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Re: Sharpen your LARTs, n00b alert.

On Mon, Apr 18, 2016 at 08:30:00AM +0100, Teh Currymonstah wrote:
> I'd have lurked for longer, but it's just /so/ quiet, so I'll ask a question
> or erm. more.
> An AS/400 Model 250 a.k.a. IBM iSeries 9406-250, "Northstar" based, so PPC.
> right?, which seems to have wheedled its way into a space in the computer
> room.. (oh, Ok, One of the computer rooms! ;-) )  rather than let it sit
> there looking forlorn, I thought it might be fun <cough> to put Linux on it,
> should that be possible.
> Is it?

My understanding is that IBM says you can run powerpc linux in a secondary
partition as long as OS/400 is running as a primary OS on the machine.
I have never really looked into the AS/400 though, so I could have
misunderstood things.  Linux directly on the hardware without OS/400
sounds like it can't be done.

> Would the ppc64 distro be the one to get?

No, powerpc would make sense.  ppc64 is a work in progress and far from
ready and also very few tools benefit from going 64 bit.

> Also, on the off-chance there is an AS/400 boff in here, what would be the
> easiest/cheapest way to get operations console functionality, without having
> to displace one of the lovely VT102 or BBC Model B boxes that serve so well
> here. I have "normal" Linux boxes, i.e. with PCI slots, a small fleet of
> raspberry pis, and am a dab hand with a soldering iron.

It could be however that your machine is too old.  Unless you have all the
OS/400 software and VM tools already, you probably can't get them either.
As far as I can tell they removed that model from sale 12 years ago.

So even if you have all the needed software and if it works, it will be
quite slow (a 262MHz early powerpc design is not going to be fast).
But if you have all the needed software and licenses for the machine,
and you want to say "I did it", then it seems like it ought to be at
least theoretically possible as a toy project.

Len Sorensen

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