Linked by Thom Holwerda on Fri 17th Feb 2017 22:40 UTC
IBM

I'm pretty sure all of you are aware of Advanced Interactive Executive, or AIX, IBM's high-end, professional UNIX operating system. It has been in development since 1986, and is currently at version 7.2, released in 2015. It's one of those operating systems you hear relatively little about here on OSNews, if only because it sits in a part of the market where few of us ever encounter it.

Which is why I was pleasantly surprised to learn that AIX hasn't been confined to (relatively) exotic non-x86 hardware such as IBM Power and PowerPC-based systems. During my research into the IBM PS/2, I discovered that IBM released versions of AIX for PS/2 systems. The first release was AIX 1.1 1989, followed by 1.2 in 1990, and the last release, 1.3, in 1992.

From the AIX 1.3 PS/2 announcement letter:

Performance tuning in AIX PS/2 Operating System Version 1.3 offers increased throughput for Input/Output (I/O) in both raw and block mode, in addition to kernel performance enhancements and smaller size requirements available through the availability of serviceable shared libraries usage in applications written to utilize them. Enhancements have also been made to the pager and swapper areas of memory management that have resulted in performance increases.

Improvements in the windowing and Graphical User Interface (GUI) areas are highlighted with the introduction of the X Windowing System V11 R5 from MIT available in AIX PS/2 X-Windows Version 1.3 and AIXwindows Environment for PS/2 Version 1.3 and OSF's Motif 1.1.3 available in AIXwindows Environment for PS/2 Version 1.3 along with AIXwindows Desktop. Support for the IBM Xstation 120 and Xstation 130 is provided in the AIX PS/2 Xstation Manager Version 1.3 Support for XGA-2 provides non-interlaced, high resolution graphics on those displays that support it.

The internet is a great thing, and IBM AIX 1.3 for PS/2 can be found on abandonware sites, and there are some repositories with more information. The full AIX 1.3 PS/2, with all the additional packages you had to buy separately, comes in at a whopping 94 1.44 MB floppies. The installation procedure is complex, and I haven't yet been able to get it installed in VirtualBox. I want to give this some visibility, because maybe someone with more experience with AIX can get AIX PS/2 to run inside VirtualBox or some other virtualisation tool.

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AIX, PS/2, MacOS, OS/2
by AndrewZ on Mon 20th Feb 2017 18:33 UTC
AndrewZ
Member since:
2005-11-15

Around 1992 when IBM was partnering with Apple and working on PowerPC there were some interesting goings on. I met an IBM engineer who told me that IBM was working on porting its hypervisor from VM mainframe to the PC, with the intent of running AIX, OS/2, and MacOS simultaneously. There were numerous delays in this development, and when Gerstner assumed control of IBM this project was lost in the re-org. I believe the technology subsequently became VMWare? Not sure about that. That was a crazy time, with IBM working with Apple on the new PowerPC platform, running Windows NT on PowerPC, and working with Microsoft on OS/2, but losing out to Windows95.

At that time I was a Windows developer and had a PS/2 running OS/2 for the purposes of porting Windows software to OS/2. But after realizing the coordinate system was different, that the code would have to be forked, and that OS/2 was almost exclusively a corporate market, I installed Win95 and surfed the web using Netscape. PS/2 was a solid architecture and always reliable.

Edited 2017-02-20 18:37 UTC

Reply Score: 2

RE: AIX, PS/2, MacOS, OS/2
by lproven on Tue 21st Feb 2017 16:12 in reply to "AIX, PS/2, MacOS, OS/2"
lproven Member since:
2006-08-23

I suspect that you are thinking of IBM Workplace OS, a bold plan to port both AIX and OS/2 to a Mach kernel on POWER. Here's an intro:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IBM_Workplace_OS

And some more info:

http://www.edm2.com/index.php/Workplace_OS/2:_Just_Good_Old_OS/2_.....

A beta of Workplace OS/2, i.e. a POWER-native version of OS/2, did get released:

http://www.os2museum.com/wp/os2-history/os2-warp-powerpc-edition/

However, it was the end of the line.

It was a lovely idea, but unfortunately I have to say that IBM was right to kill the project. Linux was on the ascendant, and OS/2 was all but dead, as were desktop IBM POWER workstations.

I don't know of any releases of Mach-based AIX.

Reply Parent Score: 1