IBMs AIX Supports Linux Apps

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2001-01-22 Print this article Print

IBM is stepping up to the interoperability plate and releasing a toolbox for its Unix operating system, AIX, that allows developers to recompile Linux applications to run on AIX.

IBM is stepping up to the interoperability plate and releasing a toolbox for its Unix operating system, AIX, that allows developers to recompile Linux applications to run on AIX.

The toolbox, which can be downloaded at, contains a range of open-source and GNU software, including recompiled versions of GNU Network Object Model Environment and K Desktop Environment; system utilities such as emacs, Samba and zip; libraries; shells; and application development tools such as gcc, g++, RPM and Autoconf.

Tilak Agerwala, vice president for AIX at IBM, said the Armonk, N.Y., company is enabling Linux across all its server lines, as it wants to leverage the surging growth around Linux.

"We are using the toolbox to unleash the capabilities to run Linux applications on AIX," Agerwala said. "The toolbox ... allows developers to use the already familiar Linux development tools and environment to recompile applications and, once theyve gone through this, the applications basically run like a native AIX application. This gives our customers all the benefits of AIX while using a familiar Linux environment."

Last year, IBM announced its AIX Linux affinity project, designed to bring Linux application interoperability to its Unix platform. The toolbox is the first feature available under that program.

While Linux applications built using the toolbox will run only on IBMs eServers, the second phase of the project will incorporate 20 more Linux-compatible APIs and header files into AIX 5L Version 5.1. And, at that time, both IBMs Power and Intel Corp.s Itanium architectures will be supported.

IBM is hoping that customers will provide the company with feedback, which will be incorporated in an updated toolbox included in AIX 5L 5.1, which is due next quarter.

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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