Take the 2-minute tour ×
Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems.. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I'm working with an external company who is using AIX (version unknown) as their platform. They are required to FTP me a ZIP file containing multiple files.

Does the UNIX utility zip exist on a standard AIX install?

I ask this question because they are telling me it does not, but I find this hard to believe, as my UNIX in a nutshell book tells me that zip is a common UNIX utility.

I found this page that alludes to a toolbox that can be installed to allow a developer to use zip: aix linux toolbox, which implies it may not come as standard.

If zip turns out to not actually available, what utilities could be used in its place to create a zip of files? I actually need ZIP format, so tarballs etc. are not an option.


To summarise:

  1. Does AIX come with zip by default?
  2. If not, can zip be installed on AIX? Is the aix toolbox an option?
  3. If zip is unavailable, and can't be installed, are the any other options for creating a zip archive?

I'm aware that one of the systems has to change, and that it would have been better to take what AIX can easily produce; I'm just trying to "get things done", and it doesn't seem a big deal to me to get zip installed on AIX, but maybe I'm missing something. Licensing perhaps?

share|improve this question
Could you explain why you require ZIP? By far the easiest would be to have them send you whatever they can and you convert it locally where you have the freedom to install/use whatever you like. –  terdon Nov 21 '13 at 18:10
AIX does not come with zip. You may find it hard to believe, but that does not change the issue. –  Mat Nov 21 '13 at 19:37
Zip is preinstalled or very easily installable on any non-embedded (and many embedded) Linux, *BSD, OSX. This covers about 99.99% of the unix installations out there, so calling zip a “common unix utility” is perfectly justified. AIX happens to be in the other .01%. –  Gilles Nov 21 '13 at 23:41
There are various internet zip tools. This one runs in a browser (it's Java), so no files are uploaded anywhere. Would that help? –  ire_and_curses Nov 21 '13 at 23:54
@terdon Technically, we don't require zip, we just need the data, however they signed a contract to say they could deliver ZIP to us. I was looking for a way to help them out, as I genuinely couldn't believe ZIP is not available on AIX, and I didn't have an AIX machine available to check. If not, we have to change our system, and it will cost them $$$. –  Clarkey Nov 22 '13 at 9:42

1 Answer 1

AIX does not come with zip. I don't know what sort of "proof" you want for this, but that's a fact. Some "evidence" is that docs even from IBM tell you where to get your zip if you don't have it installed (e.g. this doc for ILMT), and they don't tell you to grab your AIX DVD, or use smit or nim which would be what you would use for installing a package from the AIX release. They point you at the AIX toolbox you've located already.

Since that information and that set of tool packages comes directly from IBM, documented by IBM in their own installation documentation, it's a real option.
If your partners don't want that, there are alternatives, namely Bull has a "Freeware" site, and the AIX Open Source Packages site is also a great repository (in my experience). There are a others.

Other than that, quite a few languages have facilities to handle zip files (Java has some in its standard class library, and IBM distributes JDKs and SDKs for AIX, Perl has some in CPAN, I'm pretty sure a lot of others). If they have a dev on board, they could look for the appropriate library for whatever their favorite language is.

(Obviously they could compile zip and dependencies from C sources, but that's a non-trivial task if they don't do C dev work on their systems.)

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.