08 Apr 2012

VM/370 on Linux with the Hercules Emulator

For no particularly good reason, I decided I wanted to play around with IBM VM earlier this weekend. Although this would seem on its face to be fairly difficult – VM/370 is a mainframe OS, after all – thanks to the Hercules emulator, you can get it running on either Windows or Linux fairly easily.

Unfortunately, many of the instructions I found online were either geared towards people having trouble compiling Hercules from source (which I avoided thanks to Ubuntu’s binaries), or assume a lot of pre-existing VM/370 knowledge, or are woefully out of date. So here are just a couple of notes should anyone else be interested in playing around with a fake mainframe…

Some notes about my environment:

Ubuntu Lucid has a good binary version of Hercules in the repositories. So no compilation is required, at least not for any of the basic features that I was initially interested in. A quick apt-get hercules and apt-get x3270 were the only necessities.

In general, I followed the instructions at gunkies.org: Installing VM/370 on Hercules. However, there were a few differences. The guide is geared towards someone running Hercules on Windows, not Linux.

Of course, when you get through the whole procedure, what you’ll have is a bare installation of VM/370… without documentation (or extensive previous experience), you can’t do a whole lot. That’s what I’m figuring out now. Perhaps it’ll be the subject of a future entry.

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