IBM i Open Source Updates October & November 2020

4 minute read

October was a pretty slow month with mostly low-level improvements so I figured I’d combine them with the November updates. November turned out to be a pretty big, so here we go!

New Packages


PCRE stands for Perl Compatible Regular Expressions, and is a regular expression library. While we previously shipped PCRE1, that version has been marked stable and is no longer developed. Instead, focus shifted to PCRE2 and many packages will only work with that version.


The dos2unix project provides a set of simple conversion utilities which convert newlines in files between DOS/Windows (CRLF), Unix (LF), and Classic Mac OS (CR).

If you ever run in to problems transferring text files from a Windows system to IBM i and trying to use it in PASE, a simple fix might be running it through dos2unix:

dos2unix windows-file.txt


Snappy is a newer compression algorithm and library from Google, which aims for very high speed with reasonable compression. Unlike many other compression tools we’ve provide in the past such as gzip, xz, zstd, bzip2, etc. snappy does not provide a command line tool — only a library.

MongoDB C Driver

mongoc is a MongoDB client library. This allows applications and language packages to connect to MongoDB instances. While this won’t help you run MongoDB on IBM i, it will allow you to use MongoDB-based applications connecting to MongoDB instances on other systems.

mongoc also provides libbson, which is a library for building, parsing, and iterating BSON documents.

Unfortunately, the current build is missing libmongocrypt, so it does not yet support “Client-Side Field Level Encryption” but we are working on adding this for the future.


sshpass is a tool for performing password authentication using keyboard-interactive in a non-interactive manner. Ideally, you would use public key authentication with SSH keys or certificates instead, but sometimes this is not available. Many users already use expect to do similar things, but now there is another option.

MariaDB 10.3

This is by far the biggest update of October and November! MariaDB is an open source database based off of MySQL from the original developers of MySQL. Zend has long shipped a version of MySQL/MariaDB in the ZendDBi product, but now it’s easier than ever to get MariaDB running on your system! The rpm version also has more modern defaults, such as using utf8mb4 as the default charset so you can store all the emoji you want :hugs: :rainbow: :rocket:!

One thing to note is that the rpm version we provide does not include the Db2 storage engine. If that is something you need, please contact me directly and we can discuss further.

Package Updates

autoconf / automake Dependency Fixes

The autoconf package now requires m4-gnu and automake now requires autoconf, fixing some package dependencies.

libutil 0.9

libutil has been updated to 0.9, which implements the GNU libc extension functions asprintf and vasprintf. For more info see the Linux man page

SSL and zstd Support in Rsync

rsync has been updated to 3.2.3, which now supports SSL encrypted connections to an rsync daemon as well as using zstd compression in addition to the existing zlib compression.

Wget built with PCRE2

Wget has been rebuilt with PCRE2 support. This allows you to use Perl-style regexes with the --accept-regex and --reject-regex options.

git built with PCRE2

git has been rebuilt with PCRE2 support. You can now specify --perl-regexp to various git commands to use Perl-style regexes.

rpm-build Dependency Fixes

The rpm-build package now requires the following packages:

  • bash
  • coreutils-gnu
  • findutils
  • grep-gnu
  • patch-gnu
  • sed-gnu
  • gzip
  • tar-gnu
  • make-gnu

Various build scripts assume these packages are installed or assume they are using GNU tools, which may behave differently than PASE tools.

In addition, it recommends the following packages:

  • bzip2
  • xz
  • unzip

These packages are optional and only needed when builing packages whose source archives are compressed using one of those packages. Currently, this recommendation has no effect, since yum does not support “Recommends” rpm dependencies.

curl-devel Dependency Fixes

The libraries curl links with — so called “private libraries” — were removed from the output of curl-config --libs. Packages which link to curl only need to link to libcurl, not the libraries which curl itself links to. This could cause linker errors when building against libcurl and libssh2-devel, openssl-devel, and zlib-devel were not also installed.

yum *ALLOBJ Check Fix

On some systems, yum would fail when attempting to check if the user has *ALLOBJ authority:

File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/bin/yum", line 29, in <module>
    yummain.user_main(sys.argv[1:], exit_code=True)
  File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/share/yum-cli/", line 288, in user_main
    errcode = main(args)
  File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/share/yum-cli/", line 98, in main
  File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/share/yum-cli/", line 230, in getOptionsConfig
  File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/lib/python2.7/site-packages/yum/", line 897, in <lambda>
    conf = property(fget=lambda self: self._getConfig(),
  File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/lib/python2.7/site-packages/yum/", line 357, in _getConfig
    self.conf.has_root_authority = misc.hasRootAuthority()
  File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/lib/python2.7/site-packages/yum/", line 103, in hasRootAuthority
    has_auth = _root_authority_cache[euid] = hasAllObjectAuthority()
  File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/lib/python2.7/site-packages/yum/", line 71, in hasAllObjectAuthority
    syscalls._RSLOBJ2(sysptr, ctypes.c_ushort(0x0201), b'QSYCUSRS', b'QSYS')
  File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/lib/python2.7/ctypes/", line 379, in __getattr__
    func = self.__getitem__(name)
  File "/QOpenSys/pkgs/lib/python2.7/ctypes/", line 384, in __getitem__
    func = self._FuncPtr((name_or_ordinal, self))

This has been fixed by loading the various ILE syscalls from libc.a instead of /unix.

Other Updates

  • nodejs12 was updated to 12.19.1.
  • nodejs14 was updated to 14.15.1.
  • python3 was updated to 3.6.12
  • libutil was updated to 0.9.0.
  • freetype was updated to 2.10.4
  • nano was updated to 5.3 and UTF-8 support was enabled.


We had some big splashy new packages, some incremental version bumps, bug fixes, and some quality of life improvements. A solid update before the coming holiday wind down.