Tux on VM

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Linux for Big Iron

Archives of linuxvm.org

04/03/2002 - In response to a posting about a problem trying to install PHP4, Eddie Chen reported that he was testing PHP with Oracle 9. He commented that he needed to create a symbolic link "from libclntsh.so.8.0 to 9.0"

04/03/2002 - Stephen Dennis reported a compiler bug that caused incorrect output for floating point operations. It turned out to be a previously corrected error. He was pointed to some updated SuSE RPMs to get the fixed versions.

04/04/2002 - In response to a question about how to safely move new versions of critical system files into place, Malcolm Beattie posted a method, as well as a very good explanation of why it works. That response has been added to the HOWTO page.

04/05/2002 - Lionel Dyck came across a Shockwave advertisement by IBM for the "Peace, Love, Linux" ad campaign.

04/06/2002 - At the request of Larry Heath, Florian LaRoche of Red Hat uploaded an updated version of the Red Hat installation kernel and ramdisk in the rawhide directories. They contained:

  • kernel-2.4.9-31.1
    • GPL lcs driver for a more Open Source platform thanks to IBM
    • current s390 patches
    • would support installation of OCO modules from a second initrd
  • new installation support with a current anaconda
  • most updates for 7.2 are already included
Florian also commented, "So this includes all stable updates as well as some goodies, but please keep in mind that this is a totally unsupported "rawhide" version that might just disappear, change unstable, break your hardware etc.

"Official updates for Red Hat Linux 7.2 mostly done, only the kernel and the new install support need some more time. The above rawhide version should ensure it is tested within enough different setups."

04/10/2002 - Maciej Ksiezycki posted a reminder that anyone having problems specifying LCS parameters with the new chandev interface should use the following syntax:

and not
The noauto parameter is separated from the others by a semi-colon, not a comma.

04/08/2002 - Daniel Jarboe discovered that specifying the "-L label" parameter on the mke2fs command is very important if the entries in /etc/fstab use "LABEL=" to identify a file system, instead of the more-often-seen /dev/dasd?# notation. Leaving the "-L label" off caused him all sorts of difficulty until he figured it out.

04/11/2002 - In response to another question about tools to migrate maintenance to multiple Linux/390 images, JahJuan Rogers of BMC Software said that his company has a product named "Deployment Manager for Linux," that handles "upgrades, maint,fixes, initial deployment of Linux based software" from a central console, and another one named "Server Management for Linux" for monitoring Linux/390 systems. No URLs were given in his note.

04/11/2002 - Ross Patterson forwarded a URL from a colleague that pointed to a follow up article to the one Scott Courtney noted on March 25th. Ross noted "It seems some of our (ahem) more vocal participants helped educate one of their writers. :-)"

04/15/2002 - Mike Ross noted that the original Linux/390 Redbook (SG24-4987-00) had been modified to remove any references to Hercules. This meant that the complete text of Chapter 8, and several other smaller references had been removed. This apparently took place on March 21, 2002, with no notification, and no explanation. In response to a question about where the unabridged text could be found, Greg Smith suggested looking at the Red Hat FTP site, or one of the various Red Hat mirrors.
http://www.marist.edu/htbin/wlvtype?LINUX-VM.25615 ftp://ftp.redhat.com/pub/redhat/linux/7.2/en/os/s390/docs/sg244987.pdf

04/15/2002 - Florian LaRoche of Red Hat reported that the S/390 rawhide directories now have "sample config files and a recent cvs version of hercules, which has really improved a real lot during the recent months.

"A nearly complete install of Red Hat Linux takes about 5 1/2 hours for me on a 1800 Mhz AMD machine. :-) Most applications work reasonable fast, but I wouldn't recommend this for real development. Looking/testing/evaluation should be ok with this."

A quick look at the "utils" parent directory revealed a copy of PuTTY (and the PuTTY source), and something called "bettertelnet-2.0fc1.sit.bin".

04/15/2002 - In response to a question about where to find a mailing list for Linux on AS/400 systems, Jim Elliott posted the URL to the "Linux on PowerPC Mail List Archives."

04/15/2002 - David Kennedy of Linuxcare posted a patch to the IUCV driver that is intended to correct a problem with IUCV connections taking a long time to come up. The base64-encoded patch is available in the mailing list archives.

04/16/2002 - In response to several people complaining that their Tomcat server was not being started at system startup, Sergey Korzhevsky and Jay van der Meer gave examples of what worked for them. Sergey's script looks like this:

case "$1" in

        . /etc/profile.d/javaprof.sh

        nohup /usr/local/jakarta/tomcat/bin/startup.sh &
Jay uses this:
1. In the rc3.d we run a script to do
su -l tomcat -c "/usr/local/sbin/tomcatrun.sh &" followed by a sleep 10s
2.  In tomcatrun.sh we first redirect the output followed by a sleep 45s then
/usr/loca/jakarta-tomcat-4.0.3/bin/catalina.sh run

04/16/2002 - Steve Gear reported experiencing a problem with the "boot from CD ROM" procedure while trying to install SuSE SLES 7.2. A corrected version of the initrd is available.

04/16/2002 - Axel Wirbser of IBM reported the following updates to the DeveloperWorks web site:

  • kernel 2.4.7 recommended bug fixes.
  • kernel 2.4.17 experimental bug fixes.

04/17/2002 - Alan Cox forwarded an email from the Linux kernel mailing list by Motohiro Kanda announcing that
"Hitachi Ltd. Japan has developed a Mainframe OS compatible file system on Linux, and will make the source code available in GPL.

The file system is named "mainframe file system" or mffs for short and can access disks formatted by Hitachi's VOS3 operating system and its compatibles : )", meaning OS/390, z/OS, etc.
While there wasn't much discussion of this in the mailing list, it does raise some interesting security questions about data integrity and security between the two operating systems, given there is no real strong integration between the security enforcement of the two platforms. The source code is supposed to become available in May 2002.
http://www.marist.edu/htbin/wlvtype?LINUX-VM.25746 http://www.hitachi.co.jp/Prod/comp/soft1/linux_m/download.html

04/17/2002 - Florian La Roche posted some instructions he's sent to various Red Hat mailing lists on how to get Linux running under Hercules on an Intel Linux system. Those instructions have been added to the HOWTO page.

04/17/2002 - In response to yet another question about how to build a "software" RAID-0 setup, Mike MacIsaac contributed this:

# cd /dev
# mknod md0 b 9 0
# cat /etc/raidtab
raiddev   /dev/md0
        raid-level              0
        nr-raid-disks           4
        persistent-superblock   1
        chunk-size              128
        device                  /dev/dasdf1
        raid-disk               0
        device                  /dev/dasdg1
        raid-disk               1
        device                  /dev/dasdh1
        raid-disk               2
        device                  /dev/dasdi1
        raid-disk               3
# mkraid /dev/md0
# mkreiserfs /dev/md0  // or mke2fs
# mkdir /swRAID0
# mount /dev/md0 /swRAID0

# df -h | grep md0
/dev/md0              9.2G   53M  9.1G   1% /s

04/17/2002 - Vincent Gazzillo reported that he finally got mod_webapp to compile by avoiding using the apr source that he downloaded separately, and using the source code for it that came in webapp-module-1.0.2-tc402-src.tar.gz and followed the directions from the ingrid.org web site.

04/17/2002 - There was some discussion about adding Access Control List (ACL) support to Linux, and which kernel versions were supported, and which required modification to some #if statements. Stefan Gybas reported that "Andreas Gruenbacher, the author of the ACL patches, now also provides a patch for kernel 2.4.17." A check of the web site also shows patches for 2.2.20, and 2.4.18.

04/18/2002 - In the "geek humor" category, Rich Smrcina posted this URL to an eWeek article about some competition that exists between various people as to how fast they can compile a Linux kernel. The current record is apparently 7.52 seconds.

04/19/2002 - Neale Ferguson posted the URL for an article about Taiwan Securities Central Depository Co., Ltd. selecting Acucorp's extend5 "family of solutions" to assist in moving their stock inventory system from an RS6000 to Linux/390.

04/19/2002 - Ken Hall contributed the URL to a LinuxWorld article (first of a three part series) that essentially claims there is no business case for Linux/390. The article drew some heated response from readers, which lead to another article where the author tried to explain what he really meant, and why he was sticking to his position. This was followed a few weeks later by the second article in the series. His consideration of business case seems to be limited to hardware and software costs, although it does take into consideration the various types of workload that can be encountered. His perception of the capabilities of mainframes seems mired in the MVS/XA era, however. Read the articles and decide for yourself.

04/19/2002 - David Rock discussed some of the security problems with VNC, and why he always uses it via an SSH tunnel. He mentioned that VNC encryption is fairly weak, and that a program called VNCrack was readily available to break it.

04/22/2002 - Peter Webb shared a piece of the VM automation he uses to shut down multiple Linux/390 guests. The REXX script depends on a naming convention being used for guests, so be aware of that if you decide to adapt this to your own site.

*        Identify Focus and Linux servers.                            *
"PIPE (endchar $ name find_server)",
   "cp QUERY NAMES",
   "| split ,",
   "| strip",
   "| a: find FOCS",
   "| specs word 1 1",
   "| stem focus.",
   "| find LINUX",
   "| specs word 1 1",
   "| stem linux."
if rc > maxrc then do
   maxrc = rc
   say "===> PIPE to find Focus and Linux servers failed. RC =" rc
*        Shutdown LINUX. (Part 1)                                     *
do i = 1 for linux.0
   parse value diag("08","QUERY USER" linux.i) with . 12 terminal 15 .
   if terminal = "DSC" then do
      "CP SET SECUSER" linux.i "*"
      if rc > maxrc then do
         maxrc = rc
         say "===> Could not establish secondary console for" linux.i,
            "RC =" rc
      dummy = diag("08","SEND" linux.i "HALT")
      "CP SLEEP 2 SEC"
      "CP SET SECUSER" linux.i "OFF"
*        Shutdown LINUX. (Part 2)                                     *
do i = 1 for linux.0
   parse value diag("08","QUERY USER" linux.i) with . 12 terminal 15 .
   if terminal = "DSC" then "CP FORCE" linux.i
   if rc > maxrc then do
      maxrc = rc
      say "===> Could not FORCE Linux server" linux.i "RC =" rc

04/23/2002 - In response to a question about the availability of S/390 architecture-specific optimization in gcc, Mark Perry posted this URL.

04/23/2002 - Wilson Correia Gil reported an article about various non-US banks (and other companies) switching to Linux.

04/23/2002 - Lionel Dyck reported an article about Samba out-performing Windows® 2000 as a file and print server.

04/23/2002 - Jon Doyle pointed out two articles on IBM's DevelopWorks site about implementing ReiserFS.

04/24/2002 - Dieter Heussner of SuSE reported that the FTP server for SuSE's beta code has been changed. They are no longer using the "nozzle" server. The "Binary distributions" links on this page have been updated to reflect this.

04/24/2002 - In a discussion about system monitors, several packages were mentioned as worth investigating. In response to a request for URLs, Paul Williamson and Carlos Ordonez contributed these.
Nagios - http://www.nagios.org/
mon - http://www.kernel.org/software/mon/
Ganglia - http://ganglia.sourceforge.net/index.php
BigBrother - http://bb4.com/
Snips - http://www.netplex-tech.com/software/snips/
NetVigil (commercial version of Snips actually) - http://www.fidelia.com/products/index.phtml

04/24/2002 - Thanks to Giorgio Bellussi for agreeing to host the unabridged version of the Linux for S/390 Redbook.
Linux for S/390, SG24-4987-00

04/25/2002 - Jay Maynard of the Hercules project announced that version 2.16 is now available. What's new in release 2.16:

  • PER support (Jan Jaeger, Paul Leisy)
  • S/370 multiprocessor support (Jan Jaeger)
  • Licensed software restriction (Jan Jaeger, Jay Maynard)
  • Performance mods (Gabor Hoffer, Juergen Dobrinski, Greg Smith, and Paul Leisy)
  • Interrupt subclass priorities (Greg Smith)
  • dasdcat program (Malcolm Beattie, Roger Bowler)
  • Updated TCP/IP documentation (Roger Bowler)
  • CTCI support for Windows® (David "Fish" Trout)
  • Print to unix pipe (Roger Bowler)
  • Preliminary Lan Channel Station (LCS) support
  • HTTP server (Jan Jaeger)
  • Various fixes (as recorded in CHANGES) (Paul Leisy, Matt Zimmerman, Greg Smith, Volker Bandke, Bernard van der Helm, David "Fish" Trout)
Jay also commented "Note that the performance mods mentioned are some, but not all, of Gabor Hoffer's work. Expect more in the next release, and soon in the CVS repository if you're brave enough.

"The LCS support is preliminary, and subject to change...but does work now.

"As usual, there are more improvements than the major ones listed above. A lot of work has gone into the system since 2.15 was released last Christmas, and a lot of folks deserve credit. Complete documentation is in the CHANGES file in the source release."

04/26/2002 - In response to a request for recommendations for intrusion detection software, Joachim Jordan recommended firestarter, guarddog, and said he wanted to look at ACID and SNORT. Tim Pepper mentioned PureSecure. John Summerfield recommended looking at several system-hardening packages.

04/27/2002 - In response to a question about what version of VNC was most current for Linux/390, Florian La Roche of Red Hat posted a note stating that the rawhide directory had the newest version of VNC for Red Hat, and included the patches for S/390, which had also been carried forward into their S/390x platform.

04/28/2002 - Mark Post reported an interview with Boas Betzler of IBM. The article begins with "At age 28, Boas Betzler is known at IBM as the 'grandfather' of Linux on the mainframe. In mid-1998, he began a port of Linux to the IBM zSeries, and he's shepherded the Linux mainframe project from the beginning to the first shipments."

04/29/2002 - In response to a question about whether Simple Watchdog (SWATCH) was on the SuSE distribution, Mark Post replied that it was not, but a freshmeat.net search turned it up pretty quickly. It appeared to be Perl-based, so should run on Linux/390 well.

04/30/2002 - Jim Elliott of IBM reported that z/VM 4.3 was going to be GA on May 31st, 2002. The following were listed as highlights in his email. He suggested going to the IBM VM web site for details.

  • Virtualization technology exploitation
    • Accounting of virtual network resources
    • Automated shutdown by guest operating systems
    • Fibre Channel Protocol support
    • I/O priority queueing
    • Shared tape for z/OS*, z/OS.e, and OS/390y
  • Connectivity enhancements
    • Multicast support for HiperSockets
    • Simulation of a QDIO network adapter, including support for QDIO broadcast
    • Improved TCP/IP stack security, performance, and configurability
  • Systems management improvements
    • z/VM self-management to achieve guest performance goals
    • Enhanced timer management for improved performance
    • Better utilization of large real storage
    • Additional performance monitor data
  • RACF for VM as an optional IPLA feature
There are also two Statements of Direction:
  • Intention to remove SPTAPE (replaced by SPXTAPE) in a future release.
  • Intention to deliver a new performance tool (based on FCON/ESA) as a priced optional feature in a future release.

04/30/2002 - In response to a question about some seemingly odd bash behavior, Malcolm Beattie posted a pointer to a UNIX FAQ that provides an explanation, and an except of the FAQ.

Right, take the next example:


     echo bletch | read foo

     echo "foo is now: $foo"

   This will print ``foo is now: bar'' in many implementations,
   ``foo is now: bletch'' in some others.  Why?  Generally each part
   of a pipeline is run in a different subshell; in some
   implementations though, the last command in the pipeline is made
   an exception: if it is a builtin command like ``read'', the
   current shell will execute it, else another subshell is created.

   POSIX 1003.2 allows both behaviours so portable scripts cannot
   depend on any of them.

04/30/2002 - In response to a question about virus scanning software, Jim Elliott stated that RAE Internet has a product that will work on Linux/390.

04/30/2002 - Neale Ferguson reported an article that talked about Linux/390 bringing together workers from two different cultures within the IT industry: mainframes and UNIX. Mark Post reported two other links from that page that looked interesting as well, "Aberdeen InSight: Linux Gets A Boost From Standards," and "Aberdeen InSight: Linux-Based Software Management."

04/30/2002 - Rob van der Heij shared some insight into sizing Linux/390 guests under VM. "Do not listen to the end-users or application folks who tell you how big the virtual machine must be if they come from an Intel machine. These machines were not sized by need but by catalogue or budget. On Intel too much memory probably does not hurt, but for virtual machines it helps to make them lean. Look at my Apache servers:


SYSTEM    3.8 3.8 .00  .00 .00    0  15K   .0   4G .....     2G SYS,
VMRTM     .16 .12 .03  .00 .00  366  387   .0  194   3%A    32M VUS,QDS,SIMW
GWA80805  .02 .00 .01  .00 .00 2578 2578   .0  666   100    20M VUS,IAB,DISP
GWA80806  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 1460 1460   .0 1884   100    20M VUS,IAB,IDLE
GWA80807  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 1429 1429   .0 1911   100    20M VUS,IAB,IDLE
GWA80803  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 1759 1759   .0  598   100    20M VUS,IAB,IDLE
GWA80804  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 1513 1513   .0  751   100    20M VUS,IAB,IDLE
GWA80808  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 1226 1226   .0  332   100    20M VUS,IAB,IDLE
GWA80809  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 1375 1375   .0 1885   100    20M VUS,IAB,IDLE
GWA80812  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 1470 1470   .0 1851   100    20M VUS,IAB,IDLE
GWA80811  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 1475 1475   .0 1879   100    20M VUS,IAB,DISP
GWA80813  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 1386 1386   .0 1964   100    20M VUS,IAB,DISP
GWA80801  .01 .00 .01  .00 .00 6723 6744   .0    0   100    48M VUS,IAB,DISP
"Even though my Linux images build a working set close to their virtual machine size, since they are fairly small CP can load them in easily.
AVGPROC-004% 03
Q0-00001(00000)                           DORMANT-00055
Q1-00019(00000)           E1-00000(00000)
Q2-00005(00000) EXPAN-002 E2-00000(00000)
Q3-00002(00000) EXPAN-002 E3-00000(00000)
"I think this looks much more healthy to run your penguins."

04/30/2002 - Neale Ferguson posted the URL of SuSE's GA announcement for the 64-bit version of their Linux Enterprise Server 7 platform for zSeries.

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