We're flexible

IBM Z mainframes run operating systems including z/OS®, z/VM®, z/VSE®, Linux on IBM Z®, and z/TPF. In fact, it is common for multiple operating systems to run on a single mainframe. Each operating system is a sophisticated product with unique characteristics designed to make the best use of your mainframe investment.

Explore the mainframe operating systems


z/OS is designed to keep applications and data available, system resources secure, server utilization high, and programming environments agile. It maintains compatibility for existing applications and runs Linux on IBM Z containers on premises and in hybrid multiclouds.

Linux on Z

IBM Z provides an enterprise Linux platform for your Linux and container workloads on premises and in hybrid multiclouds. Open source software benefit from the security, efficiency and performance of IBM Z. Red Hat® OpenShift® simplifies cloud native development.


This leading hypervisor for the mainframe can run thousands of Linux on Z virtual machines on one system – and can also run z/OS, z/VSE and z/TPF. IBM z/VM’s reliability, performance, system management and security offer a strong foundation for all of your applications.


IBM z/VSE is an easy-to-manage IBM mainframe operating system widely used for reliable and secure online transactions and batch workloads. It can be integrated into a hybrid IT environment with z/VSE Connectors and enhanced with new workloads in a colocated Linux on Z environment.


The z/Transaction Processing Facility (z/TPF) is a special-purpose mainframe operating system used to process high transaction volumes, such as credit card transactions and airline reservations. It handles near real-time transactions with the quality service of the IBM Z mainframe.

Hear from customers

The ability to run our legacy applications and our modern, specialist ones using both the IBM z/OS and Linux on Z is super convenient and gives us a high degree of IT management flexibility.

Justin Randall, Technical Services Supervisor, NCFB

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