IBM articles, tutorials, and technical resources for AIX® and UNIX® users

The AIX® and UNIX® zone of developerWorks contains articles, tutorials, and tips to help developers with AIX and UNIX application development and system administration. For users trying to find their way in a new topic, all of that information can be overwhelming. This page provides an overview for readers who would like to learn about AIX and UNIX, but don't know where to start.

What is Unix?

Invented at AT&T Bell Labs in 1969, UNIX (the name is a play on the earlier Multiplexed Information and Computing Service (Multics) operating system) is a robust, flexible, and developer-friendly computing environment. Written originally for the Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) family of PDP microcomputers, this most popular of multi-user, general-purpose operating systems has taken over roles in all areas of computing -- even those once held by mainframes.

What is AIX?

Introduced in January of 1986, AIX is the IBM implementation of the UNIX operating system. The newest version of AIX, Version 7, is binary compatible with previous versions of the AIX, including AIX 6, AIX 5L and even earlier versions of AIX. This means applications that ran on earlier versions will continue to run on AIX 7. AIX 7 is an open-standards-based UNIX OS that is designed to comply with the Open Group's Single UNIX Specification Version 4.

What IBM tools are available for AIX?

AIX is supported by a broad range of independent software vendors (ISVs) that provide application solutions to meet business needs. IBM also offers:

  • Several management software products to enhance the performance, availability, and efficiency of those ISV applications running in the AIX environment.
  • The IBM SDKs for AIX, Java 2 Technology Edition, provides the performance and stability you need for deploying enterprise applications.
  • XL C for AIX is a highly advanced standards-based C compiler intended for use on machines running AIX V5.2, V5.3, V6.1 and V7.1 operating systems.
  • XL C/C++ for AIX is a highly advanced standards-based C++ compiler intended for use on machines running AIX V5.2, V5.3, V6.1 and V7.1 operating systems.
  • The IBM XL Fortran for AIX is a high-performance compiler for scientists, engineers, and application programmers.
  • The IBM COBOL for AIX brings IBM COBOL technology to AIX. This powerful and versatile COBOL application development environment provides a compiler and support tools for creating mission-critical client/server applications.
  • Rational Developer for Power provides a complete development environment with integrated edit, compile, and debug capabilities.
  • Rational Team Concert provides a lean collaborative lifecycle management solution.

How can I continue to improve my AIX and UNIX skills?

The IBM learning services site offers classes that cover everything from the basics to development to highly specialized skills, as well as certification. You can also get articles and tips on IBM products from IBM developer solutions. The greater IBM website also offers many other resources, and IBM developerWorks offers articles, tutorials, and resources on AIX and UNIX, as well as several other open or free technologies including XML, wireless, web services, Java technology, and grid computing.

What programming languages can I use on AIX and UNIX?

In addition to steadfast stalwarts like Fortran and C/C++, many scripting and other computer languages are at home on AIX and UNIX.