September 24, 2013

Getting the Go programming language to work on zLinux

There is an increased interest in the new programming language Go. The standard download page doesn't have packages for s390x so I tried getting gccgo to work as described but with no success. Probably the current gccgo branch is broken for s390x.
So as a fallback I used the standard gcc 4.8.1. As the base I used a SLES 11 SP3. Here are the steps:
  1. Check out gcc 4.8.1 using svn
    svn checkout svn:// gcc481
  2. Create build directory (here build) and change to it
  3. Configure gcc with your favorite options, include go in it. I used
    ../gcc481/configure --prefix=/opt/gcc481 --enable-languages=c,c++,go --enable-shared --with-system-zlib --with-arch=z9-109 --enable-threads=posix --enable-__cxa_atexit --enable-checking --enable-lto
  4. The configure script is going to complain on various missing or outdated packages. So you probably need to try multiple times in a clean directory.
    Get the missing stuff from the SUSE DVDs and install them or build them from source. (I used gmp-4.2.3 and mpc2-0.8.2 from the SDK and compiled mpfr-3.1.2  from sources and installed in /usr/local)
  5. make
  6. make install
The result is an installation in /opt/gcc481. Before compiling any application you need to set the PATH and LD_LIBRARY_PATH to include the new environment:

export PATH=/opt/gcc481/bin:$PATH
export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/opt/gcc481/lib64/:/opt/gcc481/lib/:$LD_LIBRARY_PATH

Finally you can enter the hellozworld.go program

package main
import "fmt"

func main() {
    fmt.Printf("Hello, z-world\n")

and compile and run it with

gccgo hellozworld.go -o hellozworld

If you think this is an interesting language please approach Red Hat and SUSE and ask for it in the next releases!

September 12, 2013

New Whitepaper covering IBM Filenet P8 on zLinux

IBM Filenet P8 has been available for zLinux for quite some time. It's a really scalable document management, content lifecycle, and workflow platform. This is then used by Enterprise Content Management or Business Platform Management software. With that solution you can keep all the data secured on System z.
The new whitepaper "Linux on System z and IBM FileNet P8 5.1 Setup, Performance, and Scalability" (pdf version) covers in the performance and scalability on zLinux. It turns out that this is a solution well suited for the System z platform.

September 10, 2013

New Whitepaper "Implementing A Web Interface For The Linux Health Checker"

The Linux Health Checker is an IBM initiated open source project hosted on Sourceforge. It's a command line tool with an increasing number of plugins to find potential problems and wrong configurations before anything happens.
The new whitepaper describes how to automate the command line tool and collect all the reports from the whole z/VM in a singe web interface.

September 3, 2013

Updated Whitepaper: WebSphere Application Server - Idle Server Tuning

When running in a virtualized environment like z/VM it's beneficial if the hypervisor knows if a server is idle or not. Usually this is implemented by waiting a certain time before considering a server truly idle. The problem is that many of the applications and middleware products do housekeeping tasks way too often for this to be really effective. So any effort to lower this "noise" is good. The updated whitepaper "WebSphere Application Server - Idle Server Tuning" provides tuning suggestions for a Websphere environment to reduce this noise.
On top they also provide tuning recommendations to reduce the startup time. The team updated the paper to cover WAS v8 and v8.5.5 including the Liberty profile.