HOWTO: Using qemu-s390x to build and develop linux on s390x

When developing for s390x architecture, you can get your VM on the community cloud of IBM, but sometimes, it is nice to have the possibility to run the build locally even when it is slow.

One easy way to accomplish this is to use the commandline utility for OBS (Open Build Service). The procedure to run qemu builds on your local machine is like this:

  1. Install qemu-s390x and osc
  2. Check out the desired package from OBS:
    osc search <package_name>
    osc co openSUSE:Factory:zSystems <package>
    cd openSUSE:Factory:zSystems/<package>
  3. Run the actual build with qemu:
    osc build --vm-type=qemu
  4. If something bad happens, and you want to have a shell within the build environment, you might want to use the following command:
    osc chroot --vm-type=qemu

Note, that there is quite an amount of additional options with regards to packages not available on OBS, or to install additional packages, needed for debugging. Please just ask here in this forum to have hints added for everybody.