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 www.ibm.com/aix, 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.