Session: Linux Distribution Collaboration …on a Mainframe!

Linux has run on the mainframe architecture (s390x) for over 20 years now, and there’s even Linux-only mainframe hardware! But tight collaboration between the Linux distributions is rather new. Enter the Open Mainframe Project Linux Distributions Working Group, founded in late 2021.

Bringing together various Linux distributions, both corporate-backed and community-driven, representatives from openSUSE, Debian, Fedora, SUSE, and more immediately joined the effort to share bug reports and patches that impact all the distributions. Issues are often shared and discussed on the mailing list, and more complicated topics covered during the monthly meetings. The working group has a number of success stories that will be shared.

Future potential issues are also tackled, and notes shared about upstream changes that may soon impact the package processes. In the latest effort, the team has started thinking about actual upstream projects to invite to our group to be more pro-active about changes that may cause problems on the s390x architecture.

But more importantly, this is a story about community and collaboration. Many people view the various Linux distributions as a competitive space, but like so much of the open source software community, we are all more successful when we share knowledge about our core. The success of this working group, and growing enthusiasm for it from new Linux distributions who are joining, is a great example of this.