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Re: Future of the s390 port

> The s390 port was released with Lenny. However it is not in the best
> condition.  There are mainly two problems which needs attention, lack of
> manpower and a 64 bit userland.
> The first problem is the worst.  Currently only Frans Pop and I do work
> on it.  Frans only does the Debian-Installer part and I simply have not
> enough time to do the rest.  The s390 architecture is quite different to
> anything else, so it needs several specialized packages to work[1] and
> they need lasting attention.  So if anyone wants to help (especially
> Debian developers) for the continuity of this port please speak up.
> The second problem is not that critical. No other distribution still
> supports a complete 31 bit s390 userland and even Debian dropped the 31
> bit kernel support in the meantime[2]. Strategies for an upgrade to a 64
> bit userland was discussed lately[3].
> I doubt that I would be able to push this port through another release
> in the current state. The consequence would by that the port dies
> completely and with it the only free and released distribution for this
> machines.
> Bastian

That would be awful!  As you mentioned, Debian is the only remaining
viable, non-commercial distribution of Linux for s390.  And it would be
a blow to Debian's goal of being "The Universal Operating System", as
they advertise on their home page.  I'd like to help.  What can I do?
I'm not a Debian developer or package maintainer.  I'm an IBM mainframe
system programmer, with both MVS and VM responsibilities.  I'm good with
S/390 assembler language, but I can't even spell C.  I can test things
for you.  And I have some time on my hands.  (Don't tell my boss I said that!)
How can I help?

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