AIX 3.2.5 for N40

N40 "Tadpole" CD Release A.2 AIX 3.2.5 (zipped ISO) (thx to Tim Knight & Louis Ohland)
AIX for N40 Patches (NOT included in the disk image above)

294-114 IBM AIX FOR N40 Product # 5696-831

Installing AIX for N40
AIX for N40 Trivia

Installing AIX for N40 (from CT; edited)

Pre-Installation Checklist

  • AIX for N40 CD
  • External SCSI CD-ROM drive
  • HDI-30 to 50-pin SCSI cable
  • AC adapter

Installation Procedure

  1. Connect all listed devices.
  2. Put Installation CD in the drive and turn the drive power on.
  3. Hit the N40 ON switch and immediately hit Pause then K. If you did this right, a black bar will appear just to the left of the error codes in the readout. If it doesn't, you have to start again.
  4. A language-select window will appear > 1 > ENTER
  5. The same window will reappear > 99 > ENTER
  6. Main Menu window > press 7 (change soft-keyswitch setting) > ENTER
  7. Soft-keyswitch window > 3 (SERVICE) > ENTER
  8. Soft-keyswith window returns > 99 > ENTER
  9. Main Menu window (again) > 10 (BOOT) > ENTER

Watch the activity light on the CD-ROM drive. If it starts blinking rapidly, you are home free (you lucky bastard). In about 1 minute you will get black screen with green letters telling you to define the System Console. Follow the menu (I just did this while typing this answer so I know it works).

Once the installation is complete you should proceed to install the latest patches.

AIX for N40 Trivia (from software announcement)

AIX for N40 is the operating system software for the N40 system. AIX for N40 is based on AIX 3.2.5 and AIXwindows Environment/6000 Version 1.2.5 (X11R5), and is streamlined for the mobile computing environment.

AIX for N40 also contains a tailored set of hardware I/O specific to the N40. The supported hardware I/O features include:

  • Integrated keyboard with pointing device
  • Integrated display
  • Portable disk drive
  • Fax/modem
  • Audio
  • External SCSI, parallel, serial and Appletalk devices
  • External displays
  • External keyboard and mouse.

Device drivers are also available for PCMCIA fax/modems, token ring and static random access memory (SRAM).

AIX for N40 includes the Nomadic Computing Environment (NCE) Version 2.0, which provides a fast save and resume facility, power management, display zoom, portability tools and automatic network configuration.

Although AIX for N40 is not designed to support more than two users; it does support simultaneous operation by another user via the async port, Ethernet or dial-in modem through the login capability.

AIX for N40 Provides

  • Tailored set of hardware I/O specific to RISC System/6000 N40:
    • Integrated keyboard with pointing device
    • Integrated display
    • Portable disk drive
    • Fax/modem
    • Audio
    • External SCSI, parallel, serial and Appletalk devices
    • External displays
    • External keyboard and mouse
  • Mobile system enhancements - drivers for PCMCIA fax/modems, token ring and SRAM
  • National language support for:
    • English (U.S., U.K.), German, French, Italian

Installed Memory vs. Hard Drive Space

Notice that as system memory grows, the available space on the HD declines.

RAMSpace left on 344MB HD


The only modifications to AIX Version 3.2 are those necessary to specifically enable the N40 notebook hardware. As a general guide, applications requiring three-D features, server functions, and communication hardware that is not available with the RISC System/6000 N40 should not be executed, as well as any applications that exceed the physical limits of available memory and storage. Attachment of external SCSI devices can be used to extend the capability of the N40 notebook workstation.

Due to restricted storage resources, every N40 notebook workstation comes preinstalled with a limited set of operating system components designed to provide a robust configuration satisfying the majority of AIX mobile users. The remaining applicable AIX for N40 operating system components and functions, many of which are familiar to AIX users, are provided on a CD-ROM supplied with every system. These additional components and functions can easily be installed based on user needs and system resources.

Preinstalled AIX for N40 Operating System Components

bos.obj                 Base Operating System                Base Operating System Data
** Xllrte.obj           AIXwindows Run Time Environment
** Xllrte.motif.obj     AIXwindows Motif Run Time Environment
** XllmEn_US.msg        AIXwindows NL Message Files
***bosext1.extcmds.obj  Extended Commands
bosext2.ate.obj         Asynchronous Terminal Emulator
bosext2.dlether.obj     Standard Ethernet Data Link Control
bosnet.nfs.obj          Network Filing System/NIS/RPC Libraries and Utils
boxnet.tcpip.obj        TCP/IP Applications
*  bs1.en_US.aix.loc    AIX Locale -- U.S. English
*  bs1mEn_US.msg        Basic System Messages -- U.S. English

* Language specific, based on country keyboard attached to the N40 notebook.
** Run time for AIXwindows installed, because the N40 functions in client environment.
*** Refer to the following list of preinstalled commands.

Preinstalled Commands


Exclusive AIX for N40 Operating System Components

nce.obj           Nomadic Computing Environment
Xllrte.vwm.obj    Motif-based Virtual Window Manager
nce.fax.obj       Fax Software for preparing, sending and receiving faxes

The NCE is operated by a central daemon for disparate services required by the system. This NCE service is provided for battery monitoring, screen-saving, device reconfiguration on resume, and availability and control of network services.

The AIX for N40 CD-ROM contains the preinstalled software and other optionally installable AIX for N40 software. To install and execute some components or functions, users may also need to install prerequisite components from the CD-ROM.

Several components of the AIX Version 3.2 base operating system are not included on the CD-ROM. For example, since the range of adapters supported by the N40 notebook is not as extensive as those of the RS/6000, supplying the controlling software, microcode, and diagnostic software for these devices is not necessary (for instance, FDDI Data Link Control).

AIX for N40 contains a wide array of functions and improved packaging for the mobile computing environment.

  • Preconfigured
       SMIT has the information needed to make the device or function immediately available.
  • Preinstalled
       Function is on the hard disk and immediately available to the operating system.
  • CD-ROM
       Function is on CD-ROM, whether the function is currently on the hard disk.
2 User LicenseY
Display PostScriptY
ADT and C compilerY
NFS ClientYY
NFS ServerY
Online HypertextY
NLS at 3.2.5 levelY
Text FormattingY
Locale (KB Def.)YY
Async SupportYY
Mail FacilitiesYY
Korn ShellYY
Bourne ShellY
C ShellY
Accounting SvcsY

Limitations: AIX for N40 is designed to run only on RISC System/6000 N40.

Content created and/or collected by:
Louis F. Ohland, Peter H. Wendt, David L. Beem, William R. Walsh, Tatsuo Sunagawa, Tomáš Slavotínek, Jim Shorney, Tim N. Clarke, Kevin Bowling, and many others.

Ardent Tool of Capitalism is maintained by Tomáš Slavotínek.
Last update: 08 May 2024 - Changelog | About | Legal & Contact