Installation And Operation

Once you have either downloaded the driver or built it from source use the following steps to read an MVS Dasd:

Loading and mounting

(Note: all commands are surrounded by quotes ("), but these are not part of the command)

  1. Issue "tar zxf mvsdasd-<flavor>.tar.gz" to uncompress the driver (replace <flavor> with the type of driver you chose to download).
  2. As root, issue "insmod mvsdasd.ko" in the directory where the driver module exists (Under some distributions you should use "/sbin/insmod mvsdasd.ko", or get superuser priviliges using the "su -" command).
  3. Issue "ls /dev". If your system has some MVS-formatted disks, these disks should be visible as mvsdasdxxx devices. If you do not see any such devices, it's because such disks do not exist in your configuration. Please refer to FAQ Q10 for details on how to diagnose such situations.
  4. Mount the device using the command mount /dev/mvsdasdxx / mountpoint  -t mvsfs"
    mountpoint is a directory entry in your own file system that you have designated for this purpose like /mnt, /mnt/dasd, /media, etc.
  5. Once the disk has been mounted, you can access the files on the disk like any Linux file. Note: currently only read-only mode is supported, so files can not be created or written to.

Note: recent Linux kernels require bringing the mvs-formatted disks online before mvsdasd can process them, especially if they have been blacklisted. For further information see Q11 on the FAQ page.

Options that can be specified at mount time

when mounting, you can add the following options to control certain aspects of the mount behavior. Note that in order to specify more than one option you should add quotes around the options:

noascii - do not translate text files to ascii
nocr - do not add carriage return at each line's end
nomaplower - do not translate files and directory names into lower case

mount /dev/mvsdasda /media/mvs-disks -t mvsfs -o "noascii nocr nomaplower"


Building from source

If you would like to build the driver yourself, please download the source from the Download page and proceed to the instructions in the Build file, which are repeated here:

  • Untar/unzip the source into a directory of its own.
  • Obtain the kernel source for your Linux distribution.

  • Note: The build process relies on the kernel source being available and reflecting the exact kernel which you are using. If your kernel is patched, you must apply the patches before attempting to build the driver. This is especially true if you have a commercial distribution like SUSE or Redhat. These distributions tend to be heavily patched to accommodate certain improvements that such distributions offer. These patches, in turn, often change the layout of some blocks which mvsdasd relies on.

  • Inside the expanded directory, issue ./configure . This will tailor a Makefile based on the current system.

  • Next, issue the "make" command

  • If all goes well, you should have a file called mvsdasd.ko in the same directory. You can now proceed to the Loading and Mounting    paragraph.
  • If the build process fails, use the following procedure to try and overcome the problem:

      Make sure you have the kernel source which is an exact source (with all the patches) from which your kernel was built.

      Make sure that the kernel source is in the /usr/src/linux directory, or that a link by this name points to the kernel source directory..

      Make sure you have user-space exported Linux header files. These usually reside in /usr/include/linux, /usr/include/asm and /usr/include/asm-generic.

      If you have followed through the above suggestions and still encounters problems, use the support page to send me an e-mail.