Open Source Software for z/OS and OS/390 UNIX


Below is open source software for z/OS and OS/390 UNIX. It was originally distributed on CD as additional material with the redbook Open Source Software on OS/390 UNIX, SG24-5944-00, which was written in 2000, and updated as Open Source Software on z/OS and OS/390 UNIX, SG24-5944-01 which was written in 2001.

Click here for a pdf version of the redbook. For each package listed below, a chapter exists in the redbook describing in more detail the package and providing tips on installation and porting.

Important Notes:

  • This code is not supported by IBM 
  • Informal support can be obtained on the mvs-oe list server. Help for using it is here or under "z/OS UNIX" on the z/OS Public Forums page).

  • How to get the source code... 
  • For those applications for which we provide source code, a source code link is provided with the application. This link will take you to our source code server from which you can download the source code for free. You will first be required to complete a quick one-time registration form to receive a userid and password which can be used from then on to download code as often as you need.

Package Version  Binary  Notes
 Apache 1.3.22  binary* A highly popular Web server.
*Recommended site for binaries is:
Information on building Apache 2.0 for z/OS is at
 binary Small scripts for working with ASCII files 
 automake 1.4  binary
 source code
A tool for generating files for use with
 bash 2.03  code* The Bourne Again SHell, compatible with /bin/sh and offers many extensions found in csh and ksh 
*Customer's can go to the GNU web site for the latest source or they can contact Rocket Software for a supported version of the BASH shell for z/OS.
 bison 1.25  binary source code
 diffutils 2.7  binary source code A set of utilities for comparing files by showing line-by-line changes in several formats 
 emacs 19.34  binary source code A popular UNIX editor 
 findutils 4.1  binary source code Tools for finding files, directories and libraries 
 flex 2.5.4a  binary source code GNU's fast lexical analyzer -- similar to lex 
 gmake 3.79.1  binary source code GNU's tool to determine how to efficiently build programs based on a "makefile" 
 gnats 3.113  code
 source code
GNU's bug tracking system - More
 GNU grep
 binary source code GNU's tool to search files for patterns; includes extensions to search datasets 
 groff 1.17  binary source code A document formatting system based on a device-independent version of troff - *Recommended site
 gzip 1.2.4  binary source code GNU's program for compressing and decompressing files - *Recommended site
 id-utils 3.2d  binary source code A set of simple, fast, language-independent tools that index identifiers, literals, or words of text 
 less 358  binary source code A pager similar to the more command - Less
*Recommended site
 code Tools for easily maintaining shared libraries - More
 binary source code A text based Web browser 
*Recommended site
 m4 1.4  binary source code A macro processor 
 nedit 5.1.1  binary source code An X Window-based editor 
 patch 2.5.4  binary source code GNU's version of the tool used to incorporate changes into a number of files 
 binary source code A programming language that combines the features and capabilities of C, sed, awk, and sh - *Recommended site
 rcs 5.7  binary source code A source code control system 
 binary source code The Hessling Editor; an XEDIT-like editor 

Installing the Binary Tar File The binaries were created from a source code install on OS/390 V2R9, so they should work on release 7 or later. These were *not* tested real well. The binary distribtion is also compressed, so after moving it to OS/390 in binary, it can be unwound with the command:

$ pax -rzf 5944-01.binaries.tar.Z.bin Credit A lot of people deserve credit for all this code: GNU, of course, MKS did a lot of work, the redbook team did a lot of work. Greg Smith, Preston Bannister of NSA, Peter Prymmer of Forte, Wayne Johnson, and many IBMers contributed. See the preface of the redbook for a more complete list. Let me know if I've forgotten anyone.

We hope this helps you get your job done!

-- Mike MacIsaac, Using the mvs-oe list server
The mvs-oe (MVS Open Edition which is the original project name of z/OS UNIX Systems Services) list server is a great resource. A list server or mail server works via e-mail. You get e-mail when people append to the list and you send an e-mail to the list to append. First you need to subscribe. To do that, send an e-mail to with one line in the body:

subscribe mvs-oe

You should get a return e-mail in 5-15 minutes asking you to click on a URL. When you click on that URL, you're in. You'll get another confirmation e-mail - save it! It has all kinds of instructions. Then, you can send the same address an e-mail to tailor your subscription. Here are the most useful commands:

set mvs-oe nomail   
// to stay subscribed but not get any e-mail

set mvs-oe mail     
// to turn e-mail back on

signoff mvs-oe      
// when you've had enough

set mvs-oe digest   
// to get one big e-mail a day

set mvs-oe repro    
// to get a copy of your appends.

get mvs-oe log0102  
// to get a month worth of appends (Feb 2001)

To append to the list, simply send an e-mail to

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