32-bit / 64-bit Multiplatform UNIX

AIX (Advanced Interactive eXecutive) is a series of proprietary Unix operating systems developed and sold by IBM for several of its computer platforms. Originally released for the IBM 6150 RISC workstation, AIX now supports or has supported a wide variety of hardware platforms, including the IBM RS/6000 series and later IBM POWER and PowerPC-based systems, IBM System i, System/370 mainframes, PS/2 personal computers, and the Apple Network Server. AIX is based on UNIX System V with 4.3BSD-compatible extensions. It is one of four commercial operating systems that are presently certified to The Open Group's UNIX 03 standard. (The others are Mac OS X, Solaris and HP-UX.)

The AIX family of operating systems debuted in 1986, became the standard operating system for the RS/6000 series on its launch in 1990, and is still actively developed by IBM. It is currently supported on IBM Power Systems alongside IBM i and Linux. AIX was the first operating system to utilize journaling file systems, and IBM has continuously enhanced the software with features like processor, disk and network virtualization, dynamic hardware resource allocation (including fractional processor units), and reliability engineering ported from its mainframe designs.

User Interfaces

The default shell was Bourne shell up to AIX version 3, but was changed to Korn shell (ksh88) in version 4 in view of XPG4 and POSIX compliance.


The Common Desktop Environment (CDE) is AIX's default graphical user interface. As part of Linux Affinity and the free AIX Toolboxes for Linux Applications (ATLA), open-source KDE Plasma Workspaces and GNOME desktop are also available.

System Management Console

SMIT is the System Management Interface Tool for AIX. It allows a user to navigate a menu hierarchy of commands, rather than using the command line. Invocation is typically achieved with the command smit. Experienced system administrators make use of the F6 function key which generates the command line that SMIT will invoke to complete t SMIT also generates a log of commands that are performed in the smit.script file. The smit.script file automatically records the commands with the command flags and parameters used. The smit.script file can be used as an executable shell script to rerun system configuration tasks. SMIT also creates the smit.log file, which contains additional detailed information that can be used by programmers in extending the SMIT system.