IBM Corp.'s new AIX 5L operating system has Linux tools, extensions

IBM Corp.'s new AIX 5L operating system has Linux tools, extensions

By Mark A. Kellner

Special to GCN

IBM Corp. this month released a version of its AIX operating system with a Linux chaser.

'It broadens the portfolio of applications, whether it's access to Linux programs for enterprise-class environments or for simpler environments,' said Miles Barel, IBM program director for Unix brand marketing.

The new OS, AIX 5L 5.0, has Linux tools and extensions and can run on both IBM PowerPC and Intel Itanium IA-64 CPUs. It incorporates elements of IBM's RS/6000 technology such as multipath input/output and multiclustering. An improved Workload Manager module can manage disk I/O, as well as CPU and memory. AIX 5L also will support Java2 Version 1.3 and will have TCP/IP enhancements for better network performance and reliability.

OS flexibility

Sites that adopt AIX 5L can use Linux for front-end Web serving and AIX for transaction and data management. Among the Unix technologies incorporated in the new release is a subsystem for printer administration and drivers.

Barel said several other hardware makers have indicated they will support AIX 5L on Itanium. They include Acer America Corp. of San Jose, Calif.; Bull HN Information Systems Inc. of Billerica, Mass.; Cetia Inc. of Burlington, Mass.; Compaq Computer Corp.; Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. of Korea; and Unisys Corp.

Although IBM is 'seeing the success of the Project Monterey initiative' for AIX, he said, IBM also wants Linux features in AIX. Project Monterey is an IBM initiative with Intel, Santa Cruz Operation Inc. of Santa Cruz, Calif., and others to create a 64-bit Unix platform.

'We're developing a lot of technology with strong Linux affinity, such as a port for Linux interfaces and build-time support for some of the common tools used by Linux developers,' he said.

AIX 5L, for example, will support Red Hat Inc.'s RPM Package Manager, which lets users package source code for new software so that binaries can be easily installed and tracked and the source code can be easily rebuilt. Many Linux applications will run under AIX 5L with a simple recompilation, according to IBM.

'This extends our capabilities in both the AIX and the Linux markets,' Barel said.

AIX 5L, which will license for about $300 per copy, will come bundled with some RS/6000 systems.

Contact IBM at 888-411-1932.

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