Sharing and maintaining Linux under z/VM

An IBM Redpaper publication

Published 05 February 2008

Authors: Steve Womer, Rick Troth, Michael MacIsaac


Large operating systems, such as z/OS , have, for several decades, taken advantage of shared file structures. The benefits of a shared file structure are reduced disk space, simplified maintenance, and simplified systems management. This IBM Redpaper describes how to create a Linux solution with shared file systems on IBM System z hardware (the mainframe) running under z/VM. It also describes a maintenance system where the same Linux image exists on a test, maintenance and gold virtual servers.

This paper is divided into the following parts:
-- "Read-only root Linux" describes the shared root file structure and the maintenance system.
-- "Building a read-write maintenance system" describes how to create the maintenance system using conventional Linux images with read-write directories.
-- "Building a read-only root system" describes how to create Linux systems with only certain file systems read-write. Most are read-only, including the root file system.
-- "Contents of tar file" lists all the Linux scripts, z/VM REXX™ EXECs, and configuration files that are available in the tar file that is associated with this paper.

This paper is based on z/VM Version 5.3 and Novell SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 10.

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