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I need to learn about AIX, and I only have a laptop with Fedora 14/VirtualBox on it. Is there any chance that I could run an AIX guest in my VirtualBox?

My laptop has an Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU T7100 @ 1.80GHz, and I read that it only runs on RISC architecture. So there's no way I can run it on my laptop?

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up vote 13 down vote accepted

The best way to learn AIX would be to obtain an account on a machine that's running it. Really, part of what sets AIX apart from other unices is that it's designed for high-end systems (with lots of processors, fancy virtualization capabilities and so on). You won't learn as much by running it in a virtual machine.

If you really want to run AIX on your laptop, you'll have to get an old PS/2 version that runs on an x86 CPU. I don't know if AIX will run on VirtualBox's emulated hardware (PS/2 is peculiar, it's the same problem as running OSX in a VM), but there are hints that it might (user claiming to run an AIX guest). It seems that AIX can run in Virtual PC.

Qemu can emulate PowerPC processors, so it might be able to run a recent, PowerPC version of AIX. But don't get your hopes up.

In summary, getting AIX in a VM would be costly (it's not free software), difficult, and not very useful. Try and get an account on some big iron, or get a second-hand system (if you can afford it).

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No real chance of getting AIX to run on your laptop, the best way to learn is to buy an old machine and have a go on real hardware (PPC hardware itself is quite different, different boot process etc). You should be able to find a cheap IBM workstation on eBay for a few hundred dollars, a model 275 with 4Gb RAM should be sufficient to run AIX for testing purposes.

Worth keeping in mind is that more or less all new AIX deployments are virtualized, either using hardware level virtualization or containers inside an AIX installation. Unfortunately the cheapest hardware for this is (afaik) something like a p520 server (running VIO server), which will cost you at least 2k USD on eBay or similar.

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