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Re: Debian Version for System Z

On Thu, 12 May 2011 10:39:17 -0400 (EDT), Saulo Silva wrote:
> You answered me what I want to understand .  Just to clarify . The other
> distro treat s390 as 31-bits and s390x as 64-bits and Debian doesn't . My
> question is : I will be able to run the s390x applications from ISVs based
> on other s390x linux distro at the Debian 6 running with 390x kernel ?
> could I say that we have the same Linux from any other s390x distro that we
> have with s390x Debian ?

Well, as Bill Bitner often says, "It depends."  It depends on what you mean
by an ISV.  Obviously that means "Independent Software Vendor".  But let's
take a specific example.  Let's suppose that you want to run IBM's DB2
Universal Database for Linux.  That's a closed-source, proprietary, object-
code-only product.  The last time I checked, they did not offer a version
packaged for Debian.  You see, Red Hat and Suse are "IBM Business Partners".
And they both use the Red Hat Package Management format (.rpm format).
So IBM's binary packages are in .rpm format.

Debian uses the Debian Package Management format (.deb format).  Although
it is theoretically possible, in some cases, to install a .rpm package to
a Debian system (using "alien" for example), it's probably not something you
want to do.  And in this specific case, it may not even be possible.  If you
try to install an s390x-architecture rpm package on Debian, you're likely
to see the install fail with an architecture conflict (s390 vs s390x).
Plus, the .rpm package was compiled with the C compiler that was current in
the intended target distribution, which may or may not work with the C run-
time libraries in Debian, etc.  In short, only install a binary package
that has specifically been packaged for Debian.  If you have the source
code, you can compile it yourself, if need be.  But lots of luck getting
the source code for DB2 from IBM.  ;-)

On the other hand, if you are using postgresql or mysql, which are open
source, there's no problem.  The source code is available, and you can
compile it yourself.  But in most cases, that's not necessary.  Both of
those products, as well as about 25,000 others, are already packaged for

  .''`.     Stephen Powell    
 : :'  :
 `. `'`

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