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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Tuesday February 01, 2005
07:37 AM

Dark Ages

[ #22967 ]

As part of my SAP training at I've been allowed onto the IBM RS/6000s that run AIX 4.3.3 and the SAP system. Other than initial set up and dealing with any printer queue problems we don't actually do much with the systems at the operating system level on a day to day basis. This is very good as they are pretty primitive to say the least. Compared with something modern like Debian GNU/Linux, AIX is really scary, it's so primitive.

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  • AIX is pain, highness. Anyone who tells you differently is an IBM salesdroid.

    • In my limited experience to date, all I can say is that it's strange. From what I can glean from various places, IBM are gradually phasing AIX out, and phasing Linux in. For better or worse AIX is only now really there for existing customer until they can migrate to Linux. The last verson had lots of Linux features to ease the transition, and the new "cheap" Power systems run only on Linux.

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
  • What are you doing with AIX 4.3.3 ?? IBM dropped support for that rev a while ago.

    AIX 4.3.3 is obsolete. AIX 5.3 is latest. Comparing a no longer supported AIX to a modern Debian is like comparing DOS 2.11 or AT&T Unix System III to Mac OS X ...

    AIX 5.3 lets one assign fractional processors to logical partitions (LPARs). Not very useful if you only run one OS image per rack, but very useful in a business environment. AIX does have RPM-like features and is designed to be easy to administer ... for AI

    # I had a sig when sigs were cool
    use Sig;
    • I didn't know it was unsupported, but it's what the SAP system runs on. That system will be upgraded to a AIX 5.x eventually. You know how companies are, very conservative about change and all that.

      I've generally heard "nice but odd" comments about AIX. It's supposed to be quite powerful and robust, but quite divergent from other Unix/Linux versions. What freaked me out the most was the default use of unsecured telnet, ftp and rsh/rlogin, rather than ssh, and the primitive nature of the Korn shell when co

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
      • Sorry to hear your SAP course was on a bad example system. It's probably paid for, so there's a budgetary disincentive to upgrade. Well-managed AIXen stay current and stay secure.

        Yes, there is a cultural difference, and the conservative "don't break what works" is part of it. Korn Shell was the hot new shell back when AIX forked off System V, SSH wasn't invented yet, and the holes in the r* Berklix tools hadn't been explored yet. RedHat established their standard toolbox much more recently, and has a cu

        # I had a sig when sigs were cool
        use Sig;
        • You are probably right, once a system works comapnies won't touch it, even if it's got security holes you could drive a bus through. If you point out holes you're a trouble maker, and if you don't mention it to an auditor in a direct question you get sacked - though you shouldn't volunteer it unquestioned.

          I suppose that once you establish your "unix" culture, it's hard to change it again. Having said that there is also a culture of charging extra for the upgrade from unsecured to secured, rsh/telnet is in

          -- "It's not magic, it's work..."