Subject: RE: porting NetBSD to MainFrame ?
To: John A. Maier <firstname.lastname@example.org>
From: Henry Miller <email@example.com>
Date: 09/01/1999 22:21:40
I know of a few small companies that have older IBM hardware that they
would love to have a free MVS-OS/390 to work with. They are more
concerned about the cost of licenseing the OS form IBM (at $10,000 a
month!) than the power cost. Currently they are planning on doing as much
as possibal withuot the mainframe, and schedualing the work that needs the
mainframe to all happen in one month. (They can get time at custoemr beta
centers if needed, but that isn't always avaiable as much as needed)
If you could get a OS/390 port that supports in some rudimentary way they
would be greatful.
The old systems are still used by big companies for real world mission
critical applications. They are also used by smaller companies trying to
sell hardware for the mainframe.
If you really want to do this, and can find one of these smaller comaines
who would hire you it is doable. Or, get a job at IBM, the linux port was
done by IBM guys, and IBM has plenty of mainframes.
The key to demand is that these smaller companies don't want to pay the
license fee, spend a few hours loading all the code, only to discover that
they were following the nul pointer in the second line of the init code.
Once it has a little stability they feel more comforatable about paying
the fee. Thus it isn't netBsd that is important so much as a cheaper
system to test device drivers and hardware on.
Mind, NetBSD on a mainframe would be cool, but of questionable usefulness.
These systems are not really fast compared to modern hardware, but they
have more I/O capacity than most other hardware. Programs for the
mainframe are designed from the ground up to take advantage of high
bandwidth, and I seem to recall (but could be wrong) that some periferals
do pre-processing on data, something else (if true) that applications
would need to take advantage of but, Unix doesn't really provide for.
On Tue, 31 Aug 1999, John A. Maier wrote:
> 370s are like nothing currently supported by NetBSD.
> The 3x0 is some exotic IBM hardware.
> To port:
> 1) You'ld have to be an expert on all of the hardware out there (there's
> a lot!)
> 2) You'ld have to have unrestricted access to one. I'm not aware of any
> Colleges or Businesses that would let you reboot there 370/390 to test
> your port of UNIX much less let you experiment with their hardware.
> 2a) Do you have any idea how much power a 'traditional' 370/390 pulls on
> start up?
> 3) If you pick up one at auction, you've got to have a place to put it
> (it isn't small) much less a service capable of supplying it with enough
> It seems to me, it would probably be easier porting NetBSD to a Cray!
> Now IBM's VM is capable of running a virural UNIX machine concurently
> with MVS, sort of like a MACH Kernel. YOu could port at that level, but
> you'ld have to have some serious sysadmin level access. A freind said
> the Southwestern Bell Telephone was running a virtural UNIX machine,
> along with MVS and some other VM, on there IBM mainframes when he left.
> Some last ditch effort to get out of the COBOL world.
> I remember being one of hundreds of drones using one of these in college
> and they realy do suck (in usablily) compared to the modern computers.
> So why do it?
> > -----Original Message-----
> > From: $B9>F#!!7=Li(B [mailto:HAG01203@nifty.ne.jp]
> > Sent: Wednesday, September 01, 1999 5:03 PM
> > To: firstname.lastname@example.org; John A. Maier
> > Subject: porting NetBSD to MainFrame ?
> > I heard someone try to porting LINUX to mainframe(IBM's I370).
> > Are anyone trying to porting NetBSD to mainframe like IBM's 370/390 ?