Development stream - Technical Details

The following applies to latest "Development stream", currently based on kernel 4.12.

Supported Platforms and Environments

IBM support is available for:

  • IBM z14™ (z14) and IBM z14™ Model ZR1 (z14 ZR1)
  • IBM z13® (z13) and IBM z13s™ (z13s)
  • IBM zEnterprise® EC12 (zEC12) and IBM zEnterprise BC12 (zBC12)
  • IBM zEnterprise 196 (z196) and IBM zEnterprise 114 (z114)
  • IBM System z10™ Enterprise Class (z10 EC) and IBM System z10 Business Class (z10 BC)
  • IBM System z9® Enterprise Class (z9 EC) and IBM System z9 Business Class (z9 BC)


  • IBM LinuxONE Emperor II™ (Emperor II)
  • IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper II™ (Rockhopper II)
  • IBM LinuxONE Emperor™ (Emperor)
  • IBM LinuxONE Rockhopper™ (Rockhopper)

for Linux on Z and LinuxONE running:

  • in LPAR
  • in a z/VM guest virtual machine
  • in a KVM guest virtual machine

The Announcement for the z14 includes a re-branding of 'IBM z Systems®' to 'IBM Z®'. 'Linux on z Systems' becomes 'Linux on Z', and Linux running on an IBM LinuxONE server is 'Linux on LinuxONE'. When referring to Linux running on either IBM Z or LinuxONE the term 'Linux on Z and LinuxONE' is used.

Linux on Z and LinuxONE, Linux on System z and Linux on z Systems are used synonymously to refer to Linux running on an IBM mainframe system or IBM LinuxONE server, including zSeries mainframes in 64- and 31-bit mode.

Starting with the kernel 2.6.27 based 'Development stream', IBM supports only distributions compiled with march=z9-109, so that Linux on z Systems can benefit from the compiler enhancements exploiting z9 instructions.

IBM supports only 64-bit distributions based on this stream; 31-bit applications are supported on the 31-bit emulation layer.

Hardware and Software Requirements

  • Hardware requirements
    • An IBM Z or IBM LinuxONE configuration with an absolute minimum of 32MB of memory
  • Software requirements
    • If you are running Linux on Z and LinuxOne in a z/VM guest virtual machine, z/VM Version 5 Release 4 or higher is required

Supported Functionality

Kernel (general)

  • Character devices
    • 3215 console
    • 3270 console
    • Integrated ASCII Console
    • VMUR - virtual unit-record device driver

  • Cryptographic devices
    • CEX2C (Crypto Express2 Coprocessor)
    • CEX2A (Crypto Express2 Accelerator)
    • CEX3C (Crypto Express3 Coprocessor)
    • CEX3A (Crypto Express3 Accelerator)
    • CEX4A (Crypto Express 4 Accelerator)
    • CEX4C (Crypto Express 4 CCA Coprocessor)
    • CEX4P (Crypto Express 4 EP11 Coprocessor)
    • CEX5A (Crypto Express 5 Accelerator)
    • CEX5C (Crypto Express 5 CCA Coprocessor)
    • CEX5P (Crypto Express 5 EP11 Coprocessor)


  • Network devices
    • QETH:
      • OSA-Express, OSA-Express2, OSA-Express3, OSA-Express4S, OSA-Express5S, OSA-Express6S - Gigabit Ethernet, 10 Gigabit Ethernet, Fast Ethernet, ATM LAN Emulation
      • HiperSockets
      • z/VM Guest LAN, z/VM VSWITCH
    • LCS:
      • OSA-Express, OSA-Express2, OSA-Express3, OSA-Express4S, OSA-Express5S, OSA-Express6S - Ethernet, Fast Ethernet
      • 2216, Ethernet
    • mlx4/5:
      • RoCE, RoCE2
  • Network devices not recommended for Distributions based on the "Development stream":
    • CDLC (OSN)
    • CTCM all protocols:
      • CTCM protocols 0, 1, 2 - former CTC
      • CTCM protocol 4 - CTCMPC (since kernel 3.10)
    • NETIUCV network device -- Note that the IUCV-infrastructure is still supported.
  • For more information on Network devices, please refer to


  • Tape Devices All models of the following IBM Magnetic Tape Subsystem and 100% compatibles
    • IBM 3480
    • IBM 3490
    • IBM 3590
    • IBM 3592

  • Block Devices
    • ECKD™ 3380 or 3390 DASDs
    • Expanded Storage
    • Flash Express®

  • Additional Block Devices under z/VM
    • VM minidisks
    • Virtual FBA (for native FBA see Restrictions)
    • DCSS

  • FCP

  • IPL mechanisms
    • 3480, 3490, 3590, 3592 tape units
    • DASD
    • Load from CD-ROM (Hardware Management Console - HMC) or FTP-Server
    • SCSI IPL (requires FCP channels, requires enablement by FC9904)

  • Additional IPL mechanisms under z/VM
    • z/VM reader
    • Named Saved Segments (kernel NSS)