What Open Source tools are missing from OS/390 and need to be ported?

As we look to make the mainframe a first class citizen in the Linux space, looking to get visibility from the group on what Open Source tools need to be ported to the OS/390 platform. Not looking for applications and high level packages, but looking for low level tools…

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I wouldn’t use the phrase “OS/390” here. If you’re talking about z/OS UNIX, then you should say that specifically. Or are you talking about Linux on z Systems?

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I think specifically around open source tools that work on x86 Linux that don’t work/have bugs/performance issues on s390.

Yeah I am of the same opinion, its a legacy phrase from when Linux was first ported to the platform back in 1998/1999. Fully agree we should use Linux on z Systems

Actually, the entire Linux (zLinux) on IBM VM (zVM) movement owes a great debt to the MVS (OS390) USS (Unix Systems Services) program, and it is a fascinating story. That said I suspect the other mistyped when he/she invoked OS390 in the original thread.

Peace, I am a massive fan of everything mainframe and am OK with our history… my only concern is that using legacy terms doesn’t help us attract the new cool kids of open source… LinuxONE all the way!

I’m sure all the cool kids are aware, but a great resource for open-source tools for Linux on z is: https://github.com/linux-on-ibm-z

Is there a place to share these links outside the forum?

Thanks for this - I think we should try to create a page on the main site to help get more awareness.

@StevenDickens3, curious if this is good for the project to point towards

OpenPGP maybe? I wouldn’t trust it with important transactions.
Otherwise…How about a better implementation of FTP over SSL ?

In the other hand, i would eliminate things like raw connections or basic telnet.

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Is there current gaps in FTP-SSH that need addressed or leveraging Z specific features

I led the team that wrote the Redbook “Open Source Software on OS/390 UNIX”, SG24-5944 way back in 2001-2. We ported 20+ packages to UNIX System Services. It seems to have been removed from the ibm.com/redbooks site. So open-source does run on z/OS.

-Mike MacIsaac
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Dear Michael,

Wonder why it is missing? I would like a copy of this.



It seems to be on a few other IBM sites.


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Hi Jam,

Thanks Jam,

I can access the link.

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I’d like to comment that USS is just as important as zLinux for open source tools. At our company, we have been told, positively, that zLinux is not to be considered. However, we have three projects that are in the planning stages that will be implemented on z/OS USS. Any tools that we can utilize on USS will definitely make our job easier.


You will never get every tool somone would like to have.

I think it is not a problem of missing a open source tools. If possible I would prefer to change the unix system to a common linux. This would be far more effective, than allways port new tools.

Wouldn’t it be great to just start up a second instance of unix system services with type CentOS od RHEL…

Then I could run every linux software without problems on my MVS.

You would say now -> but there is zLinux just use this. You are right, but in fact I don’t want to run a second LPAR with zLinux here. I want to use common unix tooling on z. If there is new tooling I just want to install it with yum and finished. If I need documentation. I can rely on the hole internet.

And better: Every student knows this type of Linux.

They came in handy , worked just’ah nicely… thank you very much sir. Helped with my 3745/6-VTAM/SNA to TCP/IP conversion. To bad I couldn’t have hung around, after being outsourced. I would have made better use of Apache HTTP and TOMCAT.