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The Advanced Interactive eXecutive (AIX) is an operating system that is a derivative of UNIX and has been developed by IBM for various platforms. Currently it runs on hardware specifically designed by IBM to run AIX but also on System i server hardware. A few third party manufacturers offer AIX compatible hardware as well.

AIX has carved out a niche as a high-availability alternative to popular open source UNIX clones and is particularly known for its strong disk subsystem features with notably strong support for security and fault tolerance. AIX is also one of the few UNIX like systems that comply with the Single Unix Specification alongside Solaris and HP-UX.


It has in fact been available as a "task" operating system on IBM System/370 and all newer mainframes, much of the porting of Kyoto Common Lisp in the late 80s to AIX took place on AIX/370 although the ultimate target was RT PC. It can be run as a virtualised task on z/OS mainframes.

AIX PS/2 for systems with 386 processors was introduced in 1988.

It was notably the first OS to offer a journaling file system when it introduced JFS with AIX 3.1 in 1990. A mostly compatible but much improved and more portable version of the system was created for OS/2 in 1999 and is known as JFS, that was then ported to AIX and there called JFS2, with the older file system being renamed JFS1. For a time in the mid to late 90s lots of system and development software was either ported from AIX to OS/2, from OS/2 to AIX or developed for both systems at the same time.

For a short while Caldera sold a port of AIX running on Itanium hardware under the name AIX 5L for Itanium-based Systems (Project Monterey).

Programming Tools

The AIX Family Definition defines two procedure languages:



The AIX Operating System is based on ISC's IN/ix, which is based on AT&T UNIX System V. Some portions of the modifications and enhancements were developed by IBM, others were developed by ISC under contract.

  • 1986: IBM RT PC Advanced Interactive Executive Operating System (5669-061)
  • 1987: AIX/RT Operating System Version 2.1
  • 1988: AIX/RT Operating System Version 2.2
  • 1989: AIX/RT Operating System Version 2.2.1
  • 1988:
  • 1989: 1.1
  • 1990: 1.2
  • 1991: 1.2.1
  • 1993: 1.3
AIX/6000 (POWER RISC architecture)
  • 1990: AIX Version 3 for RISC System/6000 (5756-030)
  • 1991: AIX Version 3.1.5 for RISC System/6000
  • 1992: AIX Version 3.2 for RISC System/6000
  • 1992: AIX Version 3.2.1 for RISC System/6000
  • Jul 1993: AIX 3.2.4
  • Nov 1993: AIX 3.2.5
  • Jul 1994: AIX Version 4.1
  • Oct 1994: AIX Version 4.1.1
  • 2001: AIX 5L Version 5.1
  • Current release: 7.2 (December 2015) - Adds live kernel replacement capability - Only works on Power 7 or higher processors.
AIX for Itanium
  • 2001: AIX 5L Version 5.1
  • 1992: Version 2 Release 1
  • 1993: Version 2 Release 2 - withdrawn in 1996 and replaced by OpenEdition MVS



  • IBM AIX Family Definition Overview, GC23-2002-00 (1988)
  • AIX Overview, G580-0917
  • AIX/370 Fact Sheet, G580-0931
  • AIX/RT Fact Sheet, G580-0932
  • AIX PS/2 Fact Sheet, G580-0933