IBM boosts Linux support in AIX 5L

P-p-p-put a penguin in your p-server

IBM has improved Linux application support for AIX 5L, its flagship Unix operating system.

AIX 5L version 5.1 gives developers access to APIs (application programming interface) and header files which enable Linux applications to run on AIX servers after a "simple recompilation".

Generally, applications are optimised to run on a particular platform; so it is feasible that recompilation could result in a hit on performance. And is it possible to port every application?

However, IBM has demonstrated enormous commitment to the Linux market, and it is clearly keen to bring the open source community on board (even though it has to be careful not to talk up Linux to the extent that it affects sales of its AIX-based servers).

IBM is positioning AIX 5L version 5.1 as a suitable environment for building and managing both Unix and Linux applications, providing an advantage over "fully-closed, proprietary systems" (an obvious dig at Sun). Concurrent operation of 32- and 64-bit applications will be possible with AIX 5L, IBM says.

Tools built into AIX's Workload Manager (WLM) include a new API which enables external applications to modify system behaviour.

Automated systems management has also been improved with Reliable Scalable Cluster Technology (RSCT), ported from IBM's higher-end SP supercomputer servers.

AIX 5L Version 5.1 offers support for systems with up to 32 processors and 256 GB memory, and is generally available from May 4. The AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications (a collection of 200 open source tools and applications) is available at no cost with AIX or via download here. ®

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