IBM AIX has been around many years , actually its 32 years now. The latest version is AIX 7.2 and runs only on IBM ppc64 architecture. However around the end of the 1980s a special port of AIX came out called AIX PS/2 or AIX386.
This short article will be about running this archaic version ( AIX PS/2 1.3) inside VirtualBox 5.2.16 (will work on all older releases too) on Linux x86_64 (will work on macOS and Windows too as long as you get VirtualBox running)
There is some information available still on the internet about AIX PS/2 1.3 for example here :
The last link contains all the needed floppy images (19 minimum) to get the base install done. Setup is lengthy and tricky (after-all this system is from early 90s and if you don’t get all the things right; very frustrating) So if you want to give it a try yourself, go ahead, its tons of fun. I will spare you the pain and time and provide the needed 2 boot floppy images and the VMDK image for your convenience
Download the AIX-1.3.tar.bz2 here https://drop.me/BlxnAD
Once you download the compressed tarball, decompress and extract and place in some working directory for VirtualBox files. Please note that AIX-1.3.vmdk is identical to aix.vmdk. Its there only as a backup in case we mess up.
user@panasonic ~/Downloads/AIX $ ls -la total 32680 drwxr-xr-x 2 user user 4096 Sep 14 21:43 . drwxr-xr-x 18 user user 4096 Sep 14 21:43 .. -rw-rw-r-- 1 user user 33453495 Sep 14 21:43 AIX-1.3.tar.bz2 user@panasonic ~/Downloads/AIX $ bunzip2 AIX-1.3.tar.bz2 user@panasonic ~/Downloads/AIX $ tar -xvf AIX-1.3.tar AIX-1.3/ AIX-1.3/floppy02.img AIX-1.3/floppy01.img AIX-1.3/AIX-1.3.vmdk AIX-1.3/aix.vmdk user@panasonic ~/Downloads/AIX $
We will prepare a new VirtualBox Guest called AIX and configure with the custom drive (aix.vmdk) as PS/2 other target with 32 MB RAM as follws:
As noted by Supratim Sanyal you can even run a graphical X11 environment by typing
And later once in the X11 environment you can execute xdt (IBM Graphical Desktop)
Here is a short video of the above
Also here are some test runs on booting AIX 7.1 and 7.2 in Qemu 3.0.50 on x86_64