The Virtualization Cookbook for z/VM 6.3, RHEL 6.4, and SLES 11 SP3: Preview

Published 05 November 2013, updated 26 January 2016

Authors: Lydia Parziale


The IBM® Redbooks® publication The Virtualization Cookbook for z/VM 6.3, RHEL 6.4, and SLES 11 SP3, SG24-8147 explains how to set up your own Linux virtual servers on IBM System z® hardware under IBM z/VM® by using step-by-step instructions. It adopts a cookbook format that provides a concise, repeatable set of procedures for installing and configuring z/VM in an LPAR and then installing and customizing Linux.

In this Web Doc, we explain how the book is not just a cookbook of different recipes, but is a lesson about how to create a whole z/VM and Linux on System z dinner, from soup to nuts.


Virtualization is still hot in the IT industry. The IBM® mainframe, IBM z/VM® and its predecessors, have been doing virtualization for five different decades. Today, the mainframe is arguably the most function-rich virtualization platform. When Linux came to the IBM mainframe in 2000, it was a natural fit to run under z/VM. You can run many tens or even low hundreds of Linux virtual servers on the same IBM System z® logical partition (LPAR) under z/VM. But how do you install and configure your environment for z/VM and Linux on System z? This IBM Redbooks® publication The Virtualization Cookbook for z/VM 6.3, RHEL 6.4, and SLES 11 SP3, SG24-8147 is the answer to all of your questions regarding virtualization using z/VM V6.3, Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4, and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3.

In the book, you find the following contents:

  • Part 1, “Introduction and z/VM” introduces the entire system. It describes z/VM and describes the planning that should be done before installing z/VM and Linux. It begins by describing planning for a z/VM single system image (SSI), then lists all the resources that you need to accomplish this task. It also describes the setup of ancillary machines and the installation and configuration of a two member SSI using z/VM V6.3.
  • Part 2, “Red Hat Enterprise Linux 6.4” focuses on installing and customizing Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) using RHEL 6.4. It describes the installation and configuration of a golden image, which can then be used to clone other images. There is information about how to prepare z/VM virtual machines and step-by-step instructions to clone your first virtual server both manually and by using a shell script.

    After you have the ability to clone generic Linux servers, it is relatively easy to customize them for specific tasks. These customized virtual servers can be thought of as appliances. So, this part describes how to create four types of virtual appliances from cloned RHEL 6.4 servers.

  • Part 3, “SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 SP3” describes the installation and customization of SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES) 11 SP3. You learn how to create a golden image and how to clone another image from that golden image. Additionally, you learn how to create virtual appliances from the cloned servers. This part describes how to install Linux on System z using AutoYaST2, with step-by-step instructions. Finally, this part describes how to create appliances using KIWI.
  • Part 4, “Other topics”, includes chapters on the following items:
    • z/VM V6.2 and later can relocate Linux guests between members in an SSI cluster, which is known as live guest relocation (LGR). While running, Linux systems can be moved cross-LPAR on the same central electrical complex (CEC), or cross-CEC, if the SSI is set up that way. This new feature provides for few or even no planned outages. Live guest relocation (LGR) between SSI members is explained, as well as the types of things that you must consider before relocating your Linux on System z guests to another SSI member. We also describe topics that you must consider before relocating your Linux on System z guests to another SSI member. Additionally, we provide instructions and some basic commands that assist you in performing a live guest relocation on one of your own guests.
    • Another chapter describes how to configure IBM DirMaint™, SMAPI and IBM RACF®. It describes how to enable and configure DirMaint, a directory maintenance product, the z/VM Systems Management APIs (SMAPI), and RACF, which is a z/VM External Security Manager (ESM).
    • We also describe how to monitor z/VM and Linux. Every hardware and software platform has unique features and characteristics that must be monitored for performance. System z processors are enhanced to provide robust features and high reliability. This chapter describes general monitoring methodology concepts and explores their practical application on a System z with Linux guests. It includes an overview of some basic z/VM commands through the IBM Performance Toolkit for VM, how to collect and use raw CP monitor data, and how to monitor Linux performance from z/VM. This chapter also includes information about adding disk space to virtual machines, adding or extending a logical volume, moving a physical volume, adding SCSI/FCP disks to your system, and using HyperPAV for Linux. Additionally, this chapter explains how to work with networks, including such topics as attaching the z/VM TCP/IP stack to the VSWITCH, adding CTCs to an SSI cluster, setting up a private interconnect, creating an IBM HiperSockets™ device between Linux and IBM z/OS®, and configuring a port group with LACP.
    • Chapter 26, "Miscellaneous recipes", explains some miscellaneous tasks that you either might want to perform or must perform, such as rescuing a Linux system. It explains how to boot your Linux server into different modes for troubleshooting purposes. It covers booting Linux into single user mode, and entering a rescue environment when you require more advanced troubleshooting. It also explains, using step-by-step instructions, how to set up memory hot-plugging, which allows the amount of memory in a Linux system to be increased or decreased without a reboot. If you want your Linux guest to enable or disable processors and memory based on a set of rules, you want to use the cpuplugd service, which is explained in this chapter as well. Additionally, this chapter provides information about hardware cryptographic support for OpenSSH with a step-by-step example of how to copy a test file with OpenSSH, first without any crypto acceleration and then by enabling crypto acceleration to take advantage of a much higher throughput rate.
  • Part 5 is made up of the appendixes:
    • Appendix A, “References and cheat sheets” includes the references, important z/VM files, and cheat sheets that are associated with this book.
    • Appendix B, "Additional material" includes a link to a .tar file containing all the files that you need to create your own Linux servers. You also find the actual z/VM REXX EXECs and XEDIT macros that used in the book, which are included for download in the .tar file. There are also sample files that are described elsewhere in the book. Finally, you find some helpful Linux scripts that you can use in building your own environment.

Related information

For more information, see the following documents:

Special Notices

This material has not been submitted to any formal IBM test and is published AS IS. It has not been the subject of rigorous review. IBM assumes no responsibility for its accuracy or completeness. The use of this information or the implementation of any of these techniques is a client responsibility and depends upon the client's ability to evaluate and integrate them into the client's operational environment.

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