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Ohh, I didn't know that, seems they do that since 2000.
A special chip ?
I guess that means a special CPU-microcode ?
Yep, just checked on Wikipedia it says:
"The specialty processors are all identical and IBM locks out certain functions based on what the processor is characterized as" ... "reduced cost"
Seems the special chips are optional, has stuff disabled so you can only use it for Linux but at a reduced cost.
I read from several places that all IBM Mainframe OSes are running ontop a hypervisor, that no OS runs baremetal.
Are you sure that Linux can run baremetal on IBM Mainframes? Do you have a reference or link?
In http://www-03.ibm.com/systems/resources/systems_z_os_linux_solution... we can see that in those mainframes you can run Linux inside a "virtual machine" (using z/VM) ... or you can run Linux without a virtual machine (as a native operating system).
- you click on the "No additional IBM software charges for traditional environment" link,
- you search for "native Linux",
- you see the mentioned diagram afterwards.
- searched for "native Linux",
- saw the mentioned diagram afterwards.