Torbjörn Granlund’s Excellent resource on running free OS’s on Qemu

Ever get tired of x86 on x86?  yeah me too.

How to solve that problem?

Simple, grab QEMU, and jump off into all those cool RISC processors of the 1990’s that were going to save us all from the WINTEL hegemony!

Lots of instructions, samples, images, and hints here:

It’s really more comprehensive than I’ve sat down to do, so yeah it’s awesome!

Supported platforms include:


Mainframe (s390 Linux) Moon Buggy



For all you mainframe/Qemu fan’s I came across the ‘QEMU Advent Calendar‘, which includes Moon Buggy on s390!

Moon-buggy is an ascii art game styled after moon-patrol.

Since I do get people always requesting something to run on the Qemu s390 emulation, here you go!  And for Windows users, I packed it up somewhat to make it somewhat easy to run with the image files, emulator and ansicon as moon.7z .

Just unpack and run “run32.cmd” for the 32bit ansicon, or “run64.cmd” for the 64bit ansicon.

VM – CP/CMS – VM/SP is 40 years old…

Wow mainframe stuff is ‘getting up there’.. VM was released August 2nd 1972.

There is no doubt about the importance of this OS, as it brought virtualization and paravirtualization to the world 40 years ago.  And a lot of these concepts found their way to “minor” things like the 80386, OS/2, and even Windows/386 .

Ages ago I managed to get a copy of Dungeon/Zork running on CMS, but other than that I don’t have any other exciting mainframe software…



Linux on Qemu’s s390x-softmmu

It’s getting there….!

With a bit of poking around in the latest Qemu 0.15.0 rc2 beta, the S390x now builds by default.  Finding something for it to run was a bit of a stretch but I should have figured that Debian would have something.

It does take a few seconds to boot up, and by default you’ll just be sitting at a blank screen until you toggle to the virtcon0 screen.

But it’s VERY snappy… I haven’t gotten it to install (unsupported NIC?!) but I’m pretty positive it’s 100% my fault.  I’m just happy I saw it boot.  And it runs the busybox stuff just fine so it’s tentatively working.

If anyone wants to give it a whirl, download my exe, and the kernel/init.rd I’ve found that at least boot up here.

I’m hoping this will spur someone to spell out how/what to install onto it, and maybe if things like MUSIC/SP and CMS will run on it… That’d be fantastic!

In the meantime I’d imagine this combined with KVM on people with accelerated configs will enjoy some SERIOUS competition to the IBM Mainframe monopoly!


Zork on the IBM Mainframe (VM/370 CMS) it lives!

There we have it, after a LOT of fighting the emulators, missing bits, LOTS of help the hercules-os380 mailing list, and the EXCEPTIONAL of one Paul Edwards, and it’s running.

It seems to be Dungeon version 1.2C

read news
01-MAR-81 Late Dungeon Edition
This is a version of Zork on VM/370

The problems with it are:
-Lack of an endgame.
-Simple parser (no compound sentences).
-Numerous bugs and spelling errors.
But so what.

If you encounter problems or find logic, spelling, or usage bugs,
keep them to yourself.


It’s a little odd playing zork on a mainframe…

Zork on the Mainframe?

Ok, I know this title 99% of the time is a ‘oh whatever’ as most people seem to have confused mini’s with mainframes… PDP-10’s, PDP-11’s, VAX’s (even the massive 11/780), were all minicomputers…

But I came across this post, which just mentions in passing that there was a port of dungeon (zork) to the IBM Mainframe…

And rescued via the internet archive, is Melinda Varian’s home page, which includes…. Dungeon in VMARC format…

The sad thing is that I can barely remember logging on to TSO, using ISPF, and getting out… I was so bad with the system that I’d use an empty file as a template, as copying files was easy, but creating a file on the host took me a whole day.

I vaguely recall using this IND$ thing to transfer files, but I don’t know what you need exactly to facilitate it…

So I’ve downloaded hercules/380 along with the VM370 SixPack and… remembered that I don’t… remember much, let alone enough to actually operate VM/370.

I tried passing VMARC files through PC ARC, and got.. nothing, I even manually byteswapped the files to get nothing.

Oh well I’m at an impass, but maybe some mainframe dude will see this one day, and take a peek.

Oh it’s the end of 2010, welcome to 2011.

I got it to run on VM/370 CMS.

IBM 370 emulation on MS-DOS!

Where there is some flap going on in the Hercules mainframe emulation package, which caught my eye… I was wondering what other mainframe emulators are out there for the PC?

Sadly the answer is not a heck of a lot… There is sim390, which is geared to running the MUSIC/SP operating system, however the author died a few years ago, and it seems that there will not be any more releases, nor any source release.

There is also this old program, PC/370. And it provides an environment much like DOSBox, in that it traps and emulates MVS OS calls, and executes mainframe code on your PC!

PC/370 is old though, the last version was released around 1988! However it’ll run on dosbox just fine, and FAST too! I was clocking over 6million operations a second on one of the benchmarks!

While also looking around at PC/370, I came across this site, which includes a full PDF copy of the book “Mainframe Assembler Programming”. Special thanks goes to Bill Qualls for making this great resource available!

A special note, if you try to unzip the file, it’s so old that there is some encoding method not 100% supported by a bunch of modern unzip programs.. You may need to unzip with real pkzip.

A neat feature of PC/370 is that you can use the PC graphic modes… like the simple demo plot XY…

PC/370 plot XY

PC/370 plot XY

Anyways, that’s about it!