBM Power, System p, System i, System p5, System i5, eServer p5, eServer pSeries and eServer i5 server product lines, as well as IBM BladeCenter blades and IBM PureFlex compute nodes.
AIX 7.1 fully exploits systems based on POWER7 processors include the Active Memory Expansion (AME) feature, which increases system flexibility where system administrators can configure logical partitions (LPARs) to use less physical memory. For example, 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. Active Memory Expansion is a virtual memory compression system which employs memory compression technology to transparently compress in-memory data, allowing more data to be placed into memory and thus expanding the memory capacity of POWER7 systems. Using Active Memory Expansion can improve system utilization and increase a system’s throughput. AIX 7 automatically manages the size of memory pages used to automatically use 4 KB, 64 KB or a combination of those page sizes. This self-tuning feature results in optimized performance without administrative effort.
AIX 7.2 exploits POWER8 hardware features including accelerators and eight-way hardware multithreading.
|Version||Release date||End of support date|
|Old version, no longer supported: 5L||May 4, 2001||2012-04-30|
|Old version, no longer supported: 5.3||August 13, 2004||2012-04-30|
|Old version, no longer supported: 6.1||November 9, 2007||2017-04-30|
|Older version, yet still supported: 7.1||September 10, 2010||2022-04-30|
|Current stable version: 7.2||December 1, 2015||N/A|
AIX PS/2 (1-16 User Option) $ 795 AIX PS/2 (1-2 User Option) 595 AIX PS/2 Extensions 275 AIX PS/2 DOS Merge 275 AIX PS/2 Usability Services 275 AIX PS/2 Text Formatting System 220 AIX PS/2 X-Windows 214 AIX PS/2 VS FORTRAN 302 AIX PS/2 VS Pascal 302 AIX PS/2 C Language 302 AIX PS/2 Application Development Toolkit 192 AIX PS/2 Workstation Host Interface Program 441 AIX PS/2 Transmission Control Protocol/Internet Protocol (TCP/IP) 330 AIX PS/2 INmail (1)/INed (2)/INnet (1)/FTP 275 AIX Access for DOS Users 164 X-Windows for IBM DOS 214
The 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 KDE Plasma Workspaces and GNOME desktop are also available.
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
F6 function key which generates the command line that SMIT will invoke to complete it.
SMIT also generates a log of commands that are performed in the
smit.script file. The
smit.script file automatically records the commands with the command flags and parameters used. The
smit.script file can be used as an executable shell script to rerun system configuration tasks. SMIT also creates the
smit.log file, which contains additional detailed information that can be used by programmers in extending the SMIT system.
smitty refer to the same program, though
smitty invokes the text-based version, while
smit will invoke an X Window System based interface if possible; however, if
smit determines 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
Object Data Manager (ODM) is a database of system information integrated into AIX, analogous to the registry in Microsoft Windows. A good understanding of the ODM is essential for managing AIX systems.
Data managed in ODM is stored and maintained as objects with associated attributes. Interaction with ODM is possible via application programming interface (API) library for programs, and command-line utilities such us odmshow, odmget, odmadd, odmchange and odmdelete for shell scripts and users. SMIT and its associated AIX commands can also be used to query and modify information in the ODM.
Example of information stored in the ODM database are:
5L or 5-L can refer to:
IATA code for AeroSur (Bolivia)
5L, a model of Toyota L engine
Curtiss F-5L, see Felixstowe F5L
SSH 5L (WA), see U.S. Route 12 in Washington
Atlantic coast F-5L, see Felixstowe F.5
Auster J/5L, a model of Auster Aiglet Trainer
5L, a model of HP LaserJet 5
AIX 5L, see IBM AIX
British Rail Class 202 Diesel-electric multiple units (6L) when reduced to a five-carriage configuration.
British Rail Class 203 Diesel-electric multiple units (6B) when reduced to a five-carriage configuration by the removal of their buffet cars.
5L, the production code for the 1979–80 Doctor Who serial The Horns of NimonBFF
BFF may stand for:
"BFFs" (The Cleveland Show), a 2011 episode of The Cleveland Show
Backup-file Format, a data archive format used by IBM AIX
Bangladesh Football Federation, the governing body of football in Bangladesh
Basque Football Federation, the governing body of football in the Basque Country
Ben Folds Five, an American rock band
Best friends forever, a close friendship
BFF: Best Friends Forever, a 2009 Filipino comedy film
Bicycle Film Festival, a festival to celebrate the bicycle through music, art, and film
Boston Film Festival, an annual film festival in Boston, Massachusetts, United States
Western Nebraska Regional Airport (IATA code), near Scottsbluff, Nebraska, United StatesBiaoxingma method
The Biaoxingma Input Method (simplified Chinese: 表形码输入法; traditional Chinese: 表形碼輸入法; pinyin: biǎoxíngmǎ shūrùfǎ; literally: 'shape-expressing code input method'), also abbreviated to simply Biaoxingma (simplified Chinese: 表形码; traditional Chinese: 表形碼; pinyin: biǎoxíngmǎ; literally: 'shape-expressing code'), is a kind of shape-based Chinese character input method invented by Chen Aiwen, an overseas Chinese scholar living in France in the 1980s. Because it is intuitive in the splitting of Chinese characters and has theoretical support in Chinese characters, it had once attracted widespread attention at the beginning of the invention and was listed as a key project in China Torch Project. However, there was afterwards no such influence as Wubi method and Zhengma method in terms of popularization and commercialization.Biaoxingma was pre-installed by Microsoft in Chinese Windows 95 and Windows 98 first edition, but was removed from Windows 98 second edition and later Windows versions.
Biaoxingma was also installed in IBM AIX.CRUX
CRUX is a lightweight, x86-64-optimized Linux distribution targeted at experienced Linux users and delivered by a tar.gz-based package system with BSD-style initscripts. It is not based on any other Linux distribution. It also utilizes a ports system to install and upgrade applications.Although crux is the Latin word for "cross," the choice of the name "CRUX" itself has no meaning. Per Lidén chose it because it "sounded cool," and ends in "X" which puts it in line with various other Unix flavors such as IRIX, Ultrix, Mac OS X and IBM AIX.Code page 912
Code page 912 (also known as CP 912, IBM 00912) is a code page used under IBM AIX and DOS to write the Albanian, Bosnian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovene, and Sorbian languages. It is an extension of ISO/IEC 8859-2.Code page 915
Code page 915 (also known as CP 915, IBM 00915) is a code page used under IBM AIX and DOS to write the Bulgarian, Belarusian, Russian, Serbian and Macedonian but was never widely used. It would also have been usable for Ukrainian in the Soviet Union from 1933–1990, but it is missing the Ukrainian letter ge, ґ, which is required in Ukrainian orthography before and since, and during that period outside Soviet Ukraine. As a result, IBM created Code page 1124. It is an extension of ISO/IEC 8859-5.Code page 921
Code page 921 (also known as CP 921, IBM 00921) is a code page used under IBM AIX and DOS to write the Estonian, Latvian, and Lithuanian languages. It is an extension of ISO/IEC 8859-13.Code page 922
Code page 922 (also known as CP 922, IBM 00922) is a code page used under IBM AIX and DOS to write the Estonian. It is an extension and modification of ISO/IEC 8859-1, where the letters Ð/ð and Þ/þ used for Icelandic are replaced by the letters Š/š and Ž/ž respectively.Extended file attributes
Extended file attributes are file system features that enable users to associate computer files with metadata not interpreted by the filesystem, whereas regular attributes have a purpose strictly defined by the filesystem (such as permissions or records of creation and modification times). Unlike forks, which can usually be as large as the maximum file size, extended attributes are usually limited in size to a value significantly smaller than the maximum file size. Typical uses include storing the author of a document, the character encoding of a plain-text document, or a checksum, cryptographic hash or digital certificate, and discretionary access control information.IBM 3101
The IBM 3101 ASCII Display Station, and IBM's subsequent products, the 3151/315X and 3161/316X, were display terminals with asynchronous serial communication (start-stop signaling) that were used with a variety of IBM and non-IBM computers during the 1980s–90s, especially the data processing terminals on non-IBM minicomputers, IBM Series/1 and IBM AIX computers.MacroModel
MacroModel is a computer program for molecular modelling of organic compounds and biopolymers. It features various chemistry force fields, plus energy minimizing algorithms, to predict geometry and relative conformational energies of molecules. MacroModel is maintained by Schrödinger, LLC.
It performs simulations in the framework of classical mechanics, also termed molecular mechanics, and can perform molecular dynamics simulations to model systems at finite temperatures using stochastic dynamics and mixed Monte Carlo algorithms. MacroModel supports Windows, Linux, macOS, Silicon Graphics (SGI) IRIX, and IBM AIX.
The Macromodel software package was first been described in the scientific literature in 1990, and has been subsequently acquired by Schrödinger, Inc. in 2000.Network Installation Manager
Network Installation Manager (NIM) is a object-oriented system management framework on the IBM AIX operating system that installs and manages systems over a network. NIM is analogous to Kickstart in the Linux world. NIM is a client-server system in which a NIM server provides a boot image to client systems via the BOOTP and TFTP protocols. In addition to boot images, NIM can manage software updates and third-party applications. The SUMA command can be integrated with NIM to automate system updates from a central server and subsequent distribution to clients.NIM data is organized into object classes and object types. Classes include machines, networks and resources while types refer to the kind of object within a class, e.g., script or image resources.PowerAnimator
PowerAnimator and Animator, also referred to simply as "Alias", the precursor to what is now Maya and StudioTools, was a highly integrated industrial 3D modeling, animation, and visual effects suite. It had a long track record, starting with Technological Threat in 1988 and ending in Pokémon: The Movie 2000 in 1999. PowerAnimator ran natively on MIPS-based SGI IRIX and IBM AIX systems.Power Architecture Platform Reference
Power Architecture Platform Reference (PAPR) is an initiative from Power.org to make a new open computing platform based on Power ISA processors. It follows two previous attempts made in the 1990s, PReP and CHRP.
The PAPR specification provides the foundation for development of standard server computers. Various operating systems like Linux and IBM AIX rely on the PAPR interface to run on Power-based hardware. PAPR is Power.org's move toward what IBM did originally with PReP, in that it defines a common hardware definition and software/firmware platform under a set of requirements. In practice, the PAPR is an extension to the Open Firmware specification.
Since 2013, extensions have been done by the OpenPOWER Foundation, which released a slightly reduced public version of the PAPR standard for running Linux on Power hardware (called LoPAPR) .Suma
Suma may refer to:
Suma (co-operative), a workers' co-operative of the United Kingdom
Suma Gestión Tributaria, a Spanish administration body
Suma root, from a South American vine
Service Update Management Assistant, part of the IBM AIX operating system
Sistema Uniforme de Mejora Académica
Suma people, an indigenous people of Mexico and the United States
The Suma, a subgroup of the African Gbaya peopleSystem Management Interface Tool
The System Management Interface Tool (SMIT) is a menu-based management tool for the IBM AIX operating system.It allows a user to navigate a menu hierarchy of commands, rather than using the command line.TeTeX
teTeX was a TeX distribution for Unix-like systems. As of May 2006, teTeX is no longer actively maintained and its former maintainer Thomas Esser recommended TeX Live as the replacement.The teTeX package is available as a package for system architectures:
Linux (x86, SPARC, PowerPC, Alpha)
macOS (x86, PowerPC)
Solaris (x86, SPARC)Other supported operating systems include:
OpenBSD and FreeBSD (on x86 architectures)
IBM AIX on (RS/6000)
HP-UX (on HPPA)
Microsoft Windows (on 32-bit systems)
BeOS (for Intel x86)Timex (Unix)
timex is a Unix utility tool, most commonly used in the measurement of duration of shell processes. It is also used to measure process data and system activity. The tool appears in IBM AIX and the Sun Microsystems Solaris.Veritas Cluster File System
The Veritas Cluster File System (or VxCFS) is a cache coherent POSIX compliant shared file system built based upon VERITAS File System. It is distributed with a built-in Cluster Volume Manager (VxCVM) and components of other VERITAS Storage Foundation products - particularly VERITAS Cluster Server, VERITAS File System, and VERITAS Volume Manager. It uses the underlying mechanisms of VERITAS Cluster Server to manage membership and changes in cluster state.
The shared file system is available on the following operating systems: IBM AIX, Solaris, Linux, and HP-UX. The current version of the product is version 7.3.1.
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|Desktop / Workstation|
|Server / Mainframe|
|Point of Sale|