2.1. Supported Hardware

Debian does not impose hardware requirements beyond the requirements of the Linux kernel and the GNU tool-sets. Therefore, any architecture or platform to which the Linux kernel, libc, gcc, etc. have been ported, and for which a Debian port exists, can run Debian. Please refer to the Ports pages at http://www.debian.org/ports/s390/ for more details on S/390 architecture systems which have been tested with Debian.

Rather than attempting to describe all the different hardware configurations which are supported for S/390, this section contains general information and pointers to where additional information can be found.

2.1.1. Supported Architectures

Debian 3.1 supports eleven major architectures and several variations of each architecture known as “flavors”.

Architecture Debian Designation Subarchitecture Flavor
Intel x86-based i386   vanilla
Motorola 680x0 m68k Atari atari
Amiga amiga
68k Macintosh mac
VME bvme6000
DEC Alpha alpha    
Sun SPARC sparc   sun4cdm
ARM and StrongARM arm   netwinder
IBM/Motorola PowerPC powerpc CHRP chrp
PowerMac pmac
PReP prep
APUS apus
HP PA-RISC hppa PA-RISC 1.1 32
PA-RISC 2.0 64
Intel ia64-based ia64    
MIPS (big endian) mips SGI Indy/Indigo 2 r4k-ip22
Broadcom BCM91250A (SWARM) sb1-swarm-bn
MIPS (little endian) mipsel Cobalt cobalt
DECstation r4k-kn04
Broadcom BCM91250A (SWARM) sb1-swarm-bn
IBM S/390 s390 IPL from VM-reader and DASD generic
IPL from tape tape

This document covers installation for the S/390 architecture. If you are looking for information on any of the other Debian-supported architectures take a look at the Debian-Ports pages.

2.1.2. S/390 and zSeries machine types

Complete information regarding supported S/390 and zSeries machines can be found in IBM's Redbook Linux for IBM eServer zSeries and S/390: Distributions in chapter 2.1 or at the technical details web page at developerWorks. In short, G5, Multiprise 3000, G6 and all zSeries are fully supported; Multiprise 2000, G3 and G4 machines are supported with IEEE floating point emulation and thus degraded performance.

2.1.3. Multiple Processors

Multi-processor support — also called “symmetric multi-processing” or SMP — is supported for this architecture. However, the standard Debian 3.1 kernel image does not support SMP. This should not prevent installation, since the standard, non-SMP kernel should boot on SMP systems; the kernel will simply use the first CPU.

In order to take advantage of multiple processors, you'll have to replace the standard Debian kernel. You can find a discussion of how to do this in Section 8.4, “Compiling a New Kernel”. At this time (kernel version 2.4.27) the way you enable SMP is to select “Symmetric multi-processing support” in the “Processor type and features” section of the kernel config.