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Using Rocket tools to install Open source products for z/OS USS



I’m a long-time z/OS sysprog, a fairly decent knowledge of Linux & USS (with shell scripting and Perl etc) but new to compiling open-source products from their source.

I’d like to get the open source product Graphviz ( running under USS just so I can use it’s command-line facilities.

Does anyone have any advice about how to start and would the Rocket tools Autoconf and Automake help?




Hi, Steve. I suspect that you will find starting from automake/autoconf to be a difficult and frustrating process, but it’s worth a shot.

If you have access to a Linux system (either x86 or Linux on z), a somewhat easier, but much more ad hoc, approach might be something like this:

  • Clone the sources. It looks like GraphViz uses git submodules, which have their own quirks; the graphviz developer instructions should guide you through that.
  • Build GraphViz on that Linux system, which will create a configure script and, from that, the necessary Makefile.
  • Take the generated Makefile and sources, copy it all to z/OS, and start hacking.

We (Rocket) are working on getting the whole automake/autoconf/libtool chain working more reliably, but it’s not entirely there yet.

– Jerry


Hi Jerry,

Sorry for ignoring this for so long. Thanks for taking the time to write this - I’m going to try and build this on my Mac (would that be OK?) and see how I get on.

As I’ve never built anything on Linux (but I’m familiar with the compile/link concepts from plenty of experience on z/OS) what sort of hacking might be required?

Have you found any open source tools that simply cannot be compiled to run under USS?




It’s not so much that things can’t be compiled; rather, it’s difficult to get to the point of even starting the build. The xlc compiler’s command line processing and options are very different from the more common gcc/clang. There is not full support for C++11 (though there aren’t THAT many tools that require C++), and of course the ASCII/EBCDIC issue hangs over everything.

Much of what we do at Rocket isn’t just getting code to compile, but getting it to work well in the context of z/OS.