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Alpine Linux 3.8 announced with support for z/VM and KVM on s390x

By | July 5, 2018

Alpine Linux is a security-oriented, lightweight Linux distribution based on musl libc and busybox. Adding support for 64-bit IBM z Systems (s390x) was one of the first Open Mainframe Project Internship Program projects from the class in summer 2016. Tuan Hoang, now a graduate student at Marist College, did the initial work during the internship period and continued his work over the following months, concluding with the release of Alpine Linux 3.6 last spring. Alpine Linux is one of the open source projects that is part of our supported projects program, which helps open source projects with the needed infrastructure and resources to support mainframe architecture in their projects.

With the latest Alpine Linux v3.8 release, support for ISO image installs on s390x has been added. The enables the use of KVM in addition to z/VM for provisioning and management of Linux instances. For more details click on this check out the full announcement on the Alpine Linux site.

Other new features for Alpine Linux 3.8 and noteworthy new packages include:

  • Support netboot on all architectures
  • Add arm64 (aarch64) Raspberry Pi image
  • Add support for Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+
  • Support ISO image on s390x (KVM installation)
  • End of support for hardened kernel (unofficial Grsecurity)
  • Support for Crystal language
  • Significant package updates
    • Linux 4.14
    • Go 1.10
    • Node.js 8.11 (LTS)
    • Rust 1.26
    • Ruby 2.5
    • PHP 7.2
    • ghc 8.4
    • OCaml 4.06
    • R 3.5
    • JRuby 9.2

You can learn more about the work Tuan has done on this port during his session in August at Open Source Summit North America 2018 in Vancouver entitled Bringing a New Linux Distro to the Mainframe – Story of How Alpine Linux was Ported to s390x – Tuan Hoang, Marist College