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VNU Net: IBM to port Linux to S/390 range

Mar 16, 2000, 20:35 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by James Middleton)

By James Middleton, VNU Net

IBM has promised that it will port a Linux distribution to its S/390 mainframe products based on modifications it has made to its Linux 2.2.13 code base.

According to Big Blue, Linux on S/390 will be the fastest Linux that exists and will inherit many enterprise-level mainframe traits.

The Linux port, which has been modified to run on S/390, was initially designed to run natively under M/ESA, avoiding the system's non-Unix compliant configuration. The code has subsequently been rolled into the 2.2.15 level of IBM's Linux.

However, the announcement was given a cool reception by industry experts. Robin Bloor, of Bloor Research, said: "Many users could be forgiven for thinking that there was little point in putting Linux on an IBM mainframe.

"There is a history of mainframe Unix ports that goes back many years. IBM's AIX/390 and AIX/ESA are both now defunct, but Amdahl's UTS and Hitachi's OSIRIS are alive and kicking, and still selling. Now we will also have Linux 390," he said.

However, Bloor also predicted that IBM's enthusiasm for Linux would lead to further developments of Linux 390. IBM's Linux for 390 is an open source version that supports the S/390 architecture and S/390 specific devices.

"As Linux 390 can co-reside with S/390 on the mainframe, it is possible to envisage IBM mainframes being delivered with a Linux option, enabling the platforms to support the growing set of Linux applications," said Bloor.

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