[rescue] Suggestions for AIX devel system?

Adam Kropelin akropel1 at rochester.rr.com
Thu Jul 31 19:24:11 CDT 2008

Jonathan C. Patschke wrote:
> On Wed, 30 Jul 2008, Adam Kropelin wrote:
>> I am looking for some advice on a cheap AIX system for basic software
>> development use. I maintain a free software package (apcupsd) and
>> occasionally have users report build problems, etc. on AIX. I have
>> nearly every other platform covered, either with real hardware or vm
>> sessions on a PeeCee. But AIX is a noticeable hole in my arsenal.
> You'll hate it at first.  However, if you give AIX a chance, you may
> come to like it a lot.  AIX is my favorite commercial Unix, by quite
> a large amount.
> Constructing shared libraries on AIX, for one thing, will make you
> scream "WTF??" the first time.

Oh, I shout "WTF??" so many times a day I'll hardly notice the increase ;)

>> I'm completely clueless on RS6000 and POWER hardware and so am
>> looking for some guidance on what models to consider when scouring
>> ebay, etc. All I need is something capable of running a vaguely
>> recent version of AIX (say, 5.x although 6.x support would also be
>> nice) and has enough horsepower to do a bit of C/C++ compiling.
> You may also want to see if IBM will give you a license to their
> commercial C compiler (xlC) for the purpose of supporting free
> software on AIX.  GCC runs okay on AIX, but many portability problems
> will come from the vendor's compiler being a lot stricter about
> following the standards than GCC.  xlC is an amazing
> compiler--comparable to MIPSpro.

I admit to avoiding vendor toolchains as much as possible. I try to support 
a wide array of platforms and adding multiple compilers, linkers, make 
systems into the mix just causes the number of configurations to explode 
beyond what one person can handle in his spare time. So my personal goal is 
for clean builds with gmake + gcc + gnu binutils, with the possible 
exception of vendor linkers when appropriate (Solaris).

> Nearly any system will run AIX 5.1, even some very old systems that
> shouldn't run it (like a 7011-250, for example).  5.2 and later
> require a CHRP-architecture machine, which usually means a 7043-150
> or later (or any 7044).  7043-150s are cheap enough as to be
> disposable, and they're perfectly fine for over-the-network use, if
> you're patient.

My DNS server is a Sun 3/80. I'm patient when the platform is neat enough 
to deserve it. ;)

> A 7044 system will be faster than the 7043-150 to a very silly degree
> without costing much more.  The 7044-270 is a popular development
> system for this reason.

Thanks for the detailed suggestions... I'll be watching ebay closely.


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