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?


5 Answers 5


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 an x86 version of 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, and it is apparently possible to run a recent, PowerPC version of AIX: see these guides on running AIX 4.3.3, AIX 5.1, and AIX 7.2 on Qemu.

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).


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.


I'm successfully running AIX on macOS 10.12.3

Virtual Box version : 5.1.16

AIX version : 1.3

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reference site : https://sites.google.com/site/rhdisk0/unix/aix/aixps2

  • windows 10 , 8 , 7 , xp with virtual box 5.1.16 tested : all success
    – user222959
    Mar 27, 2017 at 9:02
  • Good effort! But when was AIX 1.3 released? Was it ever released?
    – user14755
    Mar 27, 2017 at 9:24
  • Could you upload your virtualbox image on google drive?
    – omikes
    Apr 3, 2017 at 18:20
  • my hangul is a little rusty, what settings did you use? pm me
    – omikes
    Apr 3, 2017 at 18:36
  • This is the "Aix PS2" a very old port(1992!) of AIX for i386 ibm pc,is a little outdated and totally different from latest aix versions
    – elbarna
    Oct 11, 2018 at 15:27

AIX on x86? ATM is impossible. AIX is ibm unix system made only for ppc machines so it won't boot on any x86 pc emulator(vmware,virtualbox,etc). In the 90's were an aix os for i386 but work only on one type of machine(i don't remind..ps2,probably) and was totally different from the aix versions supported(6.1,7.1,7.2) To run AIX you need at least an old workstation or an ibm server,forgot to run on vm,qemu-system-ppc can boot(but crash) the aix 6.1 cd,if in the future can boot the entire system it will be very slow because lack of ppc accelleration on x86(kvm-ppc module don't exist and if exist will run on ppc only!). So the solution is: wait some 10-20 years when aix will run as vm on x86 or buy a good workstation on ebay,the cost is about 300$-1000$ Be sure to buy a PPC workstation because ibm produce also x86 workstation and server but on this you cannot install aix A 9112-265 is ok for example.


Not much point as AIX 1 (and V2) were prior to JFS and prior to SMIT, etc. The administration was unique to V1 and V2 vs V3 and later on Power chips. So if you are interested in the current AIX, running a V1 or V2 AIX won't give you much better experience than running BSD or Linux for transferring skills.

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