One of the biggest challenges with learning mainframes is getting access to one for practice. Nowadays, there are a few ways you can get access to one.

Do note that the links listed here are provided as-is to enhance your experience and allow you to learn more about mainframes. I am not responsible for any content on any externally linked sites. Please follow the links at your own risk.

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Last updated: 24 September 2022

Complementary Access

Several training plaforms provide access to a z/OS or Linux on Z instance for training. While access are complementary, you are often limited on what you can do on the system.

The following resource is only available for faculty from accredited academic institutions for teaching and research purposes.

If you have the funds and/or access, there are a few offerings from IBM where you can get access to z/OS. Some of the offerings below provides emulation of z/OS on an x86 machine, while other requires that you be an existing IBM customer or independent software vendor to gain access to the products.

Amongst the listing, only IBM Z Development and Test Environment and IBM Wazi as a Service are currently available for the general public - albeit at a high cost.

Historical Resources

There are also old mainframe operating system that is publicly available for you to use. While they have been discontinued for a while, some of them are still useful for general training purposes.