PROFILE Z86 is a z/VM file that is used to define the components and users within a z86VM execution environment.

The following diagrams are intended to provide a visual overview of the z86VM environment. In this example, we’ll use the MGT server, the IO server and two z86 users. We’ll also have two x86 defined disks to meet their combined storage needs.

z86VM Sample Layout on z/VM hypervisor

PROFILE Z86 A file

These components are defined within the PROFILE Z86 file.  The PROFILE Z86 file is the main administrative initialization file for the z86VM environment. It is comparable to /etc/init, config.sys or SYS1.PARMLIB for UNIX/LINUX, Windows and z/OS operating systems respectively.

There are a number of control points that must be pre-established for successful operation of z86VM. The parameters and their potential values follow. In particular, the zIO server and the two z86 users have their specific definitions within these profiles. You might consider that these definitions are really attempting to define the hardware associated with a virtual PC device.

The note above saying that this might be replaced by IBM Wave is something that Mantissa and IBM are considering. Should the PROFILE Z86 become part of the official z86VM product at general availability, we expect an additional level of simplification to be undertaken in the profile definitions. For example, a generic profile could be created for an SME Server and another generic profile for DSL clients. Individual users could then associate themselves with the generic profile and list any exceptions (e.g. different memory or disk drive size).
Processing rules associated with PROFILE Z86
For processing purposes, all text may be in upper or lower case. However, when processed, it will be converted to upper case exclusively.

Unless specified otherwise, only the last instance of a duplicate parameter will be recognized for processing.
Blank lines in the file are allowed and ignored.
Comments are allowed across a single or multiple lines beginning with /* and ending with */

Comments on a line that includes a parameter must follow the parameter.  For example,
z86id = z860001   /* this is the first id  */
is a valid line.
/* This is the first id  */ z86id = z860001
is invalid and will result in the line being ignored.

Required parameters are listed in bold.


Function and values

Base z/VM Set up


Name of the z/VM TCP/IP stack that is defined in the z/VM setup.

Default: tcpipname = tcpip


This is a z/VM CP link command that can add multiple mini disks to the z86VM environment that may be necessary to host shared EXEC and MODULE files for users.  This command can be repeated in the profile. 

Example:  Link userid 191 A91 rr


This is a z/VM CMS access command that associates a linked disk for the purpose of using it to find z/VM related files that are shared across users. This command can be repeated in the profile. 

Example: access A91 E

zIO server set up


name of the IO server  

Example: zio_start=z86io


This is the name of the virtual switch defined under z/VM. Information about setting up the VSWITCH can be found in the Appendix A. Default: vswitch = vsw86


a device address number provided by the z/VM admin that created the VSWITCH. Default: vnicadr =  0100.


Name of the I/O server program module that handles I/O operations and is shipped by Mantissa. This is allowed to vary when a new release comes out. 

Example: module = zio5  module  a


This can be multiple devices that make up the file system to be used by the IO server. These are logically concatenated together to act like a single storage area network. 

Example: x86hd = vadr startcyl #cyl volser

x86hd = 0200 00001  10016 ZV0048

x86hd = 0201 00001  10016 ZV0049


signifies the end of the IO server profile  

Example: zio_end = Z86IO

z86 User Definition


Specify the userid to be defined. Marks the beginning of a z86 user profile 

Example: z86_start=DEMODSL


name of zIO server to link the z86 user  io_server = z86io


Specify the z/VM mini disk to boot guests from. Default = 194 

Device# startcyl #cyl volser

e.g. boot = 194 100 20 MANT01

Default: boot = 194


Name of the z86VM program module that handles x86 operations and is shipped by Mantissa. This is allowed to vary when a new release comes out. 

Example: module = V0R1C3M MODULE A


The initial TCP/IP port number to be used to connect z86VM users to an end user device via VNC service. Example: vncport = 2000


a device address number provided by the z/VM admin that created the VSWITCH. Default: vnicadr =  0100.


x86 image file name.

Example: pcimage = smg.img


z/VM FileName FileType FileMode of image to be loaded to the I/O Server as pcimage.

Example: vmimage = sme8  img  a


The amount of memory to be associated with a guest virtual machine. A server may require more memory than a Desktop client.

Default: memory = 900m


This signifies the amount of space within the IO file system to be reserved on behalf of this user. Default: hdmemory = 6g


Name of a guest virtual machine that is used to debug the z86VM environment. This userid is set during creation of the boot parameters for a z86 user machine.  

Default: dbgmachine = null


z/VM file_name file_type file_mode for an image to be loaded from the I/O Server.

Example: getimage = new img b

(Must have enough free minidisk space available to load a compete image)


This marks the end of this particular users profile 

Example: z86_end = DEMODSL


Sample (minimum) PROFILE Z86 file

/* */
 zio_start = Z86IO
 module = ZIO5 MODULE A
 x86hd = 0200
 zio_end = Z86IO
z86_start = DEMODSL
 io_server = Z86IO
 module = V0R3C3M MODULE A
 vncport = 8700
 pcimage = DSL.IMG
 vmimage = DSL2012   IMG    A
 z86_end = DEMODSL
z86_start = SME8
 io_server= Z86IO
 module = V0R3C3M MODULE A
 vncport = 8701
 pcimage = SME.IMG
 vmimage = SME8 IMG   A
 z86_end = SME8