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New powerful m68k Debian porterbox available


I'm happy to announce that we are finally able to provide a porterbox for the
m68k architecture which is available to every Debian Developer and everyone
with a Debian guest account with the necessary permissions.

The machine is called mitchy [1] (FQDN: mitchy.debian.net) and is named after
the dog Mitchy of the creator of the Amiga, Jay Miner [2].

The machine is based on a new QEMU m68k virtual machine type based on Google's
Goldfish project [3] and supports up to 3.2 GB of RAM and up to 128 virtual
devices. With the host server currently in use, the emulated 68040 is clocked
at around 1 GHz which is enough to build and test most packages - although for
building larger projects like GCC, it's advisable to use a faster host machine
or QEMU user emulation.

Hosting is kindly provided by Gandi.net [4] who have been providing cloud resources
for Debian Ports to provide build machines for multiple architectures for a while

The code has been developed by Laurent Vivier and consists of changes to both
QEMU [5] and the Linux [6] which have not been upstreamed yet. Laurent will
be giving a talk on the current status of this project and m68k emulation in
QEMU in general during our next m68k online meeting on November, 6th [7] where
everyone is invited to join.

Since the Goldfish-based m68k emulation support is rather new, the new porterbox
may sometimes becomes unstable although that has improved a lot with the latest
kernel patches by Laurent. There are also still some limitations in the FPU
emulation support, so if you are seeing unexpected build failures or run into
any other problems with the virtual machine, please let me know. I do have real
m68k hardware available (which is much slower) to be able to run occasional tests
on it.


> [1] https://db.debian.org/machines.cgi?host=mitchy
> [2] https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2007/07/a-history-of-the-amiga-part-1/3/
> [3] https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?page=news_item&px=MTMwNjM
> [4] https://www.gandi.net
> [5] https://github.com/vivier/qemu-m68k/tree/m68k-virt
> [6] https://github.com/vivier/linux/tree/m68k-virt
> [7] http://m68k.info/

 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - glaubitz@debian.org
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - glaubitz@physik.fu-berlin.de
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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