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S/390 woody status


This is a note to -release according to Anthony's request in
http://lists.debian.org/debian-release-0107/msg00016.html for the
S/390 architecture. The current status is as sollows:

- All required and important packages are built, installed into the archive
  (sid, of course) and tested on 5 different systems

- From packages with priority standard only strace and gdb are missing but
  S/390 patches are available for both. strace patches are in the BTS
  (#104594), gdb needs some upstream patches that IBM will hopefully merge
  in the near future.

- XFree 4.1 patches have been sent to the maintainer, they arrived a second
  too late for the 4.1-1 release but will be in the next release. A locally
  built package with these patches works fine.

- Kernel patches and images (2.4.5-s390) are in incoming, together with
  kernel-package 7.57 which is required to build them.

- s390-tools is waiting in incoming, too. It includes the ZIPL boot loader
  and other required tools.

- Installation:
  + Installation can currently be done using a custom installation script from
    the Caiman distribution, avaliable at ftp://linux390.linuxkorea.co.kr/
  + We'll use this script as base for our own installation process, based
    on kernel 2.4.5 with devfs
  + We might integrate this script with boot-floppies but there is currently
    not much in common. S/390 machines only have a 3270 console which does
    not support ncurses or slang, so the whole boot-floppies GUI will not
    work there. Also, there's no need to configure the keyboard and no
    support for DASD (disk) partitions.
    I have commited some patches to the boot-floppies CVS but this is not
    working yet. One possible solution might be to set up networking using
    our script and then start telnetd or sshd so the second part of the
    installation can be done remotely using dbootstrap.
  + The installation script has been successfully tested on 5 different
    systems, both under VM and in an LPAR.

Summary: We'd like to release s390 with woody and think this is a doable
goal. We'll see how well the installation with boot-floppies works -- if it
does not, we'll package our script instead.

Could you start moving s390 packages to testing, too? If you have any
questions, please contact the debian-s390 list.

Stefan Gybas

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