Tux on VM

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Linux for Big Iron

Archives of linuxvm.org

02/01/2002 - After much wailing and gnashing of teeth about the SuSE SLES7 version not being available for no-cost FTP download, Joachim Schroeder of SuSE posted this announcement from Dieter Heussner, Product Manager for SLES for S/390 and zSeries. (Emphasis on the different offerings was added to help clarify the various options.)

  • At its sole discretion, SuSE makes available beta versions of SLES from its FTP server. Please check for the desired version you want to download. SuSE accepts no liability for beta versions. There is no implicit maintenance or support associated with beta versions of SLES. You accept the full risk for quality and performance of the beta version. SuSE welcomes your feedback under suse-s390-feedback@suse.de.
    The download location for the latest SuSE Linux Enterprise Server is: ftp://nozzle.suse.de/pub/suse/s390/sles7-beta/31-bit/cd1/
  • Trial versions are based on the GA version of the current SLES versions. Under a special agreement you may use SuSE Linux Enterprise Server for S/390 and zSeries for sixty (60) calendar days for testing purposes (e.g. proof of concept). Trial versions must not be used in production, and they must not be redistributed. Installation support is not included in the trial version. After the 60-days trial period you might decide to purchase the full product, or you return the software back to SuSE.
  • The evaluation version is also based on the GA version of the current SLES version. Under a special agreement you may order it for USD 500,-. The registration code is valid for six (6) months. During this period you receive fixes and patches as if you had purchased the full product for your production. Evaluation versions must not be used in production, and they must not be redistributed. After evaluation you might decide to purchase the full product, or you return the software back to SuSE.

02/01/2002 - Neale Ferguson posted a pointer to another article, this one about some of the Linux and Linux/390 customers IBM had at LinuxWorld in New York giving testimonials about their experience with the platform.

02/01/2002 - Neale Ferguson posted a pointer to an article about the large increase in requests for Linux-based software that Computer Associates has experienced.

02/01/2002 - Colman Fink posted a pointer to an article about Linux/390 from Enterprise Systems Journal (this one much better written than the last).

02/01/2002 - John Bessette reported problems trying to get the IBM Java JDK 1.3 to work with SuSE 7.2 (2.4 kernel). Dan Hines replied that JDK 1.3 is only for 2.2 kernels at this time, and that IBM is working on getting it ready for 2.4. John later reported that he downloaded Blackdown's JDK 1.2.2 and it was working well with his 2.4 kernel. Florian LaRoche of Red Hat gave the tip that "You can still copy older libraries on your system and modify the Java wrapper scripts to use these older libs and have the rest of your system updated to the newest and greatest. Red Hat Linux 7.2 has all this prepared as far as I know, you just have to install the 'compat*.rpm' libs."

02/01/2002 - In response to a question about getting the Zebra routing software to utilize two default gateways, and fail over to the second one if the first is not available, Malcolm Beattie posted this response:
"You can do it with the standard Linux networking features (thanks as usual to Alexey Kuznetsov). Basically

ip route add default nexthop via nexthop via
The kernel will perform NUD (neighbour unreachable detection) and fail automatically over to the backup default route if the first one fails. The syntax of nexthop also allows "dev NAME" and "weight NUMBER" but I think "weight" may only be useful if you have the kernel patches to allow load balancing across multipath routes on a per-flow basis (using the "equalize" keyword). This information is in the ip-cref.ps document (RedHat installs it as /usr/share/doc/iproute-2.2.4/ip-cref.ps in RedHat 7.2 for example) which is why it seems to be less well-known than it deserves to be. Note that this form of multiple nexthops with nud is specific to the default route and can't be used for other routes (though you can fall back to using policy routing features together with userland daemons as you had originally planned)."

The ip command that Malcolm references is in the iproute or iproute2 RPM, depending on your distribution.

02/05/2002 - Aurora Emanuela Dell'Anno of Candle Corporation announced the general availability of OMEGAMON XE for Linux/390. The announcement was met with some derision from various VM support folks who don't think Candle supports OMEGAMON for VM very well.

02/05/2002 - Axel Wirbser of IBM reported the following updates to the DeveloperWorks web site:

  • kernel 2.4.17 experimental (currency work)
  • matching on-demand-timer and order-2-allocation-relief patches
  • matching lcs, qdio, qeth, and z90crypt OCOs (only rudimentary tests by development)

02/05/2002 - Since the Debian port of GNU/Linux/390 is pretty complete, a link to the binary downloads has been added to the "Binary distributions" menu at the left of the main page. That link, and a link to the Debian S/390 port page will be added to the http://linuxvm.org/Info/l390link.html page. Apologies to Richard Higson and the rest of the Debian porting team for taking so long to announce this.

02/05/2002 - In response to a question about running Oracle on Red Hat's Linux/390 instead of SuSE, David Sainty of Red Hat posted this comment: "I was responsible for the (mini) HOWTO on this subject which exists in the Red Hat Linux for S/390 product. You can find this document, which covered the first Oracle release, online at:

A pointer to this document has been added to http://linuxvm.org/Info/HOWTOs/index.html

02/06/2002 - Mark Post forwarded the pointer to an article about the US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency announcing that it will be funding a security audit of Open Source programs.

02/06/2002 - Mark Post reported an article wherein Larry Ellison of Oracle talked about his view of the IT industry, and that he thinks it is "inevitable" that "large servers" will die off. The article made Mark wonder about the possible implications for Oracle's support of its products on non-Intel platforms, such as Linux/390.

02/07/2002 - Mark Post announced that he had added a "community members" page to the web site. A link to the page has been added on the left side menu under "Community". Pictures and short biographies of pictures of the people who contribute to Linux/390, either through their work as developers, or by giving help in the mailing list will be added as they become available.

02/08/2002 - In response to a question if anyone had ported the rxsocket function for Regina to Linux/390, Arty Ecock replied " Pierantonio Marchesini of CERN did a port, circa 1995 (!) to Regina. This URL should help: http://wwwinfo.cern.ch/regina/extention.html

I lost touch with him, but his last contact information was:

Pierantonio Marchesini                             C.E.R.N.
ETH Zurich                                CH-1211 GENEVE 23
email: marchesi@afsmail.cern.ch     Phone: +41.22.767.50.23
Pierantonio made a few other nice additions to Regina. The source updates were in an AFS directory at CERN, but I never had a chance to request the address." Mark Post later replied that the source code appeared to be available but that the changes were most likely against a rather old version of Regina.

02/08/2002 - For the developers amongst us (and the people who want to be) Neale Ferguson published this URL, which is a list of tips and hints from IBM on porting programs to Linux/390.

02/11/2002 - Neale Ferguson reported that the IBM Java JDK 1.3 was available for download now. His comments were "JDK 1.3.1 for 2.4 and 2.2 kernels. There is a disclaimer about running under 2.4 under times of extreme load."

02/11/2002 - Philip J. Tully published some VM and TCP/IP maintenance that he said is necessary to get HiperSockets to work with Linux/390 guests:

UM30225   <<< Shipped >>>  0101  4VMVMB20
UQ58937  PREREQ of UQ61461   <<< Shipped >>>        4TCPIP20
UQ58387  PREREQ of UQ59668   <<< Shipped >>>  0101  4TCPIP20
UM30225  ORDERED             <<< Shipped >>>        4VMVMB20
UQ59668  PREREQ of UQ61461   <<< Shipped >>>        4TCPIP

02/13/2002 - Ian McKay of Amdahl posted a notice of an Amdahl press release announcing the availability of IFL processors for their Millennium 2000C and 2000E series, along with FICON channels.

02/13/2002 - Jeremy Warren reported that SuSE had published a new kernel that fixed problems Jeremy was having with Guest LAN support under VM. Jeremy also noted that only people with support contracts can access the SuSE site for the fix.

02/14/2002 - Peter Grimm reported an APAR for VM TCP/IP (PQ34318) that fixes a problem with CTC connections losing data.

02/15/2002 - In response to a question about 3590 tape support, Dennis Andrews of UTS Global replied that their tape driver "supports 3480, 3490 and 3590." It is available for download, but requires free registration to access. He also commented "Note that we have moved our downloads from our ftp to our web site."

02/15/2002 - Mark Post reported stumbling across an IBM tutorial on "Apache Web Development with IBM DB2 for Linux." It has pointers to the linuxdoc.org HOWTO on setting up DB2 on Linux, and inline instructions for pretty much everything else.

02/15/2002 - Michael Grundy of IBM announced the availability of DProbes for Linux/390. He gave this short description of its capabilities:
"Dynamic Probes (Dprobes) is a generic and pervasive system debugging facility that will operate under the most extreme software conditions such as debugging a deep-rooted operating system problem in a live environment. Dprobes allows the insertion of fully automated breakpoints or probepoints anywhere in the system and user space. Each probepoint has an associated set of probe instructions that are interpreted when the probe fires. These instructions allow memory and CPU registers to be examined and altered using conditional logic. When the probe command terminates, prior to returning to the probed code, a syslog record may be optionally generated."

02/18/2002 - Florian LaRoche of Red Hat announced the first public Beta of Red Hat Linux for zSeries (64-bit). He further commented:
"You can send bug-reports to redhat-s390-list@redhat.com or enter them into our bug-tracking system at http://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla. The more bugs you find, the more we can possibly fix until GA.

"We currently think that gcc/binutils/glibc won't change anymore. Most stabilization effords will go into the kernel and the installation support. At the moment only "rhsetup" is working, our standard installation tool "anaconda" should follow ASAP. Feel free to request more features, new functionality, ... Now is the time to tell us.

"We will make frequent updates to this version, so please make sure you have a correct "mirror" from our ftp-server and not the version from yesterday."

02/18/2002 - Axel Wirbser of IBM reported that new experimental 2.4.17 OCO-modules for lcs, qdio, qeth, and z90crypt were available.

02/18/2002 - In response to a question about Samba failing to start, Herve Allen of Turbolinux noted that he had created a document on netmasks, Samba, and how to correct the problem manually after installing Linux/390. The document is specific to Turbolinux, but should be easily transferable to other distributions as well. He also noted:
"What happens is that nmbd starts and checks your default interface and it's IP address. It then checks to see if the netmask in use for the IP address makes sense. If not, it exits and gives you the generic error message you are seeing."

02/20/2002 - Neale Ferguson posted a link to another article on Boscov's conversion to Linux/390. This one talks about some of the financial planning benefits, as well as some figures on servers replaced, electricity, etc., saved and so on. This is done in the context of IBM winning Datamation's Product of the Year 2001 award for server hardware. David Mastrobattista of Giga Information Group provided some clarification of the numbers contained in the article:
"As for the 60-65% range for non-traditional workloads, that was verified back around the October 2001 timeframe, and it represents ALL non-traditional workloads. Linux is a piece of that, but Websphere-based workloads represent a large chunk of that number. So the 60-65% doesn't represent Linux-only MIPS. In 4Q2001, IBM estimated 11% of MIPS shipped were for dedicated-Linux workloads. But again, the important point of the 60-65% number is that the majority of zSeries MIPS shipped are being deployed in support of non-traditional, non-legacy workload scenarios."

02/21/2002 - In response to a question about upgrading Python from 1.5 to 2.x, John Summerfield recommended against doing that because of a number of compatability problems. The one possibility of upgrading gracefully that he mentioned was the python-2.2-7.src.rpm package in Red Hat's rawhide directory. That appears to have been upgraded to the version below.

02/22/2002 - David Boyes that Sine Nomine Associates had "completed initial testing of a Linux for S/390 and Linux for z/Series port of the Globus grid computing tools. I'll be putting together a binary package shortly for the Globus team to distribute via their WWW site, and they will remain the distribution point." He also stated that a version for z/OS Unix System Services is in progress, but proceeding more slowly. He gave this brief description of Globus:
"It's a collection of tools for writing and managing distributed applications across multiple systems and multiple organizations. It includes brokering of available resources, generalized security and authorization APIs, task assignment, job managment and storage management services that provide a wide range of interesting services and ways to write applications that take advantage of distributed computing power while still remaining centrally controlled in a reasonable fashion. It was originally written for large scientific applications, but is rapidly becoming interesting for enterprise applications as well."

02/22/2002 - In response to yet another request for information on how to move a file system to another DASD volume, Mark Post decided it was time to make it into a Linux/390 HOWTO document. It's available at the URL below.

02/25/2002 - Ross Patterson of Computer Associates posted a link to a CA press release announcing the general availability of the latest release of CA's "Advantage Ingres database product, highlighting support for Linux on S/390 and zSeries." Ross quoted from one paragraph: "To support customers' strategic adoption of Linux, CA is offering Advantage Ingres 2.6 for Linux on both Intel and zSeries processors - enabling customers to take advantage of the open source platform across enterprise systems of any required scale."

02/25/2002 - Axel Wirbser of IBM reported the following updates to the DeveloperWorks web site:

  • Recommended s390-tools patch with bug-fixes.
  • Experimental kernel 2.2.20 patch with bug-fixes.

02/26/2002 - Samy Rengasamy was searching for COBOL compilers for Linux/390, and came across PERCobol from LegacyJ.com. Apparently, this is the same organization that used to be at www.synkronix.com. According to Samy, the COBOL Code is compiled into Java byte codes and LegacyJ provides a platform specific proprietary runtime. It wasn't clear if there was a Linux/390 version available or not, but a visit to their web site revealed this statement: "PERCobol Enterprise for Linux on S/390 is available on IBM S/390" There was even a press release dated April 27 of 2001 about the product.

02/27/2002 - Mark Post posted a link to an InfoWorld article about Linux User Groups (LUGs) as a source of help for people unfamiliar with Linux. The article also had a link to a web site that can assist in finding a LUG near you.

02/27/2002 - Mark Post relayed a report of a security exposure in the PHP scripting language. According to the report, there is a severe security exposure in just about every version of PHP (3.0 all the way up through 4.1). The details are described at http://security.e-matters.de/advisories/012002.html. According to php.net, there is a replacement version available, 4.1.2. They use the phrase "strongly encouraged" to describe the recommendation to upgrade.

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