Tux on VM

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Linux for Big Iron

Archives of linuxvm.org

10/03/2002 - Mike Grundy of IBM announced that a paper had been written, documenting how to configure Dynamic Probes, and the Linux Trace Toolkit to work together. The distribution used in the paper was SuSE SLES7. Pointers to more information about dprobes and LTT were also given.

10/03/2002 - Jason Herne announced that a port of Gentoo Linux to S/390 was being started by "a student member of the Clarkson Open Source Institute as a summer internship project for IBM." He promised a followup announcement when the port was ready for testing.

10/04/2002 - In response to a question as to whether there were any quidelines available to decide between deploying an application on AIX versus Linux, David Boyes contributed some that he uses. That information has been turned into a mini-HOWTO on the HOWTO page.

Scott Courtney had some follow-up comments about the "extensive use of Java" question. His point was that Java itself should be subject to the same list of questions as the topic as whole, since Java can have a wide range of resource profiles, depending on the Java vendor and the platform.

10/04/2002 - Mark Post contributed a link to an article about AOL starting to replace some of their UNIX servers running on RISC hardware with blade servers running Red Hat Linux 7.3 on Intel chips.

10/04/2002 - Neale Ferguson posted the link to an article about IBM winning the first large customer for its computing-on-demand service that is based on Linux/390. The customer was Mobil Travel Guide.

10/08/2002 - In response to a request for help planning a "roadmap to migrate from MS-EXCHANGE (including messages files) to a open-source application," David Boyes had several suggestions:

  1. Bynari Insight Server and client
  2. Oracle Collaboration Server and client
  3. Using the open-source sendmail,Cyrus IMAP, and OpenLDAP plus the Oracle Collaboration Server client piece to fool Outlook into thinking it's talking to Exchange.
  4. Using the open-source sendmail, Cyrus IMAP server, and OpenLDAP plus the Bynari client connector to fool Outlook into thinking it's talking to Exchange.
  5. Ximian's Evolution client and the above back ends.
David had some further comments about the matter. Reading the entire post would be worthwhile.

10/09/2002 - During a discussion about kernel levels, etc., Alan Cox recommended that "People should be using at least 2.4.19 if they have untrusted local users, and probably at least 2.4.9 if not." Since the only systems that don't have untrusted users are single-user systems the recommendation to be running 2.4.19 will cover just about everybody.

10/09/2002 - Dennis Andrews of UTS Global announced the General Availability of their Distributed Tape product. The complete text of the announcement is in his posting.

10/10/2002 - During a discussion about using Amanda and Samba to back up Windows® clients, Adam Thornton corrected a misconception that the Amanda userid would only have to be a "backup operator" and not an administrator. According to some Amanda documentation, "Samba does not use Windows' Backup API, so configuring the Amanda backup user as a member of group backup, in the Windows host, is useless. You will probably have to configure it as an Administrator, and make sure that it can read and change permission of *all* files in the share."

10/11/2002 - In response to a question about the maximum number of DASD devices that Linux/390 can recognize, Ihno Krumreich replied that the limitation is the number of free "major numbers." He referenced a table in the "Device Driver and Installation Commands" manual that details this:
Names Number Major/minor numbers
(assuming dynamic allocation from 254)
dasda - dasdz 26 94:0 - 94:100
dasdaa - dasdbl 38 94:104 - 94:252
dasdbm - dasdzz 638 254:0 - 245:244
dasdaaa - dasdzzz 17576 245:248 - 131:148
Sum: 18278  


10/15/2002 - Mark Post forwarded a pointer from a co-worker to an online white paper/essay titled "Why Open Source Software / Free Software (OSS/FS)? Look at the Numbers!" The lead-in to the paper states "This paper provides quantitative data that, in many cases, using open source software / free software is a reasonable or even superior approach to using their proprietary competition according to various measures. This paper examines market share, reliability, performance, scalability, security, and total cost of ownership. It also has sections on non-quantitative issues, unnecessary fears, usage reports, other sites providing related information, and ends with some conclusions."
Mark commented that most of the people on the mailing list had probably already heard or read most of what was in the paper, but that it would be good to refer people that aren't familiar with the topic to it.

10/15/2002 - Jim Rich of BEA reported that "IBM has now certified their Java 1.3.1 SDK's and JRE's for Red Hat for zSeries... We are now completing our certification testing for Weblogic 7.0 with Service Pack 1 on Red Hat for zSeries, and the download page should be updated with appropriate information soon. If you want an early start, try the existing SuSE download."

Phil Knirsch of Red Hat replied that there were errata fixes for Red Hat to go along with the certification by IBM. He gave the web page to find out what needs to be fixed.

10/16/2002 - Richard Hitt of UTS Global announced the availability of some fixes for the 3270 driver:

  1. Fix 3270 console reboot loop
  2. Recognize 3270 control unit type 3174
  3. Fix tubfs kmalloc()s
  4. Dynamically get 3270 input buffer
  5. Get colors right on 3270 devices
According to Richard, "The patch is named patch-2.4.7-3270 and applies smoothly to the kernel tree built from SuSE kernel-source-2.4.7.SuSE-53.s390.rpm and RedHat kernel-2.4.9-37.src.rpm." The fix is available from the UTS global web site. Richard's directions were "click Products under Linux. Then scroll down and click GPL SOFTWARE. Click any DOWNLOAD link. Click "3270 Driver (patch 2.4.7)". Click through the GPL for a download screen. We do ask that you register and receive a password." Details of the patches are included in Richard's email.

10/17/2002 - Neale Ferguson discovered an article on kerneltrap.org that talked about Robert Love backporting the "jiffies_to_clock_t() code from the 2.5 development kernel to the 2.4 stable kernel. This patch allows one to adjust the frequency of the timer interrupt, defined in the standard 2.4 kernel with HZ=100. In 2.5 this has been increased to HZ=1000." Neale's note ended with a question about what impact this was going to have on the Linux/390 "no jiffies" patch, but no one ever answered him.

10/18/2002 - Neale Ferguson reported another article that described a new agreement between SuSE and Turbolinux. This one extended past the UnitedLinux alliance, which was for Intel Linux only, and creates a joint development effort for all of IBM's high-end servers, such as zSeries, pSeries and iSeries. Lionel Dyck found the official press release on SuSE's web site.

10/21/2002 - Bruce Hayden contributed information on how to shutdown and restart the network on a SuSE system:
The equivalent commands in SuSE's way of doing things is "rcnetwork stop ctc0" and "rcnetwork start ctc0". Note that you may lose your default route with the ctc interface down, so you will probably want to enter "rcroute start" for good measure. Also note that even if you only have 1 network device, entering the device argument on the command avoids broadcasting the "Network is going down now" message.

10/22/2002 - Mark Post published the URL to a Computerworld article about Linux gaining increasing acceptance in the financial industry.

10/22/2002 - During a discussion on software packaging for Linux systems, David Boyes posted a note about an online article in Sysadmin magazine about a tool called OpenPKG. According to David, "It's an excellent description of how to package your tools in a way that:

  1. DOES NOT spray files all over the file system.
  2. DOES allow easy installation and upgrades, as well as version coexistance in a RO environment.
  3. Why this is important.
  4. How to work around some of the deficiencies in RPM."

10/22/2002 - Neale Ferguson posted the link to a Forrester Research, Inc. commentary on the readiness of Linux for use in the enterprise.

10/23/2002 - Mark Post forwarded the link to a an article that focused on Linux/390 as a messaging platform. It didn't mention VM at all, but did discuss the business advantages of running Linux/390 on VM.

10/24/2002 - Alan Cox gave a tip to a questioner who was wanting to know how to run some services in the local time zone, and some in UTC. His response was:
"Run that service with the TZ environment variable set to UTC, e.g."
TZ=UTC mydaemon

10/25/2002 - Gerhard Hiller of IBM reported the following updates to the DeveloperWorks web site:
Changes to the "May 2002 stream"

  • Bug-fixes for
    • kernel 2.4.19 (with adapted "On-Demand Timer" patch)
    • binutils,
    • strace 4.4
    • s390 tools 1.1.4 (was 1.1.3).
  • The "May 2002 stream" Restrictions page has been updated.
  • The "May 2002 stream" Documentation page contains updated manuals.
Refer to the Useful add-ons page for the experimental LVM multipath support patch.

10/26/2002 - Neale Ferguson contributed the URL of a Computerworld article titled "New Apps Give New Life to Mainframes."

10/26/2002 - Mark Post contributed the URL of an article that talked about IBM selecting Linux as the operating system for the new suppercomputer cluster family they are building. The line of new computers is named "Blue Gene."

10/28/2002 - Colman Fink posted the URL of an InformationWeek article that provides a little more detail about Winnebago's hardware and software mix, and their experience with Windows® NT. It also talks about Wisconsin Physicians Service Insurance Corp. and Sabre. One moving to Linux/390, the other moving away from TPF to UNIX. One thing the article gets badly wrong is attributing logical partitioning and server virtualization capabilities to Linux, and not z/VM.

10/29/2002 - Mark Post notified the mailing list that he was going to be removing the Caiman distribution from the main "navigation section" at the left of the linuxvm.org web pages. He also commented "The FTP servers for the distribution have been unavailable for months and months now, and according to an email I received from the person who originated it, all the people who used to maintain it for Linux Korea, have left for other companies. Since this was a Debian-based distribution, the fact that there is now an official Debian Linux/390 makes the loss of Caiman much easier to bear. Still, it's a little sad that it's gone.

10/30/2002 - In response to a question about where to find information on FCP support on zSeries hardware, Neale Ferguson recommended an IBM Redpaper, and his presentation on "SCSI on Linux for zSeries - Early Experiences" on this web site.

10/30/2002 - In response to a question about VPN servers for Linux or Linux/390, David Boyes gave a small dissertation on the possibilities. For commercial solutions he mentioned zGate and Stonesoft. For Open Source, he recommended FreeS/WAN. He also commented that "IPSec and VPN solutions in general are CPU intensive, so you will see a spike in utilization." He also gave some details on what could be used for clients.

10/30/2002 - In response to a question about VPN servers for Linux or Linux/390, David Boyes gave a small dissertation on the possibilities. For commercial solutions he mentioned zGuard and Stonesoft. For Open Source, he recommended FreeS/WAN. He also commented that "IPSec and VPN solutions in general are CPU intensive, so you will see a spike in utilization." He also gave some details on what could be used for clients.

10/30/2002 - In response to someone who was having problems installing Bastille on Linux/390, Carlos Ordonez sent out part of a workbook that IBM developed for a class.

The site recommends using version 1.3.0 RPMs, however, they do
not work with the s390 architecture, so the source tar file,
Bastille-1.3.0.tar.bz2, is used. Also you need to install Perl
curses or Tk modules, depending on what mode you want to run in:
curses mode (-c) or Xwindows mode (-x).

To install Bastille, do the following:

Install Curses or Tk perl module. (you need to install only one!)

  If you prefer to run Bastille using Curses, untar and install

     # cd /usr/src
     # tar xzf /mnt/labstuff/security/bastille/Curses-1.06.tar.gz
     # cd Curses-1.06
     # perl Makefile.PL
     # make
     # make install
  You can also use the rpm from the same website as Bastille :
     Bastille-Curses-module-1.3.0-0.5mdk.noarch.rpm --nodeps

  If you prefer to run Bastille using Xwindows, install the Tk

     # rpm -ivh
     mdk.noarch.rpm --nodeps

Untar Bastille :

  # cd /usr/src
  # tar xjf /mnt/labstuff/security/bastille/Bastille-1.3.0.tar.bz2
  # cd Bastille
  # chmod +x Install.sh
  # ./Install.sh

You can run Bastille in Xwindows mode with the command
./InteractiveBastille -x. You must be in a KDE window to run this
command or have access to Xwindows. If you prefer to run in curses
mode you have to change the -x parameter for a -c .This will begin
the security interview (read the descriptions of each proposed
action! - they are very informative).

10/30/2002 - In response to someone who was having problems with their GuestLAN setup, Dennis Musselwhite gave some tips for checking out what is going on.
"You can issue a couple of CP commands to find out what IP addresses have been registered on the Guest LAN:
"From the main logon (console) of your Linux guest, ask for details about your virtual network interface card (NIC) with the command:

"You will probably see your IP Address listed here. If not, ask for details about the Guest LAN:
"If is not present in this list, then there may have been an error when the Linux guest tried to register this address. If it is present, but associated with a different guest, this will cause connectivity problems."

10/31/2002 - Mark Post reported the release of a study by Mitre Corporation on the "use of Free and Open-Source Software by the U.S. Dept. of Defense." The full 160-page MITRE paper is available for free download.

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