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Archive inclusion request for s390x

Hi there,

we — the s390x porters — deem the s390x port[0] on debian-ports ready for
inclusion into the archive and hereby request this.  Please tell us how
to get forward with this.

> Are machines available to general public? Does it have any users? If an
> embedded system are there real systems shipping that a Debian port will be
> useful for?

The machines are available to the general public as IBM continues to sell
and maintain the architecture. The most current products are z196/z114.

The target audience are the users of the existing s390 port. The community is
small, the user base is also small. There are companies, however, using it in
production, and a bunch of people using it for play machines.

The port can also be emulated using Hercules, which is in Debian.

> Is full source available?

Yes, the kernel flavour for s390x was already integrated into the s390
port and in fact you can only run the older port on s390x machines anyway,
since Squeeze. All changes IBM did to gcc etc. are upstream and already
available in Debian.

> Is this architecture related to other architectures already in the
> archive, or that also should be considered, either now or in the future?

It should supersede s390 post-Wheezy. I.e. the former should be dropped in
favour of the new port.

> Is there any corporate support of this arch, and the Debian port in
> particular?

IBM supports the architecture. The Debian port does not have corporate support
at this time. It is not supported by IBM. There are consultants providing
Debian support services for the s390 architecture, however. (See [1] for
example.) This shouldn't be different when it gets supersedes by s390x.

> Are there 3 or more developers (or n-ms) actively maintaining the port?
> Who are they?

Currently there are only two developers, but that's not really worse than the
s390 port already in the archive.

    Aurelien Jarno (Debian Developer)
    Philipp Kern (Debian Developer) 

> Is there kernel and toolchain support? At what level? Are the latest
> versions supported, or are legacy releases required for compatibility
> with some hardware?

s390x is fully supported in both the kernel and the GNU toolchain.

> Has the ABI stabilised, or are there major ABI changes coming up?

Yes, the ABI is stable.

> How do you install a system?

The goal is to use the same debian-installer as for s390 (just needs
porting to behave the same like on s390). Which means mostly netinst.

Most of the work for this is already done by copying the bits already in
place for s390x.  Given that unstable's in flux and that we're not able
to support two separate repositories in d-i installing it is a bit hard
to test, but we're getting to the SSH-based installation already.

> Has a buildd been setup? How much of the archive has been built (count by
> source package, builds of old versions are fine for this case)?
> What hardware is potentially available as a fast buildd?

The initial build has been done on a machine provided by the Informatics
Innovation Center at the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Germany.

You can still build s390 packages on a s390x buildd (and vice versa), so
we can reuse the exiting machines.  The current s390 buildd (zandonai) is
already building s390x for debian-ports.  A second buildd at another
hosting location is being worked on by DSA, maybe a third is possible at
the location where the initial build took place.

93% of the archive have been built, it's keeping up with 100% for now.
(See the debian-ports stats page[2] for details.) The port is
debootstrap'able from debian-ports's sid archive, without using
unreleased, at least at the moment with cdebootstrap.

The other packages are mostly held up by general FTBFS'es in unstable.
All bugs are usertagged and available on [3].  Given a timely inclusion
and RC severity for porting bugs we should be able to get this port
ready for Wheezy in time.

> Is there an example box developers can login to to see if it works?

Not yet. We aim at providing a s390x chroot on the s390 porterbox zelenka
as soon as the port is integrated. (DSA does not want debian-ports porter
chroots on their boxes.)

Kind regards,
Philipp Kern and Aurélien Jarno

[0] http://wiki.debian.org/ArchiveQualification/s390x
[1] http://www.sinenomine.net/services/debian/390
[2] http://buildd.debian-ports.org/stats/
[3] http://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/pkgreport.cgi?tag=s390x;users=debian-s390@lists.debian.org
 .''`.  Philipp Kern                        Debian Developer
: :' :  http://philkern.de                         Stable Release Manager
`. `'   xmpp:phil@0x539.de                         Wanna-Build Admin
  `-    finger pkern/key@db.debian.org

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