Debian on IA-64
I am pleased to report that the IA-64 system on loan from HP to Agilent that
is in my possession is now happily running Debian GNU/Linux natively. This
machine arrived in my hands a few weeks ago "for evaluation" without an
operating system loaded, and since what I wanted to evaluate was Debian...
This would have been much harder without the help I received from Randolph
Chung. He offered encouragement as I struggled to get a working combination
of hardware and BIOS version, crafted the chroot environment on top of
TurboLinux that we used to do the bootstrapping work, then helped build some
of the packages I got frustrated with.
I would also like to recognize Ben Collins and Brendan O'Dea for being on
IRC at the right times to help me get past my struggles building glibc and
perl packages, respectively. Their patience and enthusiasm helped!
The current status is that I'm booting a 100% Debian root filesystem, and am
finishing up getting the right pieces in place to "start over" building
packages that are fit for upload. I have requested a binary-ia64 tree be
created, and expect that to happen soon. Package uploads should begin within
the next week. It seems completely possible that IA-64 could join the set of
supported ports for woody, but a lot of work remains between now and then!
Before jumping the hurdle from running in the chroot environment to booting a
real Debian filesystem, we had over 600 .deb's built, including everything
relevant depended on by the boot-floppies package. There are a few ugly hacks
that need to be addressed, and a couple of repeatable internal compiler errors
in the very pre-release version of the compiler we're running, but I do not
expect it to take very long to get a respectable number of packages built and
I understand that there has been some progress towards obtaining an IA-64
system for general use by Debian developers. I hope there will be an
announcement about that soon. In the meantime, I am *not* able to provide
logins for everyone on this machine.