[erlang-questions] Port of Erlang (19.2) on AIX

Boroska András andras.boroska@REDACTED
Fri Jan 13 17:24:50 CET 2017

Hi Tony,

The OTP team at Ericsson stopped supporting AIX a while back (~10 years
ago). The good news is that there was AIX support in the past and we can
build on it. Since then both Erlang, AIX and CPUs evolved. I managed to run
Erlang 17 on AIX 7.1 on Power7 and Power8 architectures with minimal
sacrifice of features.*  64 bit is supported and worked fine, but naturally
required minimal changes in makefiles.

So, it is not hopeless. For start, look into the automake files (Erlang
uses autoconf). You will need to modify some linker flags. Get prepared to
modify some assembly code too. AIX has its own assembler. My strategy was:
start with R15, fix things, move to R1602 fix things, move to R1603 fix
things, move to R17, fix things. In each step applied fixes from the
version before.

Erlang 18 brought breaking changes by the new time handling, and I had no
time to fix that. I did not try Erlang 19.

My port is sadly closed source currently. I wish IBM or related companies
sponsored the OTP team to support AIX. Currently it is much easier to run
Linux on Power CPU and forget about AIX.

Happy hacking,

*Supercarriers and kernel poll was not working. On the other hand binding
schedulers to cores did work after minimal changes to source.
Getting kernel poll working would be a few days effort probably.
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