2.1. Supported Hardware

Debian does not impose hardware requirements beyond the requirements of the Linux or kFreeBSD kernel and the GNU tool-sets. Therefore, any architecture or platform to which the Linux or kFreeBSD 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 GNU/Linux.

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 GNU/Linux 9 supports ten major architectures and several variations of each architecture known as flavors.

Architecture Debian Designation Subarchitecture Flavor
Intel x86-based i386 default x86 machines default
Xen PV domains only xen
AMD64 & Intel 64 amd64    
ARM armel Marvell Kirkwood and Orion marvell
ARM with hardware FPU armhf multiplatform armmp
64bit ARM arm64    
32bit MIPS (big-endian) mips MIPS Malta 4kc-malta
Cavium Octeon octeon
64bit MIPS (little-endian) mips64el MIPS Malta 5kc-malta
Cavium Octeon octeon
Loongson 3 loongson-3
32bit MIPS (little-endian) mipsel MIPS Malta 4kc-malta
Cavium Octeon octeon
Loongson 3 loongson-3
Power Systems ppc64el IBM POWER8 or newer machines  
64bit IBM S/390 s390x IPL from VM-reader and DASD generic

This document covers installation for the S/390 architecture using the Linux kernel. 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. zSeries and System z machine types

Since Debian Squeeze, support for booting in ESA/390 mode was dropped. Your machine needs to support the z/Architecture, 64-bit support is mandatory. The userland of the s390 port is still compiled for ESA/390, though. All zSeries and System z hardware is fully supported. S/390 support software is included from the kernel 4.3 development stream. The most current information about IBM's Linux support can be found at the Linux on System z® page on developerWorks.

2.1.3. PAV and HyperPAV

PAV and HyperPAV are supported transparently, multipathing is not needed to take advantage of these storage system features. Be sure to configure the devices during DASD device selection. The alias devices will not be offered neither for formatting, partitioning nor direct use.

2.1.4. Multiple Processors

Multiprocessor support — also called symmetric multiprocessing or SMP — is available for this architecture. Having multiple processors in a computer was originally only an issue for high-end server systems but has become common in recent years nearly everywhere with the introduction of so called multi-core processors. These contain two or more processor units, called cores, in one physical chip.

The standard Debian 9 kernel image has been compiled with SMP support. It is also usable on non-SMP systems without problems.

2.1.5. Network Connectivity Hardware

Almost any network interface card (NIC) supported by the Linux kernel should also be supported by the installation system; drivers should normally be loaded automatically.

The list of supported network devices is:

  • Channel to Channel (CTC) and ESCON connection (real or emulated)

  • OSA-2 Token Ring/Ethernet and OSA-Express Fast Ethernet (non-QDIO)

  • OSA-Express in QDIO mode, HiperSockets and Guest-LANs

2.1.6. Peripherals and Other Hardware

Package installations from XPRAM and tape are not supported by this system. All packages that you want to install need to be available on a DASD or over the network using NFS, HTTP or FTP.