Hercules Studio - a Hercules gui for Mac OS X and Linux

Hercules Studio

Hercules Studio is a GUI front-end to the Hercules mainframe Emulator on Mac and Linux.

To use Hercules Studio the hercules emulator must have previously been instaled. Hercules must be built with GUI support.

To discuss Hercules Studio, ask for support, or make enhancement request, please use the Hercules Studio discussion group at



Installing Hercules Studio


On most major distributions Hercules Studio can be obtained using the distribution's package management system. Distributions that already include Hercules Studio are:

  • Ubuntu, Debian and other Debian derivatives (see this guide)
  • Redhat Enterprise Linux and Fedora (see this guide)
  • Slackware see here:
  • Other distributions - see bellow

If your distribution does not yet provide Hercules Studio package you can download the appropriate package from one of the following links:

Hercules Studio 1.5.0 in RPM 64-bit format - For 64-bit RPM-based distributions

Hercules Studio 1.5.0 in Deb 64-bit format - For 64-bit DEB-based distributions

Hercules Studio 15.0 in RPM 32-bit format - For 32-bit RPM-based distributions

Hercules Studio 1.5.0 in Deb 32-bit format - For 32-bit DEB-based distributions

Mac OS X

hercstudio-1.5.0-mountainlion.dmg - For Mac OS X Mountain Lion (10.8) through Mac OS X Mavericks (10.9) 64 bit.

Source tarball: herculesstudio-1.5.0-src.tar.gz

NOTE:The new virtual printer functionality is described on this page

Installation Details:

RPM packages:

$ rpm -i <filename>

Deb packages:

$ dpkg -i <filename>

Once installed, start the program from the main menu at /applications/system-tools/, or by typing "HerculesStudio" at the shell prompt.

Mac OS X:

Mount the image and click on the program icon to start Hercules Studio.


After installing Hercules Studio the easiest way to start it is by navigating to Applications->System Tools->Hercules Studio menu entry and selecting it from there.

There are two command line options that enable customizing it's behavior on startup:

-f <hercules-config-file> - will startup hercules immediately with the given configuration
-r <hercules .rc file> - will setup hercules to use the given "run-command" file

This way the entire startup of the guest operating system can be automated.


HerculesStudio -f mvs38.conf -r autoipl.rc


1. Qt environment

Hercules Studio is based on the Qt framework. You can skip this if you use KDE window manager (which is also based on Qt).

Under RedHat/Fedora you will need to install package qt-x11 using the command:

su -c "yum install qt-x11"

On Debian-based systems (like Ubuntu) issue the following command:

sudo aptitude install libqtcore4 libqtgui4

2. Hercules configuration

(Note: You can ignore this part if your Hercules version is 3.08 or above)

Hercules should be configured and built to support a gui (this was not the default on Linux before version 3.08):

./configure --enable-external-gui

Source repository:

There are 3 branches to the repository: Master, Qt4 and 1.4.0 (stable):

1. Master
     The master development branch contains the latest fixes and can only be compiled with Qt5.
2. Qt 4
     The Qt4 development branch is the parallel branch of the master, but it is used to build Hercules Studio against Qt4.
3. 1.4.0
     This is the last release branch, as it was on December 2012, when the 1.4.0 release was done. This is also the branch which all distributions use to build Hercules Studio.

retrieving the source:

Master development branch (Qt5-only):
git clone git://git.code.sf.net/p/hercstudio/git-code hercstudio-git-code

Development branch for 1.4.0 (Qt4-only):
git clone -b qt4 git://git.code.sf.net/p/hercstudio/git-code hercstudio-git-code

Stable 1.4.0 branch (Qt4-only, only critical fixes):
git clone -b 1.4.0 git://git.code.sf.net/p/hercstudio/git-code hercstudio-git-code

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The INSTALL file located in the source root directory contains complete instructions on building and installing Hercules Studio from source.



(C) 2009-2013 Jacob Dekel
jacob -at- jacobdekel. com

Hercules is (C) copyright of Roger Bowler, Jan Jaeger, and others