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Re: PowerPC request for help

Hello Daniel,

Sorry for not replying sooner. Preparations for Debconf (and after arrival 
there the networking problems at Debconf) are the main reasons for the 

On Thursday 04 May 2006 00:15, Daniel Dickinson wrote:
> I'm interested in actually contributing to d-i (finally), and I noticed
> that you've put out a request for the PowerPC architecture.  As I only
> have a single StarMax 3000/160 I probably can't help with the entire
> arch, but I can help with Old World Mac (and clones, obviously, since
> the StarMax is a Motorola mac clone from the period when apple gave
> there blessing to such endeavours).  I have a fair level of script and
> C knowledge, but no experience with kernel, or deb/udeb packaging.  I
> have been working on boot disks for i386 (from scratch, and I don't
> mean cookbook LFS-type from scratch), so I have a fairly good
> understanding of the linux boot process (though I still have to
> learn mac-specific parts).

Your help is very welcome and the skills you list look like an excellent 
base. Udeb packaging is not all that different from normal packaging and 
we can help with any questions you may have. Either ask on #debian-boot 
(freenode) or on the list.
The paper for my talk at debconf about d-i internals [1] may help you get 

> (In fact I am trying to solve a d-i
> problem for getting floppies with 2.6 kernels, within the d-i way; so
> far I've gotten it to work non-d-i by using the ramdisk_xx kernel
> parameters, but I haven't yet managed to get a small enough initramfs).

> I would be best able to help with a more experienced mentor, and

For general d-i issues we will be glad to help. For some powerpc specific 
issues Colin may be able to help, but otherwise I guess you'll find more 
expertise on the debian-powerpc mailing list. Also Sven has already 
offered his help, which should be very valuable.

> probably my initial role would be (on Old World PPC Macs & Clones) to
> test the installer regularly (weekly, semiweekly, daily?), tracking
> installation reports, and reproducing, tracing, and (where knowledge
> allows) resolving bugs.

That's great. Testing the installer should only be needed on at most a 
weekly basis. Most needed is to test after major changes, like after a 
switch to a new kernel.
Regular tests however also help to identify issues that are caused outside 
d-i, but for example affect debootstrap (base system installation) or the 
installation of tasks.

A report on the current status of the installer for oldworld with a list 
of issues would be very welcome.

> I probably am not in a position to do the daily builds, since the
> machine I would be testing the installer on is the only PPC I've got.

No problem. The daily builds are already taken care of.

Holger Levsen (CCed) also offered help with oldworld (on IRC), so I 
suggest you two coordinate and exchange experiences.

If you would like commit access to the d-i SVN repository, please let us 
know your alioth account name.


[1] http://people.debian.org/~fjp/talks/debconf6/

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