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YUM for AIX: Eases Transition to Linux Applications on AIX

IBM finally put together a yum package for the AIX Toolbox.

Ever since AIX version 5.3, IBM has built in what is known as Linux affinity. Essentially, this means that if a Linux application uses standard API’s, then you should be able to recompile that application on AIX using GNU gcc and g++ compilers, and it should run just fine (actually, better) on AIX.

To that end, IBM has provided the “AIX Toolbox for Linux Applications”, which, as the name implies is a set of tools to accomplish this. The Toolbox is provided as a set of RPM packages, just like you find in Linux. There is an AIX fileset, rpm.rte, that allows you to manage RPMs in the same was as you do in Linux.

While I haven’t ported any Linux applications to AIX, I’ve come to appreciate some of the features available in Linux and have had the desire to use these features in AIX. So, the AIX Toolbox is the bridge that gets us there. However, up to now the rpm.rte package that supplies us with the rpm command has been lacking in the ability to install a complex set of packages. To be fair, it’s the same problem that we have in Linux, because rpm doesn’t inherently know how to resolve dependencies. In both AIX and Linux, rpm will work just fine if you have the package that you want to install, the dependencies for that package, and the dependencies for those dependencies, and so on. If you don’t have everything you need, you can get mired down in searching and collecting all these requisites in a time-consuming endeavor that we fondly call ‘dependency hell’.

In the case of Red Hat Linux, they developed a package installation manager known as “yum” to resolve the dependency hell problem. When you try to install a particular package, yum tracks down, downloads, and installs all the requisites from known repositories, resulting in a nice, clean, consistent, easy installation every time.

So, do you see where I was headed with this?  Yes, IBM finally put together a yum package for the AIX Toolbox. It works just like you would expect it to and makes the transition to Linux Applications on AIX that much easier. Here how to install it.

Download rpm.rte. from:

Install rpm.rte.
mkdir /tmp/lpp
copy the downloaded file “rpm.rte.” in binary format to this directory
cd /tmp/lpp
installp -a -c -Y -d /tmp/lpp rpm.rte


Download the yum installation package (yum_bundle_v2.tar) from:

Install the package:

mkdir /tmp/yum
copy the downloaded file yum_bundle_v2.tar to /tmp
cd /tmp/yum
tar xvf /tmp/yum_bundle_v2.tar
rpm -Uvh *rpm


You can check out the installation by using some yum commands like:

# yum repolist


You should get output like:

AIX Toolbox                                       | 2.9 kB   00:00
AIX Toolbox_71                                    | 2.9 kB   00:00
AIX Toolbox_noarch                                | 2.9 kB   00:00
repo id                        reponame                         status
AIX Toolbox                    AIX generic repository              299
AIX_Toolbox_71                 AIX specific repository              10
AIX_Toolbox_noarch             AIX noarch repository                27
repolist: 336


Try some other yum commands like:

# yum list available
# yum list installed


Hope you enjoy having yum available in AIX as much as I do. Next time, I’ll talk about some of the neat tools that are available to make your AIX Administration life even easier.


YUM for AIX – written by Glenn Miller, a Systems Architect at Volta. 

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