Home > IBM > IBM: Linux is the ‘Logical Successor’ IBM: Linux is the ‘Logical Successor’ Eugenia Loli 2003-01-29 IBM 26 Comments The day is approaching when Linux will likely replace IBM’s version of Unix, the company’s top software executive said, an indication that the upstart operating system’s stature is rising within Big Blue. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 26 Comments 2003-01-29 8:07 pm …one lost day I read on the Usenet 2003-01-29 8:23 pm whats in it for IBM? They’ve reinvented themselves over the years, but how is it they can make money, and what about when GNU Hurd is finally released? Thats the baby!! 2003-01-29 8:28 pm yes , they kinda spawned MS and brought us MS-DOS , what a wonderful thing. And you’re talking about AIX ? What contribution has IBM ever made to *NIX community I wonder. 2003-01-29 8:32 pm “and what about when GNU Hurd is finally released? Thats the baby!! ” If Hurd is RMS’ baby, I’d toss it out with the bathwater 2003-01-29 8:41 pm This article definitely makes it sound like they only intend to replace Linux on their low end servers, and not on their big iron. I don’t think we’ll see Linux replacing z/OS any time in the near future. Linux does not belong on big iron, and I hope Altix is the last nail in SGI’s coffin. What contribution has IBM ever made to *NIX community I wonder. Well, if you care about Linux at all they’ve contributed a great deal to the kernel sources, namely JFS. 2003-01-29 8:51 pm Hmm .. the linux hype has re-entered mainstream again! This almost feels like 2000, except that, this time, people are actually begining to use linux. If you look at the way application developers are supporting linux versus other unixes, you can see that linux will clearly be the logical successor. Take such a widely used app like mysql: At the moment, FreeBSD and Linux and the most widely supported. 2003-01-29 9:07 pm Hopefully if IBM ever retires AIX, they’ll donate a lot of technology and code to linux. Fingers crossed. 2003-01-29 9:11 pm It’s only a joke, they have intended to speak about mechanics. Something like the upper jaw joining the lower jaw, with, just as sample, some Bill between them. Where is the ‘logic’ here ? A good new for Linux, anyway. 2003-01-29 9:23 pm http://www.eetimes.com/sys/news/OEG20030123S0034 http://www.eetimes.com/story/OEG20021218S0019 interesting turn of events. 2003-01-29 9:35 pm “whats in it for IBM?” Three major things: #1: They don’t have to spend money on OS R&D #2: They don’t have to pay licensing fees to MS #3: They get to stick it to MS “They’ve reinvented themselves over the years, but how is it they can make money, and what about when GNU Hurd is finally released? Thats the baby!!” GNU Hurd is probably never going to go anywhere. I mean come on. Hurd has been in development for longer than Linux and it still isn’t even usable. 2003-01-29 10:19 pm They’ve reinvented themselves over the years, but how is it they can make money, and what about when GNU Hurd is finally released? Thats the baby!! No one is going to dump Linux for the Hurd. This is primarily due to the fact that Hurd development has slowed to a crawl. It still doesn’t support > 1GB filesystems. Its only filesystem option is ext2. It still can’t warm boot on most platforms. Furthemore, the Hurd developers have already made clear their desire to switch to L4 from Mach, and will most likely do so before the Hurd ever sees a 1.0 release. The Hurd is the biggest piece of vaporware in history. 13 years in development and what do they have to show for it? A platform plagued with as menial of problems as I’ve described above. In terms of vaporware, it puts even Duke Nukem Forever to shame. 2003-01-29 10:32 pm Scalability. Everything from desktops to tv-boxes to servers can run the same code. Plus, Linux is already ported to a whole range of architectures that AIX is not. I work on HPUX all day, and HP has libraries for easily porting apps between linux and hpux. Linux is the future, even if it not there yet. 2003-01-29 11:26 pm One thing that AIX could offer Linux is their very good management tools. AIX is about the only Unix you can administer (server) without having a clue how Unix works. It would mean IBM starting their own distribution which goes against their current support for United Linux but if UL falls apart hopefully they’d make the move. So far IBM’s AIX team has been supportive of Linux but not super supportive. 2003-01-29 11:42 pm Thanks for the replies, clears a few things. Maybe I might sound dumb, but the way I see it IBM are just amazing!! Well, they provide solutions not only for the Linux platform, but also for the Ms platform. I don’t know, maybe I’m too cynical? I just see IBM in the long run doing something that will have a negative impact on the Linux community at heart. I am dumb, I was just thinking…hands up who would switch to a Linux distro made by IBM? I would…why?…dunno.(I’m a gemini, have a split persona) 2003-01-29 11:45 pm Someone mentioned scalability… for example are you saying that the Linux I use on my playstation is compatable with the Linux on my PC or on my PDA? 2003-01-30 12:03 am No, the Linux on your playstation is not compatable with the Linux on your PC or PDA. Scalability has more to do with portability; the ease of taking a Linux to Linux or Linux to Unix versus *nix to Windows is a no-brainer. For example, for a living, I am a Unix developer that writes all of my applications on Linux. In most cases, I can take source, move it up from my box to a Unix server, and it will compile – and, with most of the Unix distros picking up a lot of the GNU toolset, this gets easier every day. HP sends me CDs full of ported Linux libs and apps for HPUX just so that porting is simple. 2003-01-30 12:11 am More or less, that’s true. Depending on architecture and available libraries, Linux appss are mostly source compatible. But most of the important libs are available for any platform. Familiar Linux (Ipaq)/Zaurus is even binary compatible to Debian Arm. 2003-01-30 12:46 am Scalability and portability are seperate things. A portable program or operating system is easy to take from on kind of machine to the next. NetBSD is renowned for its portabilty. Scalability has to do with dealing well with size changes. Typically it means how well something scales upwards (ie multiple computers, or something other than a normal desktop enivornment), but it can also refer to how well it scales down for something like a PDA with limited resources. 2003-01-30 12:48 am Bascule wrote – “Linux does not belong on big iron, and I hope Altix is the last nail in SGI’s coffin. ” Why doesn’t Linux belong on big iron? Obvious as of right this very moment 2.4.x isn’t quite there yet but 2.6 will be much closer. I/O is being cleaned up tremendously, a new far more scalable scheduler and threads implementation, a far more robust VM, better LVM support, support for hot-pluggable CPUs and PCI devices, User Mode Linux support, etc etc. Lots of the higher end features of AIX and Solaris (unless I’m missing any big ones) seem to be headed our way very shortly. I much enjoy reading your posts, while I may not always agree with your points you are quite an interesting and enjoyable read. You seem to nearly loath Linux – why? Finally – the remark about SGI – why do you dislike them so? Obviously they’ve made some very stupid financial decisions recently but I’ll always have a soft spot in my heart for them. 2003-01-30 12:55 am I wonder what possibilities this chip will have for IBM? Maybe they can phase out x86 PC line and for PPC based desktops running Linux AIX and Mac OS X (if they can get a License from apple).:D 2003-01-30 1:46 am When I was talking about scalability and portability, I meant having the ability to port the app to higher-end platforms without problem. 2003-01-30 1:54 am Chris, You mentioned HPUX, providing you with libs for Linux. This is interesting I never knew that. After much thought I agree with the article , Could someone please explain why Linux being a monolithic kernel is not a good idea, could this be a problem in the long term? 2003-01-30 3:42 am The company said it had $1.5 billion in Linux-related revenue in 2002. Just wow… 2003-01-30 4:15 am I read an interview with Jack Welch (before he retired, before he divorced), in which he commented that the internet was doing more for GE (an old paradigm company) through online purchasing and other efficiencies, than it was for dot-com startups (most of which are now dead). The same can be said for linux. Open Source in and of itself is not a viable business model, in the same way selling dog food over the internet isn’t a viable business model. But it is viable for GE to sell 200 refrigerators to a distributor, or IBM to bundle linux with expensive hardware and service contracts. 2003-01-30 4:25 am Why doesn’t Linux belong on big iron? Obvious as of right this very moment 2.4.x isn’t quite there yet but 2.6 will be much closer. I am so tired of hearing that Linux <Current stable version + 1> will fix all the problems associated with Linux. I remember when I was bitching about the BKL in Linux 2.2 and the Linux zealots ASSURED me it would be gone in 2.4. Guess what… still there in 2.4. I don’t care where the Linux zealots think Linux will be X years from now, I care where it’s at *NOW*. When it’s actually X years from now, we can talk about where Linux is at then. Right now, the following operating systems are suitable for big iron systems: z/OS Solaris Irix And the following are not: Linux 2003-01-30 3:45 pm Back when I worked for a company that was acquired by IBM, I got a call from an IBMer who identified himself as a “Senior Architect” who wanted to know how some enterprise function could be done using AIX. Who, me? I didn’t know anything about AIX. So this is one big benefit of EOL’ing that platform – their own managers and developers, as well as their customers, can concentrate on learning Linux. Yes, even Senior Architects.