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Existing corporate users who wanted to use Linux on the pSeries must partition the system into multiple virtual servers, all of which are still managed under by AIX. IBM offers native Linux on the pSeries only as an option on lower-end models.
"We believe they will be the only Unix-dedicated servers in the industry that can run both a proprietary OS like AIX and Linux simultaneously in virtual partitions. But if you buy a pSeries you won't necessarily have to get AIX," an IBM spokeswoman said.
The servers will also contain a number of features and capabilities from the company's Project eLiza, an IBM initiative to create self-managing, self-healing servers, including the ability to respond to unexpected capacity demands automatically.
Linux on the desktop will get a boost later this month when IBM delivers a beefed-up version of its Linux distribution, codenamed Limbo.
Red Hat Linux 8.0 will have a jazzier graphical interface based on Gnome 2.0 and features sportier scroll bars and menus. The latest version will also contain improved versions of the Mozilla browser, the open source version of the Office suite and the latest version of the Evolution mail client.