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S/390 Support Added to Linux 2.2 Kernel

Dec 18, 1999, 02:48 (20 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Zack Brown)

By Zack Brown
Developer Services Editor, Linuxcare, Inc.

According to Alan Cox's 2.2.14pre14 patch, Linux now has at least preliminary support for running on the IBM S/390 Mainframe. Rumors that IBM has been engaged in a port have been circulating for some time, but this is the first concrete code that has surfaced to date. Back in October of this year, a Danish Computerworld article broke the story that work was in progress. IBM confirmed the story, and then on Dec 4, a cryptic statement from IBM announced that the S/390 could act as a server for Linux clients. It said nothing about an actual port, however.

Yesterday, Alan Cox announced his latest pre-patch, including "Most of the IBM S/390 port merge," though apparently not everything IBM submitted to him. In a later post to the linux-kernel mailing list he added, "It seems to be a full SMP port with disk, networking and consoles." In the same post, he pointed out that the port only applied to the 2.2.x series, and that IBM had not yet submitted any patches for 2.3.x.

In the patch, the principle architects of the port appear to include:

  • Denis Joseph Barrow (djbarrow@de.ibm.com,barrow_dj@yahoo.com)
  • Dieter Wellerdiek (wel@de.ibm.com)
  • Hartmut Penner (hp@de.ibm.com)
  • Holger Smolinski (Holger.Smolinski@de.ibm.com)
  • Ingo Adlung (adlung@de.ibm.com)
  • Martin Peschke (peschke@fh-brandenburg.de)
  • Martin Schwidefsky (schwidefsky@de.ibm.com)
  • Stefan Hegewald (hegewald@de.ibm.com)

An email sent to each of these developers requesting more information, got only the following reply from one of them: "I'm very sorry, I am not authorized to give you any information now. We have noticed your interest, and probably come back to you soon."

So IBM may not be talking yet, but I'm sure we can expect to hear a lot more about this from them, once they clear their collective throat.