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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for IBM LinuxONE and IBM z Systems is now available

This article was last updated 8 years ago.

With the release of Ubuntu 16.04 LTS we now offer the same great Ubuntu experience on z Systems and LinuxONE servers as x86 and OpenPower platforms. Download now

Ubuntu is the platform of choice for new cloud-native applications from modern development teams. It dominates public cloud guest volume and production OpenStack deployments with up to 70% market share. Global enterprises running Ubuntu at scale in the cloud include AT&T, Walmart, Deutsche Telecom, Bloomberg, Cisco and many others.

Running Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on LinuxONE and z Systems provides an ideal platform for your developers, who already use Ubuntu for IoT applications and other modern workloads, as it provides the same operating system and tools on the backend as they are using on the edge. Developers also have the advantage of Juju for advanced service modelling and deployment of their clouds.

Many people have asked us how we are different. Fundamentally we are geared for cloud speed and innovation:

  • Ubuntu 16.04 LTS on IBM LinuxONE and z System consists of 50,000+ packages (24,803 architecture independent packages and 26,138 s390x deb packages)
  • One distribution for development, test, and production
  • Faster release cycles incorporate the latest kernel innovation, yet we have “production” Long Term Support (LTS) releases to ensure supportable stability. LTS releases are supported by Canonical for 5 years.

“The leading cloud-based operations and the most advanced robotics run largely on Ubuntu, and this new release is the basis for the next wave of their innovation,” said Mark Shuttleworth, Founder of Canonical. “We are proud to serve the needs of the enterprise, and research, and millions of personal and non-profit users, with one single shared free software platform.”

“As more enterprises adopt hybrid cloud, they are looking for new platforms that run Linux with efficiency and flexibility,” said Ross A. Mauri, general manager, IBM z Systems and LinuxONE. “With the release of Ubuntu 16.04, IBM will be able to offer our LinuxONE clients a simple, affordable high-performance Linux distribution that will better equip them to take advantage of hybrid cloud.”

Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for IBM LinuxONE and z Systems is priced at $19,500 per drawer per year, covering unlimited usage of Ubuntu on any or all of the IFLs within that drawer, 24×7 Ubuntu Advantage Advanced support services and regular security and reliability fixes from Canonical. We are excited to deliver the operating system of choice for cloud computing to the mainframe community at a game-changing flat fee, enabling operators to drive down the average cost per instance. For example, with 100 instances of Ubuntu per drawer, that’s merely 53 cents per instance per day. If you have questions regarding pricing please contact us at or call +44 (0) 207 630 2404.

Download Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for IBM LinuxONE/z Systems

If you’re interested in hearing more about running Ubuntu on IBM z systems you can watch the recording of our recent webinar “Discover the Cloud and Scale Out World of Ubuntu on IBM”, recorded April 27th, 2016.



What is IBM z Systems?

IBM System z (officially “IBM z Systems”) is a family name used by IBM for all of its mainframe computers.

What is LinuxONE?

LinuxONE is an IBM bundled Linux solutions offering for z Systems, announced on August 17, 2015, that covers their portfolio of software and services on z Systems hardware models marketed specifically to Linux users: . LinuxONE features Ubuntu as the lead Linux distribution.

What z Systems or LinuxONE models will Ubuntu be available on?

The following IBM z Systems models: IBM mid-range systems composed of one drawer (LinuxONE Rockhopper and z Systems zBC12, z13s) and large systems composed of one to four drawers ( LinuxONE Emperor and z Systems zEC12 (2827), zBC12 (2828), z13 (2964), z13s (2965))

Why are we offering support by the “drawer” instead of IFL or Core?

Ubuntu is the leading Linux OS for cloud and scale out. We wanted to enable you to grow your business without having to call every time you needed to activate a new Core / IFL.

What is included in the Canonical support offering?

Support covers unlimited usage of Ubuntu on any or all of the IFLs within that drawer, 24×7 Ubuntu Advantage Advanced support services and regular security and reliability fixes from Canonical.

How many Cores/IFLs can I have running on a single Ubuntu supported “drawer”?

Typically 1-30 are in 1 drawer depending on the model.

What constitutes a supported “drawer” in z Systems and LinuxONE platforms?

These systems contain a range from 1 to 4 drawers of processors. Each drawer can typically house from 20 to 30 usable cores or IFLs. Canonical support will cover on a per-drawer basis an entire drawer on the system up to the maximum amount of usable IFLs in that drawer.

For midrange systems (i.e. zBC12, z13, Rockhopper), there is one drawer that houses the system cores or IFLs. Ubuntu support for Midrange systems is $19,500 covering all the cores/IFLs in that drawer. As example if you have 1 activated IFLs in the system, the price is $19,500, but if you have 20 activated IFLs in the system, the price is still $19,500.

For Larger systems (i.e. zEC12, Emperor), there are up to four drawers in a system that houses the system cores or IFLs. Ubuntu Support for Large systems range from $19,500 for 1 drawer up to $78,000 for four drawers.

Supported Drawer Pricing by z Systems / LinuxONE Models

Model Drawers Cores/IFLs Ubuntu Price
zBC12 1 Up to 13 $19,500
zEC12 1 Up to 20 $19,500
2 Up to 43 $39,000
3 Up to 66 $58,500
4 Up to 101 $78,000
Z13s or LinuxONE Rockhopper 1 Up to 20 $19,500
Z13 or LinuxONE Emperor 1 Up to 30 $19,500
2 Up to 63 $39,000
3 Up to 96 $58,500
4 Up to 141 $78,000

What happens if I have IFLs spread across four physical different drawers in one mainframe? Will I be charged for four drawers of support?

No, we charge only for the effective capacity allocated to Linux, not the physical drawers being used. IFLs are scheduled across your drawers to smooth out performance for all workloads, so this pricing is not per physical drawer, it reflects the number of logical drawers needed to service all of the Linux running on that machine. For example, if you have less than 30 effective cores allocated to IFLs, then you will pay for Ubuntu on only a single drawer, even if those IFLs are being dynamically scheduled across four physical drawers.

Will Ubuntu run on z/VM and KVM for z Systems?

Yes, as a guest image. Ubuntu’s KVM will not be enabled in these environments.

Will Ubuntu run on z/OS?

Ubuntu will not be available on z/OS.

Will Ubuntu run on bare metal z Systems?

Yes, as the Host OS in an LPAR, with Ubuntu’s KVM enabled.

Does Ubuntu require being in an IFL to run on z Systems and LinuxONE?


Will Ubuntu OpenStack and our variations (Canonical OpenStack, etc.) run on IBM z Systems and LinuxONE?

Yes, in the “Ubuntu as Host OS” and “KVM for z Systems” environments. In the z KVM environment, Ubuntu Openstack will run making use of the z Systems KVM hypervisor.

Will I be able to deploy workloads using Canonical’s Juju on z Systems and LinuxONE?

Yes, the same modern modelling and deployment automation that has made Ubuntu #1 in cloud and scale-out environments will be present on z Systems and LinuxONE.

Will Ubuntu on z Systems or LinuxONE be different from the Ubuntu being used on x86 or Power?

No, this is the same Ubuntu and Ubuntu experience you will find on other architectures. The entire applicable Ubuntu Server “Main” and “Universe” package sets will be available just as they are on Power and x86 (50,000+ packages, 24,803 architecture independent packages and 26,138 s390x deb packages).

What should be expected in terms of performance and density?

IBM z Systems machines are very powerful in this regard. There can be up to 85 LPARS, and each LPAR (using z/VM) can support literally hundreds of Guest Images at a high performance level.

Will Docker run with Ubuntu on z Systems and LinuxONE?

Docker containers, as well as Canonical’s groundbreaking LXD technology will be available. By combining the speed and density of containers with the security of traditional virtual machines, Canonical’s LXD is the next‐generation of container hypervisor for Linux.

Is there a minimum hardware level of z Systems required to run Ubuntu?

Yes, it will only be supported on the following IBM z Systems models: zEC12 (2827), zBC12 (2828), z13 (2964), z13s (2965), LinuxONE at the start. An IFL must be enabled on the hardware for Linux to be used on that hardware.

Can existing z Systems clients get Ubuntu downloads?

Yes. Download Ubuntu 16.04 LTS for LinuxONE/z at

Is a Support Agreement (UA) required to run Ubuntu on z Systems?

Yes, when in a production environment.

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