Advanced Interactive eXecutive

What Does Advanced Interactive eXecutive Mean?

Advanced Interactive eXecutive (AIX) is a series of proprietary Unix operating systems developed, produced and sold by IBM for several IBM platforms, but originally produced for the IBM 6150 RISC workstation. Other supported platforms include:

  • IBM System i
  • System/370 mainframes
  • PS/2 personal computers
  • IBM RS/6000 series
  • IBM POWER and PowerPC-based systems
  • Apple Network Server

AIX is one of four commercially available operating systems currently certified to The Open Group’s Unix 03 Product Standard, along with Mac OS X, HP-UX and Solaris.

Techopedia Explains Advanced Interactive eXecutive

AIX OS first became available in 1986 and is still being developed and supported by IBM on its IBM Power Systems as well as “i” (formerly i5/OS or OS/400) and Linux. AIX was the first OS to use the journaling file system, a system that tracks journal changes, and IBM has regularly enhanced AIX with new features such as dynamic hardware resource allocation, processor, disk and network virtualization, and reliability engineering from IBM’s mainframe designs.

In the 1990s, AIX versions 3 and 4 were the primary operating systems for the RS/6000 machines and became the standard OS for Apple Network Server systems. In the late ’90s, AIX, as well as UnixWare, was integrated into a single 32-bit/64-bit multiplatform Unix using the Intel IA-64 Itanium CPUs. However, fewer than 40 licenses were ever sold before the project was terminated in 2002.

By 2007, AIX introduced major new features in version 6.1, which included enhanced security, workload partitions to enable application mobility, role-based access control restricting system access to authorized users and live partition mobility, allowing a hard drive partition to be virtualized as a separate computer and be relocated from one system to another (used for the Power8 hardware).

In April 2010, IBM announced version 7.1, which included new features such as improved scalability and enhanced management and clustering abilities.


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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…