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

Architecture Debian Designation Subarchitecture Flavor
Intel x86-based i386    
AMD64 & Intel EM64T amd64    
DEC Alpha alpha    
ARM arm Netwinder and CATS netwinder
armel Versatile versatile
arm and armel Intel IOP32x iop32x
Intel IXP4xx ixp4xx
Marvell Orion orion5x
HP PA-RISC hppa PA-RISC 1.1 32
PA-RISC 2.0 64
Intel IA-64 ia64    
MIPS (big endian) mips SGI IP22 (Indy/Indigo 2) r4k-ip22
SGI IP32 (O2) r5k-ip32
MIPS Malta (32 bit) 4kc-malta
MIPS Malta (64 bit) 5kc-malta
Broadcom BCM91250A (SWARM) sb1-bcm91250a
Broadcom BCM91480B (BigSur) sb1a-bcm91480b
MIPS (little endian) mipsel Cobalt cobalt
MIPS Malta (32 bit) 4kc-malta
MIPS Malta (64 bit) 5kc-malta
Broadcom BCM91250A (SWARM) sb1-bcm91250a
Broadcom BCM91480B (BigSur) sb1a-bcm91480b
IBM/Motorola PowerPC powerpc PowerMac pmac
PReP prep
Sun SPARC sparc sun4u sparc64
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 zSeries page at the 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

Multiprocessor support — also called “symmetric multiprocessing” or SMP — is available for this architecture. The standard Debian 5.0 kernel image has been compiled with SMP support. The standard kernel is also usable on non-SMP systems, but has a slight overhead which will cause a small reduction in performance. For normal system use this will hardly be noticable.

In order to optimize the kernel for single CPU systems, you'll have to replace the standard Debian kernel. You can find a discussion of how to do this in Section 8.6, “Compiling a New Kernel”. At this time (kernel version 2.6.26) the way you disable SMP is to deselect “Symmetric multi-processing support” in the “Processor type and features” section of the kernel config.

2.1.4. Network Connectivity Hardware

Almost any network interface card (NIC) supported by the Linux kernel should also be supported by the installation system; modular 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

2.1.5. 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.