Running a mainframe on your laptop (for fun and profit)


Yes, this talk is about running your own mainframe on your own hardware. Mainframes are old, yes, but they are still very much alive. New hardware is still being developed and there are a lot of fresh jobs in this area too. A lot of mainframes run COBOL workloads. COBOL is far from a dead language. It processes an estimated 85% of all business transactions, and 5 billion lines of new COBOL code are written every year. In this session the speaker will help you in take your first steps towards running your own mainframe. If you like then after this session you can continue to build your knowledge of mainframe systems using the links provided during the talk. Come on in and learn the basics of a completely different computer system! And it will take you less than an hour to do that!


  • November 6th, 2017. T-DOSE, Eindhoven, the Netherlands
  • April 28th, 2018, Ubucon, Gijon, Spain
  • August 18th, 2018, Oggcamp, Sheffield, UK
  • September 15th, 2018,NLLGG, Utrecht, Netherlands
  • October 6th, 2018, LinuxDays, Prague, Czech Republic
  • October 13th, 2018, Vintage Computer Festival, Berlin, Germany
  • April 27th-28th, 2019, M√ľnchen, Vintage Computer Festival Europe
  • May 4th-5th, 2019, Antwerpen, Loadays
  • Februari 2nd, 2020, Brussels, FOSDEM



  • “Brilliant…mainframe running on a raspberry pi 0”
  • “Brilliant talk, thank you Jeroen. So funny, relaxed and informative. Going to have to look into mainframes again now.”
  • “Very interesting talk. I will be playing around with emulating a mainframes when I get home”
  • “Loved it, made me want to have a go just for a giggle. Where’s the talk notes?”
  • “Great to see something a bit different from the computing world. Jeroen clearly has an interest in mainframe computing, and it was fun to hear about his journey into this subject.”