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


Unleash innovation and digitally transform by building applications and services on IBM z/OS. This agile, resilient and secure infrastructure delivers the performance and availability you need for on-premises or provisioned as-a-service workloads in hybrid cloud environments.

Linux on Z

IBM Z provides an enterprise Linux platform for all of your workloads on premises and in hybrid multiclouds. Open source Linux distributions benefit from the mainframe’s resilience, security, efficiency and performance. With virtualization, a single system can run thousands of virtual Linux servers concurrently.


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 and widely-used IBM mainframe operating system 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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