Mac "Workgroup Server" (or "network server") hardware & AIX

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at
Tue Apr 26 15:25:46 CDT 2016

On Tue, 26 Apr 2016, Jerry Kemp wrote:
> > Has anyone ever seen either A/UX or AIX running on an Apple Network Server
> > or Apple Workgroup Server?
> A/UX did not run on PPC hardware.  The AIX that ran on ANS boxes (Apple
> Network Servers) was a special deviant, and, among other issues, required
> Apple ROMs to boot.

I'm curious if there were the ROMs on a discrete board or embedded on the
mobo?  I didn't realize it was only for M68k systems.  I guess there won't
be any system that could run A/UX with AIX, then, since AIX from that era
will want a PPC CPU.

> I don't have any additional helpful hints as to getting this special
> version of AIX up and running, aside from hunting down and purchasing an
> ANS box.

I'd probably only do that if I could get one with the media.  A/UX sounds a
little more interesting to me anyhow at the moment.  I've had years of AIX
experience, nowadays.  I've never touched A/UX.

> If you figure out something new in regards to the ANS, or its specialized
> version of AIX, please share.

Will do. 

> A/UX - another Apple Unix that (originally) only ran on specific hardware. 
> There is now an emulation project called "ShoeBill" that will allow you to
> run A/UX on top of other hardware.

I've seen that project before.  The only issue is that you need a legal ROM
image and I don't have one.  If I had a machine to dump the ROM from, I'd
probably just use that, instead.  The project is still really neat, though. 
The other issue is that the guy who wrote it got hired by a company who is
probably having him write emulation code (Stromsys ?) and so he can't
continue the project.  I've seen this happen before with people writing
Alpha emulators, too.  It's a shame for hobbyists, but understandable.  The
guy has to eat.

> AIX - disclaimer - nothing modern going on here either.

Hehe, careful, you don't want all the AIX fans coming out of the woodwork 
on the attack.  AIX is one that I had heard some negativity about when I 
first started learning it (I regularly learn new Unix variants just for 
fun). Someone called it "Ain't Unix" (and for heaven's sake it wasn't me). 
Now, I can see it's strengths and weaknesses.  I won't enumerate any since 
folks will go ballistic, I'm sure.  I'll just say this, it's got some 
decent attributes that might surprise people who hate it.  It still not my 
favorite, but it grew on me.
> AIX 1.x, among other CPU's, also ran on x86 hardware.  I am close to
> having AIX 1.x running in Bochs::

Yes, I remember reading about AIX running on some special class of PS/2
machines.  I've seen photos of AIX floppy disks for that platform.  However,
I wonder if it goes out to check your BIOS or some microchannel jiggery
pokery to see if you have an "entitlement" to run it. If you find a way to
make it work and a source for the software, please let me know, too. Thanks!


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