IBM PowerPC ThinkPad - AIX 4.2.1 on the 860 Hack

1999-01-25 It is possible to run AIX 4.2.1 instead of 4.1.5 on the model 860.  Everything is compatible except for the X drivers, which don't support the 860's display.  The following method should overcome this limitation by using the 4.1.5 X drivers after loading the complete 4.2.1 AIX system:

NOTE: This hack is unsupported.  Use it at your own risk!  I am not responsible for lost data or smoke billowing from your computer!

  • Install AIX 4.2.1
  • Install the latest X11.base.rte.4.1.* fileset ( was the latest as of late 1998)
  • mv /usr/lpp/X11/bin/X /usr/lpp/X11/bin/X.4.1
  • Install the latest X11.base.rte.4.2.* fileset ( was the latest as of late 1998)
  • mv /usr/lpp/X11/bin/X /usr/lpp/X11/bin/X.4.2
  • ln -s /usr/lpp/X11/bin/X.4.1 /usr/lpp/X11/bin/X
  • Thanks go to Ken Treimann for the tip and instructions!

    1999-05-10 A new method for this hack has just been brought to my attention. It involves finding a modified loadddx file and loading it after the 4.2.1 install. Opinions vary on whether the modified loadddx file is "hacked" or officially provided by IBM. I've heard that IBM employees would give you that file if you asked. There are various copies of this loadddx file circulating around the net. Unfortunately I am unable to distribute copies myself.

  • Install AIX 4.2.1 normally.
  • Check the ownership and permissions of /usr/lpp/gai/pci33531288/loadddx and save a copy of it if you like.
  • Replace that file (loadddx) with the hacked one.
  • Thanks go to J.M. for the tip and instructions!

    Please e-mail if you have any comments!

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