Free Stuff for Your Mainframe: 2013 Edition
FREE! That's a word we all like to hear, though maybe "no additional charge" is more truthful since nothing in life is truly free. In the past I've listed many of the mainframe freebies available, and those posts have been popular. This post is an update since there are so many more mainframe freebies now. Please do grab these freebies, explore, and put them to productive use. After all, the price is right.
Free mainframes? Did you say free mainframes? Yes, you can get access to mainframes free of charge with certain caveats. Here are some examples:
- IBM's Master the Mainframe Contest offers free access to z/OS for students (and perhaps others) competing in a series of educational challenges. If you're among the top finishers you might even land a job offer from IBM or from other employers.
- Want to bring your commercial or open source application to z/OS and/or Linux on zEnterprise? No problem! Sign up for IBM's Validation Program for z/OS and/or Linux on System z Test Drive.
Free Mainframe Operating Systems
Linux is an open source operating system licensed per the GNU Public License (GPL). This type of license means that you don't have to pay a license fee to obtain and to use Linux, though Linux distributors (such as Novell and Red Hat) charge fees if you want their optional support services. Here are some examples of Linux distributions and other operating systems available for zEnterprise:
- Novell offers its SUSE Linux Enterprise Server for zEnterprise for download to evaluate. If you like it, you're encouraged to subscribe to Novell's support services.
- Red Hat offers its Enterprise Linux for zEnterprise for evaluation, too.
- Other Linux distributions for zEnterprise include Debian Linux and Fedora Linux.
- An older release of z/VM is available from IBM for evaluation.
- A release of the discontinued OpenSolaris is available for zEnterprise from Sine Nomine Associates.
- ZZSA is not actually an operating system. However, it doesn't need an operating system to run. It's a useful set of tools that can start up on a "bare" LPAR on its own. You can display and edit data on disk, and it's helpful to diagnose IPL problems.
- IBM's Customized Offerings Driver (5751-COD) is a miniature version of z/OS that can help support new z/OS installations.
IBM Freebies for z/OS, z/TPF, z/VSE, and z/VM
- IBM makes its Java Software Development Kit (SDK) releases for z/OS available at no additional charge. JZOS is included which provides Java methods for accessing many z/OS resources along with a batch launcher and toolkit. You may also be interested in the Java technologies available from Dovetailed such as Co:Z and Tomcat for z/OS.
- The DB2 Accessories Suite for z/OS (5697-Q02) includes many useful tools and accessories to make DB2 for z/OS more powerful and more useful. Examples include IBM Data Studio, SPSS Modeler Server Scoring Adapter, Spatial Support, International Components for Unicode, and Text Search.
- Go graphical! You can manage your z/OS system much more easily with graphical interfaces for every major subsystem and component. Grab the z/OS Management Facility and the Explorer for z/OS first. From the Explorer for z/OS you can then use (or directly install) plug-ins for CICS, IMS, IBM's application development tools, IBM's problem determination tools, and other products.
- The XML Toolkit for z/OS (5655-J51) adds to the XML System Services that's already part of z/OS.
- IBM offers many more z/OS-related downloads including the IBM Encryption Facility for z/OS Client, Logrec Viewer, LookAt, z/OS UNIX System Service Tools and Toys, and many others.
- Be sure to install the Alternate Library for REXX to run compiled REXX programs on your z/OS and z/VM systems. Compiled programs won't run as efficiently as when the regular licensed REXX library is installed, but at least they'll run.
- The z/OS Ported Tools (5655-M23) include OpenSSH, IBM HTTP Server, and many other useful products. (Rocket Software also offers several ported tools.)
- Got z/TPF? IBM has you covered. How about z/VSE? Yes, there are freebies for you, too. Or maybe z/VM? Covered.
Other Freebies (Mostly for z/OS)
- You can find oodles of interesting tools, utilities, and applications for z/OS in the CBT Tape collection.
- David Alcock offers some interesting z/OS tools at Planet MVS.
- The recently departed Gilbert Saint-Flour leaves behind some great z/OS freeware.
- Here's Mark Zelden's collection.
- ColeSoft has some handy tools.
- Doug Nadel has lots more. (The latest version of TASID is normally found at IBM's Web site, though.)
- AT&T Research offers a z/OS version of ksh (the KornShell).
- Dignus offers some freebies.
- Stanford University's WYLBUR for MVS (z/OS) is freely available.
- Rizzuto IT has many tools available.
- Lionel Dyck has more.
- Andy Robertson has got a collection.
- Leonard Woren offers lots of free tools.
- Michael Joseph Cleary has a few tools in his catalog.
- Nicholas Sun offers the MVS Workbench and Files Organizer.
- Cardett Associates has a couple free tools for DB2 for z/OS.
- DCMS offers their TBOX Power Tools for z/OS free of charge.
- Nigel Pentland has some RACF-related downloads. (So does IBM.)
- SimoTime Enterprises has lots of sample code for z/OS available.
- "Taltyman" has more freebies, including a version of the game Yahtzee for z/OS.
- Dovetailed Technologies hosts an open source software directory for z/OS. The directory is still in the draft phase but may be useful. Contributors to the directory are welcome.
I'm sure I'm only providing a partial list of mainframe freebies, but it's a start. Have fun!
|by Timothy Sipples||August 29, 2013 in Application Development, Economics, Linux, z/OS |
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