AIXThis forum is for the discussion of IBM AIX.
eserver and other IBM related questions are also on topic.
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I'll be getting an IMB 44p model 170 soon, and I'm curious to know how AIX compares to linux? If it's substantially different, I may take the plunge and install linux on it(never done a PPC install before). Is it hard to learn?
AIX has an command-line interface called smit to control most functions. It's like Yast, only more .. um, it looks like shit. It is cool in a way- but it is aging very badly. It does some pretty good low level stuff but that's about it.
If you are using AIX 5.3, then command line and smit are your friend. The commands are old unix not new linux commands- less, emacs, top, iptraf, etc. don't do squat. Those little things and niceties are nowhere to be found. Compile a program? Hahaha.. no. There is a linux addon pack for 5.2-5.3, but it seems to break things. Things that you need like- like your network and package lists and printer settings, etc.
IBM will be dropping AIX for Linux as soon as it works as good as or better than AIX on all hardware that they sell. About 2-3 years off from what I hear- it will be a forward moving switch to Linux in total. As a comparison between AIX and Linux- AIX is all work base files and nothing more. Like an anemic BSD- but it is very stable and supports alot of hardware with neat stuff like allocating cpu cycles to certain processes. Hot swap everything- in theory. Linux, well, you know what Linux can do. AIX is quite limiting if you want to run a CUPS print server for instance..
yes, I believe it is, however you still have to pay for it. If PPC is the only requirement, I'll install debian. But the thing is, I don't know how compatable linux is. The poster above made it sound like only some versions work
IBM will be dropping AIX for Linux as soon as it works as good as or better than AIX on all hardware that they sell. About 2-3 years off from what I hear- it will be a forward moving switch to Linux in total.
I'd be more than surprised if that happened. IBM is still heavily investing in AIX, and Gartner predict that in a few year's time only 3 OSes will be left: Windows, Linux and AIX.
The real question here is not AIX v/s Linux, but what do you WANT to use the 44P for?
I have one of these in my small army of computers, and I use it to do two things:
1. Do trial runs of sw installs before I do them on test (and later production) AIX boxes at work.
2. Code (GCC works fine on AIX, btw; it's in the Linux/GNU tools cd that's inlcuded with the CD set).
The 44P is a nice little 64-bit box circa 2000, but it runs at either 333 or 400mhz.
If you want to use it as a Linux box, by all means do so. But I'll bet you can get your hands on something newer with x86 architecture that would be a speedier Linux box.
I personally wouldn't want to run Linux on it. I have plenty of x86 hardware around, and to me the real value of the box is as a test system for AIX that's a small approximation of the big iron at work.
On the other hand, many of the compelling reasons to use AIX won't be apparent to you on such a small box (fantastic LVM, scalability, workload manager, etc...)
And to answer your first question, yes AIX is quite different from Linux in many ways. There are many, many proprietary AIX only commands, and there's smit/smitty. People will tell you that it's some strange animal under the hood (Aix Isn't uniX), but to me *nix is *nix is *nix. It's a bit more like Slackware (and *BSD) if that helps.
Eventually, I'd like to use it as a workstation. It's obviously an old computer, and I'm getting it for free. I'm assuming since it was used as a production type computer, and since that's what AIX seems to be for, that there will be no graphical interface at all. I'll probably play w/ AIX for a while, but I'd eventually just use it as a linux desktop machine. Is it possible to dual boot? How about compatability-wise? Will most linux distro's work?
AIX uses CDE by default, which is a very standard, but VERY UGLY desktop in the commercial UNIX world. You can *allegedly* install GNOME and KDE on it, but I haven't tried. I don't run a gui on any of my AIX boxes. I have it installed for when the Oracle DBAs need it for Oracle updates, but it is never running during normal operation.
As to the hardware compat, I wish I could advise you on this point, but I can't. I *seriously* doubt you'd ever be able to dual-boot it, but that's a guess.
I'd probably try Debian on it if I were you. Under the hood, the thing is very close to a Mac, so Debian PPC would be my first choice.
why wouldn't you be able to dual boot? I know Mac's can dual boot, so if this is so close, is there any reason it wouldn't be able to? I know some people have gotten debian installed on it, but the sites I've seen don't say very much about compatability.
From what I've seen, it looks like it's relatively compatable. I found this site http://dev.gentoo.org/~tgall/ on www.penguinppc.org. I think I'll try it. I'm not familiar w/ gentoo at all, would it be better to start w/ an installation I know, since it's a differenct architecture? I really want the PPC64 part of it to work, and the debian port doesn't support that yet.