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Re: Status of debian-installer for the native ppc64 port

Hello Frans,

thank you for your detailed look at the summary and at the ppc64 port

On 06-Jun-19 11:07, Frans Pop wrote:
> On Monday 19 June 2006 08:29, Andreas Jochens wrote:
> > Please give me hint if I should file the missing patches now
> > or if I should wait for a decision at the d-i meeting.
> Thank you for the overview. Please wait a bit before filing any new bugs 
> as we should first revert the decision made earlier.
> I've taken a look at your patch directory and AFAICT there are two other 
> bugs open that will prevent you from building d-i "from the archive":
> busybox and gnupg.

Fortunately the busybox issue has already been fixed in unstable.
The patch that you found in the patch directory is no longer necessary 
because the issue has been fixed in a different way  
by Bastian Blank in busybox version 1.1.3-1.

gnupg still needs the '--disable-asm' patch (BTS #343434) to build
on ppc64.

> I will put your request on the agenda for the next meeting and will let 
> you know afterwards.

OK, thanks.

> There is still the structural question of "why add support for an arch 
> that basically nobody in the project sees any future for" with some even 
> actively saying it's a suboptimal solution.

I know that Sven Luther has voiced his negative opinion about the
native ppc64 port on various occasions. Also Bastian Blank seems
to be at least very sceptical about a native ppc64 port.

However, all developers were generally very helpful with the native 
ppc64 port. More than 100 patches have already been applied to the
archive and the native ppc64 port is working quite well now.

The native ppc64 port is already being used for some serious things,
e.g. by Matthias Klose and other upstream python developers for the 
development and testing of the new python version 2.5 (see

At the moment, the native ppc64 port is the only solution which provides
a full native 64-bit environment on ppc64. It already works and it
needs minimal changes to the existing Debian archive.

I did not yet see any other working solution which provides a
reasonably complete Debian 64-bit environment on ppc64. Up to now I
have just heard rough ideas like 'biarch' or 'multiarch' which
do not yet have working implementations and which would need
massive changes to the existing Debian archive.

Moreover, even for multiarch it would be the easiest solution
to have a native ppc64 port which provides the 64-bit binary
packages because with that setup multiarch could be implemented
for ppc64/powerpc in exactly the same way as for amd64/i386.

> The two patches that need most to be discussed are:
> - debian-installer: doing this in a branch instead could be an option

I do not expect frequent ppc64 specific changes for debian-installer. 
It would really help to have the ppc64 specific config and pkg-lists 
files in the official debian-installer sources.

> - linux-kernel-di-powerpc-2.6: looks like it would work, but also fairly
>   invasive for a package that already has a huge control file

The usual way would probably be to have a separate 
linux-kernel-di-ppc64-2.6 package. This would of course
also be possible, but it would lead to a duplication of
code which could be avoided by using the existing
linux-kernel-di-powerpc-2.6 package with a small patch.

Anyway, thanks again for looking at the ppc64 related issues.

Andreas Jochens

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