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Re: [gNewSense-users] gNewSense for PowerPC?

From: Kevin M. Dean
Subject: Re: [gNewSense-users] gNewSense for PowerPC?
Date: Sat, 16 Jun 2007 08:19:34 -0400
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There is interest in the project, I've got a development system (400 mhz
G4) running some sort of libre hybrid gNewSense/Dapper system.

I'm also in the middle of a "fax blaster" campaign to aquire some of
IBM's Power 5 or Power 6 systems, they're amazing compared to equal high
end Opteron or Xeon systems (if you don't mind hot, power hungry chips).
There is hope that I might also get my hands on a dual processor 1.8 ghz
G5 with 4 GB of RAM, but that is a might.

PlayStation 3 also runs POWER based processors, and it's probably one of
the most "common" "Linux" devices.

The POWER architecture is NOT dead by any means it's just exposed a lot
less now that Apple is using "regular" chips.

As a note, I'd like to encourage everyone who values freedom to just
LOOK at the Power architcture - IBM provides a lot of specifications and
does a ton to keep the platform hackable. They're not (to my knowledge)
developing DRM (like Intel) or adding restrictions to their video cards
(like AMD's framebuffer lock). They offer developer access to virtual
machines - it benefits IBM for your application to run, so they have a
nice developer program.

The problem is that Power is varied. Older Macs are probably the most
common around, but they do some wacky stuff in terms of partitioning
(New World Boot Partitions) and I haven't even begun to tackle that in
terms of installation. I am sure that PlayStation 3s do NOT require New
World Boot Partitions, as old OLD Macs didn't have them and New Macs don't.

It's not "as simple" as fixing builder though I understand that work IS
being done on that and progress IS being made. Keep in mind that once
the installer works, packages need to be built for the architecture -
gNewSense does not currently have a PPC repository for changes to be

If anyone would like to help, and owns some kind of GNU/Linux capable
PowerPC system I'd urge you to install Dapper PowerPC on it and offer it
up for testing. If you rely on the system to function, perhaps it's not
the best way, but we could test packages on different machines.

- -Kevin

Matthew Flaschen wrote:
> Larry Cafiero wrote:
>> Having said this, it would behoove any distro to develop for all the
>> PowerPC
>> machines that have the foresight to develop for a platform that still
>> has at
>> least -- at least -- a decade of life left. Ubuntu dropped the ball on this
>> by dropping PowerPC support, but not all distros have to be as myopic as
>> Ubuntu on this issue.
> Well, Dapper fully supports PowerPC, and that's what gNewSense is based
> on.  So it's not a question of developing anything from scratch.  Just
> modifying Builder somewhat.
> Matt Flaschen
> _______________________________________________
> gNewSense-users mailing list
> address@hidden

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