Chapter 35. Boot media for installing RHEL on IBM Z servers

After establishing a connection with the mainframe, you need to perform an initial program load (IPL), or boot, from the medium containing the installation program. This document describes the most common methods of installing Red Hat Enterprise Linux on IBM Z. In general, any method may be used to boot the Linux installation system, which consists of a kernel (kernel.img) and initial RAM disk (initrd.img) with parameters in the generic.prm file supplemented by user defined parameters. Additionally, a generic.ins file is loaded which determines file names and memory addresses for the initrd, kernel and generic.prm.

The Linux installation system is also called the installation program in this book.

The control point from where you can start the IPL process depends on the environment where your Linux is to run. If your Linux is to run as a z/VM guest operating system, the control point is the control program (CP) of the hosting z/VM. If your Linux is to run in LPAR mode, the control point is the mainframe’s Support Element (SE) or an attached IBM Z Hardware Management Console (HMC).

You can use the following boot media only if Linux is to run as a guest operating system under z/VM:

  • z/VM reader

You can use the following boot media only if Linux is to run in LPAR mode:

  • SE or HMC through a remote FTP server
  • SE or HMC DVD

You can use the following boot media for both z/VM and LPAR:

  • DASD
  • SCSI device that is attached through an FCP channel
  • FCP-attached SCSI DVD

If you use DASD and FCP-attached SCSI devices (except SCSI DVDs) as boot media, you must have a configured zipl boot loader.