Chapter 1. Steps to Get You Started

The installation process assumes a basic familiarity with the IBM S/390 and IBM eServer zSeries platforms. For additional information on these platforms, refer to the IBM Redbooks available online at:

This manual assumes you are familiar with the related Redbooks and can set up logical partitions (LPARs) and virtual machines (VMs) on an S/390 or IBM eServer zSeries system.


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Before you install Red Hat Enterprise Linux, you must to perform the following steps:

  1. Allocate sufficient DASD[1] or SCSI[2] partitions to provide suitable disk space (for example, 2 GB is sufficient for server installations, while 5 GB is minimally required to install all packages).

  2. Acquire a minimum of 256 MB RAM (512 MB is strongly recommended) to designate for the Linux virtual machine.

  3. Determine if you need swap space and if so how much. While it is possible (and recommended) to assign enough memory to z/VM and let z/VM do the necessary swapping, there may be cases where the amount of required RAM is not predictable. Such instances should be examined on a case-by-case basis.

  4. Decide what environment under which to run the Red Hat Enterprise Linux operating system (on an LPAR or as a guest operating system on one or more virtual machines).

  5. Finally, it is important to review sections 3.3 through 3.8, and Chapters 5 and 6 of the IBM Linux for S/390 Redbook, as it explains the different configurations and install scenarios available on the S/390 platform as well as how to setup an initial LPAR or Linux virtual machine (z/VM).

1.1. Additional S/390 Hardware Preparation for Installation Notes

The network configuration must be determined beforehand. Red Hat Enterprise Linux for S/390 supports multiple network devices including CTC (channel-to-channel), IUCV (inter-user communication vehicle), LCS (LAN channel station), and QDIO-enabled (Queued Direct I/O) devices.

For the purposes of this installation, it is recommended that at least 4 GB of disk space (such as two 2 GB DASD, direct access storage device, partitions or equivalent zSeries SCSI LUNs) be allocated for the installation process. All DASD disk allocations should be completed prior to the install process. After the installation, more DASD or SCSI (for zSeries only) disk partitions may be added or deleted as necessary.



Direct Access Storage Devices (or DASDs) are hard disks that allow a maximum of three (3) partitions per DASD. For example, dasda has dasda[123].


Using the zFCP driver over fiber and a dedicated switch, SCSI LUNs can be presented.