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Re: Status of debian-installer on PPC64

On Thu, Mar 04, 2004 at 02:32:21AM +0000, Martin Michlmayr - Debian Project Leader wrote:
> * Anton Blanchard <anton@samba.org> [2004-03-03 23:21]:
> [...]
> > > Also, are you generally interested in helping with our PPC64 port?  As
> > > I see it, this needs to be done to get the PPC64 port started:
> > 
> > Sure Im willing to help.
> > 
> > >  - get a working 32bit kernel for POWER3 and POWER4

I have a power4 32bit kernel at : 


There was some missing debian plumbing in those packages, and also a bug
affecting /proc/pcuinfo on non-pmac hardware, so i will probably make a
new build today. I could add a -power3 kernel all the same.

These are for now SMP kernels only, ideally we should duplicate the SMP
and UP configs, since there is a certain (unmesured) performance hit in
running an SMP kernel on a UP machine, but we can make this later, once
the config is tested i can make a run. Each config build takes me an
hours though.

> > >  - get 64bit toolchain support (GCC, etc).  Guido Guenther
> > >    <agx@sigxcpu.org> is working on this for MIPS64, so there's
> > >    some effort to be shared.  Guido knows PPC as well, but
> > >    doesn't have the time to do it.

I may be willing to look at this, but after the 32bit kernels have been
finalized. Also, i don't have 64 bit hardware, so anything i may do
might need a tester with 64bit hardware, which will assuredly delay this

Also, i guess that for debian-installer, using the 32bit kernel should
be ok at first, and can later be used to install the 64bit kernel in the
stage 2, base-installer, but then it may be a good idea to use the exact
same kernels as those being used for installation in the final system,
at least to diminish the 'worked at install, but not on installed
system' syndrom.

Is the MIPS64 work Guido is doing a 32bit -> 64bit cross compiler, or a
native 64bit compiler ? I guess we may need both maybe.

> > >  - get a working 64bit kernel

Once tha above is done, i will look at this. I don't know if it is
meaningfull to build it from the same package as powerpc yet though.

> > >  - add a 64 bit support to glibc, I guess.

This is i fear beyond my capacity, at least right now, but there is much
work to be done before we reach this point, so ...

Also a 64bit kernel should work with a 32bit userland, right ? 

> > An overview of the current status:
> > 
> > - 64bit 2.6 (straight from Linus) should compile and boot on G5, pseries
> >   and iseries (there is one iseries and one pseries driver that is on
> >   its way into the kernel, hopefully in the next week or so). (Note
> >   while 32bit will boot on power3 and g5, its unlikely to work on POWER4
> >   eg 615).

Ok. Powerpc uses either the linuxppc tree or the -benh tree anyway.

> > - binutils works with 64bit, in fact the current 32bit binutils in
> >   debian has 64bit support enabled (I requested that a while ago).


> > - gcc-3.3 requires patches. This is the sticking point at the moment.
> >   The current repository for this is the SUSE 3.3 hammer branch, it
> >   includes all the required 64bit support as well. Does debian have a
> >   x86-64 toolchain? If so its probably the hammer branch and we can
> >   share with those packages. If not we can handle it a number of ways
> >   (eg patch against 3.3 mainline).


> > - My understanding is gcc-3.4 will have all the necessary patches.

This is a post sarge issue though. I guess this whole 64bit ppc support
is a post sarge issue anyway.

> > - glibc works with 64bit
> > 
> > On a related topic, 32bit ppc currently has no NPTL libc build because
> > some of the changes did not make it into gcc-3.3. Again the gcc-3.3
> > hammer branch or gcc-3.4 have the bits. I can understand the guys not
> > wanting to upset too much before the next release but we need to get
> > NPTL support in or we will be behind x64, x86-64, s390 and ia64. The
> > suggestion was to do some experimental gcc-3.3-hammer + libc6-nptl
> > packages. Maybe this could tie in with our ppc64 toolchains.
> > 
> > Other than that, we need to iron out the installer issues:
> > 
> > - making bootable cdroms. I can help with this, there is a bit of black
> >   magic to making pseries bootable cds. G5 bootable should just work

Please contribute to debian-boot. I will be glad to assist as good as i
can, but it seems as our debian-installer powerpc team has been mostly
busy with other stuff these last days.

> > - lots of small installer bugs, like no fdisk (only the pmac-fdisk)

parted should do, and if not, let's fix it.

> Forwarded for the benefit of -powerpc.

Thanks Martin.


Sven Luther

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