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IBM to offer Linux support under AIX 72

cswiii writes "This c|net article talks about IBM, following the footsteps of Sun, to offer Linux support upon IBM's UNIX systems. " The most recent announcement from Sun, about LXRUN is quite similar. Essentially, both parties have modified their Unix flavors to enable AIX and Solaris to run Linux binaries.
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IBM to offer Linux support under AIX

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  • Well, isnt this just an interesting development.

    No, the commercial Unixes are not a threat to Linux, and, as of right now, I dont see Linux as being much of a threat to them. I think that for some time they may have thought that, but commercial vendors (all but M$) are starting to realize that Linux can help them more than it can hurt them. Think about it, right now, who ISNT doing some form of Unix? We have IBM (AIX), Sun (Solaris), Apple (Mac OS X). It looks to me like everyone but Microsoft looks to win when Linux compatiblity is the glue that holds all these companies together.

    Those who say that emulation is no substitute for the real thing just haven't seen it done well.

    At any rate, this is the way I see things panning out. We have Mac OS X as the Unix for the neophytes and the users who just must have what will be the best GUI in existence to date. Then, in the middle, we will have Linux running on Power User Desktops and low to mid end servers. To top it off, we will have the AIX servers and the Sun Enterprise servers at for the high end servers.

    Where does this leave us when it comes to convergence? Hmm, interesting question. Linux for Palmpilots, Linux for game machines, Linux for set top boxes, Linux for cellular telephones, Linux in your television, etc etc.

    No, we dont want "One OS Everywhere", but we can have each OS in a niche, with all of them being compatible to some degree with the others.

    Gosh, I know there is some big software company that I am leaving out of the picture, I just cant remember who. Goodbye to that monstrosity known as Windows 98/NT, goodbye to CE. Goodbye M$.

    Tony Hess, Micro$oft Certified Professional x2
  • looks like everybody wants to be able to play with everybody else (except M$ wants to be the cool kid on the block, the one who is condescending and snotty, but kids still want to be their friend). This is very good, with all this interoperability between Unixes' maybe linux will heal the UNIX rift that formed long ago. Just think of it, Linux binaries as the bandages for a weakness of your flavor of unix.
  • by Mr T ( 21709 ) on Tuesday May 25, 1999 @07:53AM (#1880106) Homepage
    This is good news for unix.

    Now how about IBM helps us get AIX binaries running under linuxPPC?

  • As went OS/2, so shall AIX.

    Yes, the proliferation of lxrun will reduce the number of Linux installations in the short run. In the long run, the commercial ISVs (especially smaller ones) will cut costs by cutting AIX, Solaris, and SCO Unix versions in favor of a single Linux version that runs on all of them.

    IBM, Sun, and SCO will be caught in the trap of having to make significant investments in lxrun to keep compatibility with the newer versions of Linux, while people who want the fewest compatibility hassles will go with the Real Thing.
    Only in areas where the non-Linux alternatives are clearly more capable will AIX, Solaris, and SCO Unix survive -- and slowly wither as Linux becomes more capable.

    lxrun? Is that Finnish for world domination?

  • How come Java needs such strict legalleze to "protect" the dieing standard from "corruption" and LX86 standard can survive and grow under GPL?

    Because, the tighter one's grip, the more star systems will slip through one's fingers.

    Sun Microsystems wanted control, specifically so that someone like Microsoft could not "embrace and extend". Linux, with the GPL, gives up that control. You can embrace and extend all you long as you ship your extensions with the source code. In ESR's annotations of the Halloween Documents, he notes that the openness of a development environment paradoxically prevents forking, as forking is the last effort at moving a development process in one's own direction. In an open situation like Linux, where anyone can (and does) enter a change, few people have a reason to fork Linux.

    I see two Microsoft strategies to dealing with the LX86 runtime environment. One is to submit code itself (likely under an astroturf front) which sabotages the kernel. This would have to be extremely subtle, if it is doable at all, since bad additions to the kernel will generally get thrown out (binary Darwinism).

    The second is to embrace and extend, but outside the kernel level. They cannot E&E in deep kernel (because their extensions would necessarily be copylefted), but nothing is stopping them from creating a payware shared library with The Killer Feature. By doing that, they can get people to write software to their library, thus requiring all users of said software to buy said library. It would be the OS monopoly all over again, but sitting on top of LX86 rather than just the Intel hardware itself.

    That is, Microsoft can sacrifice kernel control and still collect their tax. To do so, they would need a Killer Feature that Linux can't provide. The most obvious such feature is Win32 itself. If they ported Win32 to LX86, they would be able to convince vendors to stop porting to Linux, since every LX86 can become a (relatively) proper Windows box.

    Do we have countermoves to this strategy? What are the odds of this happening, and the factors that change these odds? IMHO, MS will have to swallow some pride to do this, but they might at that. Then again, it would be at least a partial victory, as Those Of Us Who Know would be able to run around beneath the Gates layer.

  • Linux kernel history? I think not.

    I just spent 2 days trying to get "Free" Solaris 7 to not crash when I installed my PCMCIA modem card. Never happened. That was after having to install Xfree to get my video card supported under X.

    I then Spent 30 minutes installing Redhat 6.0 with 100% success including X, PCMCIA modem and noname PCMCIA ether on the same hardware.

    Linux kernel will be here for a long time....

  • Hmmm... First I want to say that I think this is just a pure business move for IBM. Linux has been good for Unix and it would seem that most of the big players (Sun, IBM...) are positioning themselves for whatever the future might bring. I've got to believe that a lot of high executives are sitting in high powered board rooms trying to figure out just what to do with this whole "Linux thing" Also I think the article talked about IBM being afraid that someone will develop a killer app for linux and they don't want to miss out on it. Makes good sense to me.

    Now... I've got Solaris 7 on my machine along with Linux and yeah...Sun's X server seems a little quicker than XFree...but not 2-4 times quicker. Also XFree works with MANY more video cards. Solaris X86 has some serious problems with lack of drivers for new or generic hardware. Linux has a major advantage there. I have to run Solaris in 16 colors with my piece-o-crap video card. Linux handles it fine with 24 bit color 1024X760 display.

    Also Solaris is tied to CDE unless you want to do a LOT of work getting KDE or Gnome to run. Linux again has a major advantage in the desktop area. I like Solaris, it does seem more stable (not that Linux is not stable) but Linux is tooooo much fun.
  • I have to disagree with you there.

    Mac OS X has been delayed precisely because they are trying to perfect the UI for the home user. The future revisions of Mac OS X Server is more likely the one that a power user would use.

    It will not run ALL existing Mac apps. You will need to dump all those extensions for one (goodbye Speed Doubler, Conflict Catcher, and Kaleidascope -- not that they will be needed). You might as well toss most non Carbon compliant apps that directly access hardware, like Virtual PC. Not to mention a bunch of games. Just because the blue box is transparent doesnt mean that its completely gone.

    And since Apple dropped Rhapsody for Intel, I dont expect people tossing their Linux/Intel (AMD) machines out the window so they can have Steve Job's ugly blue and white G3s (man, I hope they really redesign the case or else I will be buying PowerBooks until the end of time). No, they will mostly be concentrated in the new user market, or in the upgrade to a 486 market.

    And since Linux keeps boxes running longer, how many people do you think will toss a perfectly good machine just to run Mac OS X?

    Now, referring to the Dev environment, I cant argue with you there. NeXT/OpenStep/YellowBox has always been at the forefront in terms of technology, just not market share or even mindshare.
  • Yes, the article is deceiving. lxrun does NOT require any modifications to the operating system to run Linux apps.

    However, there are a couple of modifications that do need to be made to make lxrun perfect (at least on Solaris). First of all, there is a way on Unixware (lxrun's original platform) to produce the necessary that actually is lxrun. It's a little confusing, but that would essentially allow you to type "linuxquake3" instead of "lxrun linuxquake3" to run Q3test.

    Unfortunately, the current Solaris linker doesn't have an essential option (I think it controls the relocation) to allow this to happen. I have heard that people at Sun have done this modification and gotten lxrun to work in this transparent mode. Therefore, Solaris 8 may have this option (no guarantees though).

    Second, this probably affects .001% of Solaris users, but the Voodoo drivers do not currently work with lxrun. The reason is that Solaris's /dev/mem is only the size of your physical RAM, while Linux's is apparently 4GB no matter what. Since the Voodoo driver mmaps the card at whatever high RAM address the PCI/AGP bus gives it, this fails on Solaris. So no accelerated Quake 3 for Solaris (yet) :(

    Obviously, getting that to work would require that the /dev/mem structure in Solaris be changed. I doubt that would happen.

    Also, kernel modules are out of the question... I think. Never tried modprobe or insmod. That could have some "interesting" effects though, given their close dependence on the kernel. Hopefully it just ends up with signal 11. I guess I get to test them today :-)

    Oh, BTW, don't use Stampede with lxrun... for some reason pathnames don't work properly. They were fixed when I put in SuSE. Dunno if it's the glibc2.1 or the Pentium optimizations.

    In other words, it's a lot less buggy than I thought ;-)
  • Possibly.
    Keep in mind what these "rumblings" from some of the "big guns" COULD mean.
    1. We have Corel already working on a distribution, one that, IMHO, will be a bit finer tuned to run whatever apps they've decided to port (ie: all of 'em).
    2. Linux intreroperability between Unices could be (hell, IS) a step towards a possible reunification in the *nix world. Binary cross-platform compatibility would go a LONG way towards killing the current FUD with respect to "splintering" Linux.
    3. The definition of the LSB needs to get set _REALLY_ quick so that if Big Blue, and anyone else, DOES decide to do a distro, we'll have a base in place from which to build. Packages built on one distribution would be even more easily pluggable into others using whatever package manager is deemed worthy to be deigned as the LSB package manger.

    I'm rambling. YMMV :)
  • I think this is very good news for Linux, because now, for a software house to support users of all three of AIX, Solaris-x86, and Linux, all they need to do is make and support a single Linux version of their software.

    Each platform is another one to support you know, and support is a big chunk of the cost of software (including the time&cost of regression testing on multiple platforms).

    Now if NT were able to run Linux binaries, people could drop developing software for that wacky OS too...

  • With Sun and IBM's OSes able to run Linux binaries out of the box, in addition to BSD, MacOS X, and (I think) BeOS able to run them with a recompile, it seems to me that Linux has suddenly become the cross-platform standard. Developers can truly "write once, run anywhere," and as more developers realize this, Linux will gain more applications. Once that happens, commercial OSes will have to be better than Linux to sell - after all, why buy what you can get for free? This will keep commercial vendors innovating, and Microsoft out of the picture unless it gets compatible real soon.

  • Keep your eyes open for a really cool (albeit not necessarily earth shattering in meaning) IBM/Linux announcement in a few weeks...
  • AIX doesn't have Applixware yet (as far as I know, I have been known to wrong!), nor gnome on AIX doesn't seem to going anywheres fast, although it's probally not to much of a modification to run on AIX.

    It's also a great attraction to develop on the Linux for the PowerPC platform... create binaries (for commerical software, that opensource cannot work pratically in), and run them on LinuxPPC, MkLinux, Yellow Dog Linux, Turbo Linux PPC and AIX.

    That's cool.
  • As you point out, the applications have been out there for ages. With a simple recompile, you can run, say, gcc on anything from AIX to Win32. This isn't terribly different from binary compatibility, because Unix admins aren't generally scared of a recompile. Despite this, and despite the lack (until recently) of big commercial software packages, Linux has grown and thrived.

    Now, you're suggesting that binary compatibility will kill Linux, because people would prefer paying money to run Linux binaries in emulation on a commercial Unix over running them natively on a Linux system for free? Does the DEA know about that stuff you've been smoking?
  • Does this mean I can finally use my IA/A (complete with 3MB of VRAM and print/scan option) in my creaking PS/2 Model 80 with Netscape 4.6? Doing that would be too funny. (Well, I've actually already done that, but across the LAN; I'd like to do it on the same machine).

    {sigh} I wish IBM hadn't killed AIX PS/2. It ran really well on a 386-genre hardware and the X11R4 implementation was good in terms of performance. The Token Ring driver is also better than the one in the Linux kernel {grin}.

    Seriously, I have to wonder just what ``Linux'' binaries AIX is going to run, as GNU/Linux doesn't run in the same CPU mode as AIX does on the high-end PowerPCs (e.g. G4 and allegedly G5).

    I need to get back to work on GNU/2 and OS/GNU (OS/2, GNU, and Linux integration software). It'll be cool once it works.


  • You truly *are* a coward to say such things without showing your face around here.


    Wrong. wrong. Wrong. I may go solaris too---I'm installing it on a box I'm building...but to say it's obsolete is ridiculous.
  • The last sentence of the first paragraph says:

    "IBM also will package its other software with a version of Linux."

    Does this mean what I think it means?


  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 1999 @06:14AM (#1880133)
    I find it interesting that Sun and IBM are basically indicating a willingness to take advantage of Linux-oriented applications while maintaining a proprietary operating system on their hardware.

    This was, of course, the mode for most of what is now deemed 'open source' software prior to the development of the Linux kernel, only then it required the software be recompiled on the platform in question. It also renders the need to actually run the Linux kernel as moot -- Linux binaries will run quite nicely on any old proprietary operating system that puts in the appropriate hooks.

    Goodbye Linux.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 1999 @06:55AM (#1880134)
    IBM is making the same mistake that Sun just made, and Digital made before them.

    Emulation doesn't sell machines!

    Anyone ever see NT running on a high end Intel box? Compared to a mediocre Alpha box? When the services you need are available as native Alpha code, Alpha always turned out to be superior.

    Well the applications never came. Digital started marketing heavily for their x86 emulation onboard but it didn't work. Sure, Alpha's are still supported by NT, but out of the thousands of NT machines I've designed and installed, my clientelle only accepted five Alpha-based NT boxes.

    Alpha is still the superior technology, and not all that much more expensive than Intel these days. But it doesn't matter. Without the native apps, the servers just aren't moving (at least in the NT industry).

    If IBM wants to hitch its wagon to Linux, we need to see Linux running natively on RS/6000's. We need to see IBM shipping binaries of popular GPL applications, prepackaged for IBM systems (of course the source is available as well).

    Emulation is just a kluge, and a poor marketing gimmick. IBM's customers are more clueful than that and won't fall for it. Show me a 43P running "Blue Hat Linux" with KDE and a full suite of GPL'd apps, with IBM improvements, running natively, and I'll show you a hot seller.
  • I though AIX only ran on the PowerPC architecture. Does this mean they will run PPC Linux binaries, or x86 binaries under cpu emulation?
  • Certainly, the GPL is filled with strict legalese... There are very strong restrictions on what you can and can't do with GPL'd code. Really, if you want to create a surviving standard, you have to have one of three things

    1) Enforced Open source (Linux)
    2) Installed Base (M$ Window$)
    3) Strongly worded licenses (Java)

    These are all strategies designed to stop people from killing your standard. M$ had some very strong business reasons to try to kill Java. As a result, Sun had some very good reasons to try to protect it - they just didn't do it the right way. Open Source ensures that your competitors can't steal the standard from under you, and twist it into something different, or kill it for reasons other than technical reasons.
  • Man, I run Solaris along with linux and I can assure to you that the linux x-server with my ATI rage-pro video card is really faster than solaris.
    The linux systems appears to be really more performant than solaris on x86 and last but not least the solaris version doesn't recognize my expensive U2W scsi controller (the version I received, other versions I don't know) so it resides on a humble EIDE disk.
    I also use commercial applications that are avaible just for linux as x86-unix.
    Of course they are avaible for aix, solaris or digital, but just for their own processors, not for the x86 version, neither for SCO.
    I just like to run a day solaris/sparc binaries on linux, but this isn't a perfect world, right?
  • It also renders the need to actually run the Linux kernel as moot -- Linux binaries will run quite nicely on any old proprietary operating system that puts in the appropriate hooks.

    That makes the assumption that Linux stands still, i.e. that the OS itself no longer advances. That's not a good bet. I expect to see Linux continue to grow; just look at the stuff that SGI is throwing into the pot (and it's not random crap; the filesystem is pretty killer).

    I'm perfectly happy to see IBM and Sun modify their proprietary operating systems to add features developed elsewhere in an open process and demanded by users and their applications. It would be pretty silly of them to make those new features available only in Linux emulation mode; they'll have to integrate them with the rest of their OS. The quality (or lack thereof) would certainly factor into a decision about which OS to run; it might lead one to stick with Linux, which isn't burdened by all that proprietary (and historical) baggage.

    The implication: control of the long-term direction of Unix is removed from the hands of a small group of vendors and placed into the hands of a group of smart people who are willing to build what they want and experiment with it until it's right. Sounds like a winner to me.

    (Lest you think I'm ignoring the formal standards aspect of What Is Unix - those folks, the IEEE, The Open Group, have pretty much recognized that one can only standardize real, honest-to-god, deployed and existing practice. Linux is the best way of deploying new technology and seeing if it works; based on that real-world feedback, better standards can (and will) be written.)

  • apparently linux is turning into the dos of old: there was one ms-dos (the gold standard, i suppose) and several OS (dos) clones that could run dos executables. until, at least, MS decided they didn't like it, that is. where linux is different is that there's no MS to decide that this negatively affected their bottom line.
  • >Linux has a lot of apps, that's the extent of the appeal.

    that sounds an awful lot like [insert crushed desktop os vendor here] talking about windows...
  • by Mars Saxman ( 1745 ) on Tuesday May 25, 1999 @09:00AM (#1880145) Homepage
    Emulation sold many machines for Apple Computer. Good emulation was necessary for allowing the "Power Macintosh" series to take off. In fact, the emulation was a little bit *too* successful: some vendors were satisfied enough with its performance that they continued to release 68040 binaries for a year or two after the Power Macs' release, electing to add new features rather than port what was already a sufficiently fast product.

    What's the difference? Apple pushed the Power Macs as the next step in their line; they were the clear successors to the Quadras, the new cutting edge.

    There is no such unambiguous message with Pentium vs. Alpha. Intel markets their chips beyond belief, regardless of the Alpha's superior performance, and people buy it. It's as though some other company had released the PowerPC Macs while Apple shouted the glories of their upcoming 68060 machines with colourful dancing bunnymen.

  • I like that. Linux WILL do what Micros~1 has tried. Namely grow from the bottom up. Only difference is that Linux shows signs of actually being capable of succeeding.
    In most industries the growth is the opposite with high-end gear, little by little, feeding technology back down to the low-end. Like Auto Racing technologies find places in our cars and trucks (McPherson Struts). Except for OS/2 and now Linux there hasn't been a OS really capable of using the technology. Dos based Windows all the way up to Windows 98 su*k and NT is cracking and about to 'pitch a rod'. IMO.
    You're right and I don't think it's a bad thing that the proprietary UNIXs eventually will become Linux followers.
  • 1. There will always be a place in the world for an open-source kernel. This, not the apps, has always been the greatest strength of Linux. Linux won't disappear, it just probably won't eat up the other commercial Unices the way some people have been predicting.

    2. Linux has already made an everlasting mark on the world of software development by demonstrating the viability (and advantages of!) open-source. Look at the way companies like SCO and Sun and IBM have been forced to make changes for the better thanks to the influence of Linux.

    3. It seems we're moving towards the Linux executable as the long-sought-after common x86 *IX binary format that will end the years of *IX fragmentation. In effect, Linux and the commercial Unices are joining forces (due to market pressures more than conscious decision!) to beat back M$. App developers can now make products like StarOffice 5.x that will compete directly with M$ apps...and they only have to distribute one binary which will run on Linux, Solaris, SCO, and maybe AIX now too...
  • Mac OS X has been delayed precisely because they are trying to perfect the UI for the home
    user. The future revisions of Mac OS X Server is more likely the one that a power user would

    MacOS X is not delayed that I have heard (I'm an Apple developer)

    Also there is still no official comment on what form of command line interface will exist under OS X. I see it being more like the current Macs, except no crashes, and much faster.
  • i'm not sure if we want a single *IX binary or not, that goes back to the control issue, maybe a central, public forum for 'moderation' of the binary, but still allow customization (if i'm not going to run a FooServer, why would i want my kernel binary to be optimized for it?) but a single set of public standards for *IX binaries. i might be misunderstanding it, but isn't POSIX a set in the right direction?
  • One of the good outcomes of this may be the proliferation or the PPC processor in computer systems. IBM seems to be testing the Linux waters with this Linux compatibility layer on top of AIX. Hopefully, we might see PPC systems shipping from IBM that use Linux for the office computing sector.
    It's far easier to forgive your enemy after you get even with him.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I get the feeling that Linux x86 becoming another multi-platform runtime enviroment? How come Java needs such strict legalleze to "protect" the dieing standard from "corruption" and LX86 standard can survive and grow under GPL? The fact that the two major players in Java (Sun and IBM) are now supporting a LX86 RTE should shake up Sun Microsystems Java Legal dept to the fact that a bad license is not marketable no matter how "hot-word compliant" your "technology" is.

    It is cool that IBM recognizes the desire from it's customers to run certian linux x86 binaries on AIX. However, I think that IBM still has missed out on one of the largest freebie improvements that they could take from the Linux movement. AIX's "installp" is ugly and has been overdue for a complette rewrite for a LONG time. The fact that so much of AIX v3's installp has remained with AIX v4 is proof that IBM does not know how to correct the monstrosity they created. One the other hand, RPM is probably less than 5,000 lines of code away from doing everything that installp does and do it cleaner. If only IBM could see the advantages there would be by moving to an Open Source package management system.
  • I work for IBM.

    I also know Linux pretty well (not a guru).

    I'm happy here. IBM's efforts are still very fragmented but things are very slowly coming together.

    I don't do much Linux work on a 'Do Linux Work' basis but I do run a Linux server and have spread the gospel here to several other employees. Most people here are very open to the idea...

    My opinion only, not IBM's.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There are many questions with this.

    The first is what kind of Linux binaries are they talking about? Linux x86 binaries? If so you have the problems of CPU emulation in addition to syscall (etc.) emulation.

    Ok, now assuming they are only talking about PPC Linux binaries you run into another set of problems....

    All of the "current" AIX machines use 64 Bit Power(PC) processors... CURRENTLY Linux PPC only runs on the 32-bit version of the PowerPC.

    Is emulation required for that?

    Or are they going to support 64-bit PPC Linux Binaries when they are done? (I believe the ABI and such are all the same for 32-bit and 64-bit binaries.....)

    There are a lot of questions to how IBM is going to do this, and what exactly they are really doing.
  • yep, i did misunderstand part of what you where saying, but i did address the application standards part in the second half of my post. Does anyone know what POSIX is (excuse my ignorance, i think it might apply in this case)
  • ...though, of course, that's rather necessary for binary compatibility.

    The idea is that a program written to POSIX standards (which covers such things as having certain OS or libc(?) calls which do such-and-such a thing, and certain entries in /dev) will be compilable on any POSIX-compliant OS.

    At least, that's my understanding. I've never had need to go studying it yet.
  • I really don't think it's right to ban the host.

    Sure their are jurks out their, script kiddies and the alike, but others probaly have the same host.

    Give the kiddy a second chance. If he continues to spam, report it to the admin of his isp, but don't ban him. Talking to an ISP can often help such issues, but I would save banning him for a last resort.

    It's a free country and their is free speech. Since some might consider this offensive, it's rated -1, blockable if your to imature for reading 'slashdot' hard and uncut.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 25, 1999 @06:47AM (#1880167)
    Do Linux gurus blend into IBM's "Big Blue" mentality?

    Yes. I work at one of IBM's major locations and Linux is probably almost as pervasive on people's screens as AIX (either that or folks are running GPL'd window managers on AIX). In any case, Linux is quite popular here and the management has been quite tolerant. The corporate lawyers are pulling their hair out over GPL issues though.

    I have heard from others, too, that IBM has relaxed its strict personnel rules over the past few years. But can they integrate Linux developers into their fold?

    We can and we have. I don't have to tell you of course that the Apache credits are thick with IBM contributors. But Apache!=Linux. The main talent behind PHP just started working for IBM as well. Of course, this doesn't mean IBM is looked favorably upon by Linux developers, but it does mean that "Open Source" (God, I hate that term) developers can find a happy home at IBM.

    It was interesting to note that at Linux Expo, a great many of the attendees were incognito IBM'ers. IBM definitely had a stronger presence than even Red Hat (though the pretty young lady at the Linux Magazine booth, who shared space with Red Hat, did get me to come visit...)

    So existing Linux developers can and are being brought into the IBM family. Existing IBM'ers are also learning to embrace Linux, despite the fact that our corporate lawyers are making it almost impossible to do business in the Linux industry through official channels (for example, we are not allowed to look at GPL'd source code, but at the same time we need to create binary modules for kernel code that contains intellectual property).

    The final problem is that the bean counters don't know what to make of it. They are used to seeing nice clean sales figures and since Linus is so... well... so FREE (in the free speech sense, as well as the free beer sense), nobody really knows what the true numbers are or even if the estimates are close. This drives them crazy. Without hard numbers, it is too hard to procure funding to start producing products for Linux. The only reliable metric we have to go by is IBM customers calling their IBM marketing reps and demanding Linux versions of IBM products.

    Getting back to Linux inside of IBM; there are several "early adopter" groups within the company that have fully embraced Linux and would be a great place to work. For example, the Netfinity group has embraced Linux whole hog and would be a great place to send resumes. There are other very big announcements that have yet to be made, and will make this AIX announcement forgettable.
  • Raise your hand if you remember how "great" it was that OS/2 emulated Windows.
  • FWIW, AIX used to offer a pc emulation for powerpc, way back, even for AIX 3.2.5

"So why don't you make like a tree, and get outta here." -- Biff in "Back to the Future"