The Penguin and the Dinosaur
Perhaps I've convinced you Linux/390 is cool, and you'd like to see it for yourself. Now, you probably have a problem: you do not have access to a System/390. There are at least three ways you can play with Linux/390 without already having an actual System/390.
The least interesting option is to do what the IBM guys did initially and download their glibc, gcc and kernel patches, and build L/390 software in a cross-compilation environment hosted under Linux/x86. Sure, this works, but it's not very much fun. For the experience, you need to be running L/390 itself, which requires a System/390.
The expensive option is to buy a mainframe. A minimal P/390 on the used market will set you back less than $10,000. That's not all that much, is it? Okay, so $10,000 might be a little steep for a neat toy.
You'd still like to play, but can't spend ten grand? How does “free” sound, then? Free, as in beer and speech. Roger Bowler has written an intensely cool emulator, Hercules, which runs under Linux and emulates either a System/370 (the previous generation of IBM mainframe) or a System/390; it also emulates many of the more common mainframe peripherals. It's open source (not GPL, but the license is quite reasonable, basically just forbidding commercial use) and very easy to build. The emulator is sufficiently thorough to boot OS/MFT (a simpler IBM mainframe OS, circa 1966) and use MFT to build and boot OS/MVT (MVS's progenitor). Work is being done to bring MVS 3.8 up on it.
More to the point, Hercules emulates a System/390 well enough to boot Linux/390. I've put up a page explaining how; see the Resources section. Currently, it's not yet useful; there is no network device emulation, so getting stuff into and out of the machine is difficult. It can, we think, be done with the supplied tools and tape image files. By the time you read this, someone will probably have figured out how to load the Marist file system onto a 3330 image, which would allow for actual development. Hopefully, it will not take too long to develop enough network support to allow the virtual S/390 to appear on the network, in the same way VMWare machines do.
Be warned: you'll need patience. On my PII-300, Hercules takes close to an hour to boot Linux, although once it's up and running, interactive performance is not actually bad at all (I started playing with Linux on a 4MB 386/25, and Hercules is no more painful than it was). Many people on the Hercules mailing list (sign up from the Hercules home page) are aggressively working on performance-tweaking Hercules, so its speed should increase significantly. The referenced page will contain updates as we turn Hercules into a reasonable development environment for L/390, so check back often.
It's a grand adventure; we're exploring new territory every day. We need your help. Hop aboard, and bring your penguins. The dinosaur doesn't bite. Honest.
Adam J. Thornton has been using Linux since 0.09, making him older than he cares to contemplate. He distinctly remembers thinking SLS was for sissies. When he's not hunched troglodytically in front of his monitor, he enjoys playing with his Greater Swiss Mountain Dog Vinnie, bicycling with his fiancee Amy, and drinking Scotch, but not all at the same time. Write him at email@example.com.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
Join Linux Journal's Mike Diehl and Pat Cameron of Help Systems.
Free to Linux Journal readers.View Now!
|The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database||Jul 29, 2016|
|Stunnel Security for Oracle||Jul 28, 2016|
|SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager||Jul 21, 2016|
|My +1 Sword of Productivity||Jul 20, 2016|
|Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!||Jul 19, 2016|
|Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)||Jul 18, 2016|
- Stunnel Security for Oracle
- The Firebird Project's Firebird Relational Database
- Murat Yener and Onur Dundar's Expert Android Studio (Wrox)
- SUSE LLC's SUSE Manager
- Managing Linux Using Puppet
- My +1 Sword of Productivity
- Non-Linux FOSS: Caffeine!
- Google's SwiftShader Released
- SuperTuxKart 0.9.2 Released
- Doing for User Space What We Did for Kernel Space
With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide