AIX Operating System (Unix)

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AIX 4.3

AIX Screenshot AIX is the first 64-bit UNIX that becames from the NSA in the USA the TCSEC C2 certificate, with modifications it corresponds also the TCSEC B1. AIX 4.3 can run on 64-Bit CPUs binarily 32-Bit programs and 64-Bit programs. The TCP/IP stack and the I/O system were continued to optimize on high efficiency. Up to 128 non removable disks can be combined into a logical group. OpenGL GLX 1.3 and graPHICS extensions make an increased application performance and better handling of large graphic models possible. NIS+, Java support and numerous system management Tools supplement this AIX release.

AIX Compatibility

Except for special exceptions applications for AIX version 4.1 or 4.2 run also under AIX 4.3- without new compilation. A condition for it are: RS/6000 POWER-, POWER2 and PowerPC-based models. Applications that use some X11R5 server extension (like the Windowmanager), are only executable under AIX version 4.3. Applications that where compiled with specific POWER2 or other PowerPC compiling options, are executable also only with such CPUs. The downward compatibility is reduced in so far that compiled applications on AIX 4.x are not compatible to the older releases of AIX. 64-Bit applications, which were provided on 32-Bit systems under AIX 4.3, can be used on 64-Bit AIX 4.3 systems without problems.

AIX areas of application

Applicable on workstation to supercomputers and cluster systems; eBusiness, Intranet, Extranet, enterprise-critical applications

Structure information
- support for up to 12 CPUs for each computer system
- 32-Bit or 64-Bit Kernel
- support for 64-Bit hardware
- HACMP, High Availability cluster multi-processing
- supports the safety stages C2 and optionally B1 #1
- IBM eNetwork LDAP directory support

#1 E3/F-C2/B1: these safety stages are published by the Federal Office for security in the information technology for the certified employment in government authorities.

AIX system environment

- Korn Shell
- Supports JFS and JFS2 file system
- CDE and Motif as graphic surface
- PowerPC architecture

Project Monterey

The project Monterey is an association of Intel, IBM and SCO to port Aix to the IA-64 and x86 32-bit architecture, it offers a common platform for SCO and AIX applications and shall be suitable for clusters in the combine of up to 32 nodes. The previous maximum workable file size of 1 tbyte shall be increased up to 8 tbyte. The new operating system shall consist of AIX to 90%, the other share will contain technology of UnixWare and PTX UNIX. Intel will provide server manufacturers with this version, IBM integrates the operating system into the own RS/6000 line and supports the version for PowerPC further. Monterey was started at the end of October 1998 and came in May 2001 to the market. The operating system has been sold only in a low quantity (32 pieces) and it gave difficulties with the Itanium processor so that IBM cancelled Monterey at the end of the year 2002.


AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) is the operating system developed by IBM, to meet the high requirements for the enterprise employment. In addition handling particularly large applications and the scaling ability belong to this high requirements. AIX 5L has the ability to segment programs in memory in 8 x 256 MByte parts, with AIX 5L 5.1 up to 10 x 256 MByte parts and with AIX 5L 5.2, 5.3 up to 13 x 256 MByte parts. AIX was designed for the employment for workstations (for instance the RS/6000 line) to supercomputers (RS/6000 FR) too. AIX is related to the Unix system V and BSD 4.3 operating system. It supported distinguished different platforms and possesses high binary compatibility to the most diverse program formats. AIX 5L is also for the employment on servers of the product series of IBM S80 intended and supported likewise Linux applications. IBM offers among other things support and enterprise solutions approximately around AIX.

AIX 5L version 5.2

Since the beginning of October 2002 the version 5.2 is available. Contained are now also functions, which admits so far only from Maynframes. The dynamic Partitionierung (LPAR) permits the enterprise of up to 16 virtual servers on a server. During operation resources can be assigned or taken off to each virtual server dynamically such as CCU, memory and I/O cards - without reboot or shutdown of the running server. This makes it possible to react individually to the requirements from customers and to adapt flexibly all resources. With the Keyed Capacity Upgrade on Demand (CUoD) for the p670 and p690 server it is possible to increase the number of CPUs for higher performance during operation. With the function of dynamic processor saving can be assigned reserved processors automatically as replacement for failed processors. Thus a sudden perfromance loss is prevented and the full availability for the enterprise employment is guaranteed.

For AIX 5L an extension and a bonus pack are free of charge available, with the additive of a broad number of applications and Tools. The data recovery is provided by a data mirror software. For enterprise critical applications that need some remote Backup, the software HAGEO (high availability geographic cluster) and GeoRM (Geographic remote Mirror) is available. This software makes it possible to fall back on errors to backup server with automatic resynchronization of the data in real time by mirroring of the data. For the administration of the functions the hardware management CONSOLE (HMC) and HMC recovery software is used for the LPAR control and cluster management. By the IBM cluster systems management (CSM) a central control together for cluster 1600 and cluster 1350 systems as well as possible for distributed server from the pSerie. It does not count whether Linux and/or AIX are used in a network - over those Web-based system managers surface who can be served easily let themselves be served both operating systems.

AIX 5L version 5.3

AIX 5L version 5.3 was published together with IBM of eServer p5 series in August 2004. It offers one in the comparison to the previous version further technology for self management of the operating system on POWER5 servers. Mayn strength of AIX 5L is handling of high system resources and communication services by the IBM virtualization engine, improved physical system utilization of available resources to the previous version by Micro- Partitioning and virtual processors, memory, RAM and network adapters.

The Dynamic the Logical Partitioning (LPAR), available since version 5.2, makes flexible handling possible with virtual servers on a physical server. With the extended scaling system resources such as processors and RAM can be assigned and revoked to the virtual servers, without affecting or restart of the running server installation. Micro Partitioning extends this flexibility in POWER5-Systemen by dispatching of processor performance from a system partition in 1/10 steps to correspond the tweaking permitted even the increase or lowering in 1/100 steps for optimally the enterprise requirements. Several LPARs can divide a resource pool automatically depending to the requirement from the virtual servers by balancing the processor performance without interruptions for the LPARs.

AIX 5L V5.3 makes it possible to measure and log the resource utilization in a divided server infrastructure during a certain period. A user can be assigned (virtual) to a server installation. This is important for the user to profit thereby from the business model on demand to book exactly the performance which is necessary and pays for it accordingly. This makes an accounting of achievements and the planning for the provided capacities possible. Noted are the system processes, transactions in the file system, processor utilization, RAM and network utilization.

AIX 5L V5.2 introduced already Capacity on Demand (CoD), to AIX 5L V5.3 this technology was continued to improve. Selected IBM eServer like p5, i5 and models from the pSeries used this feature to belong to the best scalable and most flexible servers in ranking. An example of use would be, if an enterprise pays a certain resources package, which however for a sudden treatment of masses of orders is not sufficient any longer. In this Case with CoD was automatically more resources such as processor performance and network bandwith during the high load assigned.

This operating system is completely compatible to 32-bit and 64-bit applications, these can be even running at the same time. At the same time can be used the multithreading of all POWER5 processors available in the server symmetrically. Supporting applications can reach a higher level of the system utilization and data flow. AIX 5L supports inspired from many features such as high reliability, availability, self healing and independent configurations from Maynframes. This guarantees highest availability for enterprise-critical applications. If nevertheless appears an error the operating system used his logging functions to log the current condition of the hardware and software. The dynamic reconfiguration permits the exchange of processors and RAM in POWER5 to servers without interruption of current applications in LPARs.

The service Update Management Assistant (SUMA) makes the definition of guidelines possible, the assistant service provide the operating system with automatically updates and files from the IBM support for download. Programmers profit in this AIX version from the POSIX real-time application programming interface for simpler porting of software.

The new NFSv4 Access Control List (ACL) safety minutes for the file systems JFS2 and GPFS (general parallel file system) offers higher security and efficiency. Extended filter rules support network security and notice break-in attempts in the network data traffic. The gnome desktop 2.4 is for the first time also as user itnerface available. The maximum number of ethernet devices has been increased from 1024 to unlimited (ent0, ...). The system protocols the activities of up to 32,767 registered users. For users and user groups the name length was increased from formerly 8 up to 255 text characters. The JFS2 file system is offering Quota and Shrink functions now.

On August 4th, 2006 IBM published AIX 5L 5.3 an update for System p5 server. Unusual feature of the p5 server is his co. processor 4764 for the cryptography to use safety on hardware level.
The AIXpert (Enterprise Security Management Tool) is a hardening tool to increase the safety of the network and operating system. The AIX LDAP client supports Active Directory now. The Common Boot Image Management offers new features and functions. SUMA (System Update Management Assistant) supports the download of service packs or Technology level updates. Parallel dump makes the use of several processors possible to reduce the time duration during the system dump. All data areas in the Kernel are protected by the difinition as No-Execute area.
- Kernel stack overflow detection
- NDAF - Enhanced NFSv4 Administration
- improved Performance Tools
- enhancement of commands and network characteristics
- Virtual I/O Server V1.3

AIX 5L v5.3 was certified according to the UNIX 03 standard at 2006-11-23.


IBM started his public beta programme for Aix 6 at the 2007-07-12. This is a importand step in compare in previous product politics because the new Aix 6 beta can be download and test for free by everyone. The new version scheme breaks off with "Aix 5 l" because Linux is established in meanwhile on POWER systems and no more separate name is necessary. AIX 6 runs on PPC970, Power4, Power5 and Power6 processors, programmes of the versions 5.x are binary compatible without recompilation. The new operating system release takes full advance of the technical potential of the POWER6 hardware in p system systems. The completed version shall be ready in the 4th quarter 2007.

Aix 6.1 shall contain beside others the following programme functions.
- Live Application Mobility: relocate applications between servers without restart
- Workload Partitions: software based virtualization function to consolidate multiple partitions within a single AIX image
- Role Based Access Control: improved security and manageability by associating resources with a role allowing users management of specific AIX resources
- AIX Security Expert enhancements
- Name Resolver Caching Daemon
- System Director Console for AIX: direct access to the System Management Interface Tool (SMIT) in a Web browser
- Security: Role Based Access Control
- Security: Trusted AIX 6, extended security capabilities with multi-level security for critical government and private industry security requirements
- Security: Encrypting Filesystem, IBM Journaled Filesystem Extended (JFS2)
- Security: SECURE BY DEFAULT, only the minimal number of services is installed


AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 1AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 2AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 3AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 4
AIX 5.3 ConsoleAIX 6.0 ConsoleAIX 5.3, Login screenAIX 5.3, CDE graphical interface with Mozilla browser
AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 5AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 6AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 7AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 8
AIX 5.3, overview of processes and SMITAIX 5.3, Web-based System ManagerAIX 5.3, Devicemanager and ressourcesAIX 5.3, Management Tools
AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 9AIX Operating System (Unix) screenshot 10
AIX 5.3, Device overviewAIX 5.3, Root-Directory


Date - Version
1986 - AIX 1
1987 - AIX 2
1989 - AIX 3
1990 - AIX 3.1
1993 Sept. - AIX 3.2.5
1993 - AIX 4.0
1994 July - AIX 4.1
1994 Oct. - AIX 4.1.1, first use of the CDE desktop as AIX window desktop
1994 - AIX 4.1.2
1995, June - AIX 4.1.3, contains in parts of CDE 1.0
1995, Oct. - AIX 4.1.4, max. file size up to 2 GByte and 2 GByte RAM, file system up to 64 GByte
1996 - AIX 4.1.5, max. file size up to 2 GByte and 2 GByte RAM, file system up to 64 GByte
1996, Oct. - AIX 4.2, full support of CDE 1.0, max. file size up to 64 GByte and 4 GByte RAM, file system up to 128 GByte
1994 - AIX 4.2.5, BSI E3/F-C2 Security Certification
1997, Oct. - AIX 4.3, BSI E3/F-C2 Security Certification
1998, April - AIX 4.3.1, Certification B1/EST-X Version 2.0.1, max. file size up to 64 GByte and 16 GByte RAM, file system up to 1 TByte
1998, Oct. - AIX 4.3.2, max. file size up to 64 GByte and 32 GByte RAM
1999, Sept. - AIX 4.3.3, max. file size up to 64 GByte and 96 GByte RAM, file system up to 1 TByte
2000 - AIX 5L
2001 May - AIX 5L 5.1, up to 32 processors and 512 GByte RAM
2002 Oct. - AIX 5L 5.2, up to 32 processors and 1024 GByte RAM
2004 Aug. - AIX 5L 5.3, up to 64 processors and 2048 GByte RAM
2007 July - AIX 6 OpenBeta
2007 Nov - AIX 6.1
2010 Oct. - AIX 7.1 released
2015 Dec. - AIX 7.2 released


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