Modern Mainframes and Linux Running on Them


Benjamin Block (Kernel Developer for FCP on Linux on IBM Z, IBM Deutschland Research & Development GmbH) / Homepage

Scheduled time: Sunday, 15:00 , Room V3

Although not as predominant as in the past, modern mainframes still play a big role in our day-to-day business. In the past, it was mostly proprietary operating systems like z/OS (OS/390) or z/VSE (VSE/ESA) that were used to operate these machines. But today they are also – or only – running Linux.

This talk will give an overview of how a modern mainframe is built up, and what the differences are between it and a rack full of independent blades. Then it will show what it means to run the Linux Kernel on such a machine, including some specialties of the s390x architecture – e. g. how to do I/O, what user-interfaces exist, or how to debug in case something goes wrong.


Desired previous knowledge: General knowledge about computer architecture and linux, plus some about its kernel, are helpful, but the talk will not require deep knowledge about any of them.

Further information: Short paper

Supplemental material: Slides (3275 KiB)

Audio recording:

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Video recording:

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