Last updated on:
Sunday, July 06, 2008
A number of Linux distributions, both commercial and no-cost, have been created for the
mainframe. Over time, some of them have become outdated, or dropped entirely.
We will distinguish between which ones are actively kept updated, and which ones are
Currently Kept Updated
||Debian is the oldest non-commercial Linux
distribution. It has a large number of developers that maintain the distribution and
keep it up to date. Currently, only a 31-bit version is available, although a 64-bit
version is under development. For anyone that is interested in running it in
production, Sine Nomine Associates
offers commercial support for it.
||The CentOS (Community Enterprise Operating System) project uses the source RPMs
from Red Hat's Enterprise Linux distribution to build their packages, as well as the
installer. Thus, they create a "workalike" of RHEL. When Red Hat distributes updates,
either for bug fixes or security vulnerabilities, CentOS uses the source RPMs for
those and rebuilds them also. In essence, you're getting an up-to-date, although
unofficial and commercially unsupported, version of RHEL. Both a 31-bit and 64-bit
version are available.
||Based on Slackware, the
oldest surviving commercial Linux distribution. Slack/390 is an official port of the
Intel-based Slackware, and tries to track its development as closely as possible.
Currently, only a 31-bit version is available, although a 64-bit version is under
development. For anyone that is interested in running it in production, Sine Nomine Associates offers commercial
support for it.
Currently not Kept Updated
||This was the original Linux/390 platform that was made available in
January of 2000. Originally based on Red Hat Linux, it was updated once in late 2002,
but has not been updated since then.
||Also known as "Mi||enux," this was the second Linux/390 platform
that appeared. Also originally based on Red Hat Linux, it has not been updated
since late 2001. Both a 31-bit and 64-bit version were available.
||The Tao Linux project also uses the source RPMs from Red Hat's
Enterprise Linux distribution to build their packages and installer. The person who
did the mainframe port of the packages has since left the project, and is now working
on the CentOS project (see above). As such the mainframe version of Tao Linux
is no longer being updated. Both a 31-bit and 64-bit version were available.
No Longer Available
|Based on Debian, Caiman Linux was the result of the work of several
people working for Linux Korea. They later left the company, and the distribution
became unmaintained, and then completely unavailable.
With the introduction of their respective "Enterprise" distributions, both Novell/SUSE
and Red Hat no longer make SLES or RHEL available for unrestricted download over the
internet. Both of them do make their software available for evaluation, but with
time-limited access to maintenance.
No Longer Maintained
No Longer Available
||One of IBM's original Linux distribution partners, Turbolinux
withdrew from the US market, and later dropped their mainframe platform
|Conectiva (Portugese only)
|Conectiva primarly served the Brazilian market. Even before
they merged with Mandrake Linux to form Mandriva, Conectiva had appeared to withdraw
from the mainframe market.