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Re: Updated Debian Ports installation images 2021-09-23


You have several options which all require a lot of work.

Do as Adrian tells and manually collect needed packages from snapshot.debian.org
This way you can get for example an old firefox (50) and an old version of Libreoffice installed and working.

Unfortunately not all software in the repos and on snapshot are available or give a bus errors and won't work.
For example all kde related stuff is not installable due to conflicts and missing packages.

If you go further and use for example the packaging system pkgsrc from NetBSD, you can get alot of stuff to compile, like almost the complete kde software and also a lot of stuff can be compiled that is then running without a bus error.
But this is even more advanced, it will take a lot of time and there a lot of compile problems to track on the internet and work around as this is optimized for NetBSD.
I trained a whole year on NetBSD Sparc64 to get everything up and running and then transplanted this knowledge to use pkgsrc on debian sparc64.
It also is by now way working out of the box and needs lots of manual intervention, but lets you compile a lot of software with the exception of firefox52, thunderbird52, and an older seamonkey. These seem to be too optimised to run on NetBSD Sparc64. I'm stuck on bus errors for those while they do run on NetBSD sparc64.

The reason why i want to use debian sparc64 instead of NetBSD is that on NetBSD there is a recent java, libreoffice, xrdp and more not available.

Debian sparc64 is an unofficial port and if i am not wrong, i think Adrian is almost the only person maintaining it.
Also sparc is heavy on the decline and no mainstream OS used for desktop work anymore. So a lot of the bugs are not reported and visible upstream.
And debian is one of the last linux distributions even to have a port. Once the kernel drops it (just happened to ia64), or Adrian stops supporting, i gues it will all be gone and i am forced back to NetBSD.

For now I found my peace in combining debian and pkgsrc. This will lead to a somehow complete desktop software collection.


On Thu, Sep 23, 2021 at 4:17 PM John Paul Adrian Glaubitz <glaubitz@physik.fu-berlin.de> wrote:
Hello Iggi!

On 9/23/21 15:46, James Bond wrote:
> ok, works till you select a "non default" option in "Select and Install
> software". I selected "Debian desktop environment" it fails. Well after
> finishing the installation manually I also tried mplayer etc and it looks
> like the binary files are not available to apt-get.

It is not possible to provide any help if you're not providing any feedback.

You have most likely run into this issue:

> https://lists.debian.org/debian-sparc/2017/12/msg00060.html

> Debian could be such a nice and actual OS for our retro hardware if we would
> just have a "decent" X driver for the most common graphics cards ffb and
> mach64/radeon. And it looks like not even someone getting paid wants to do it
> (I would love to it but due to a lack of skills I can just be a sponsor).

Paying a professional developer to work on such a driver would probably be much
more expensive than some people throwing in some money. Software development is
expensive and unless you find a hobbyist willing to work on the code, it won't
be easy.

But the Debian package for the sunffb driver will most likely be worked on by Adrian
Bunk as he said he would be looking into it. However, that probably won't happen
before the Debian SPARC porterbox has found a new home.

You know, complaining about these issues is very easy but helping to get them fixed
is much more difficult and just giving someone 50 Euros doesn't magically fix all
these problems.

If you want these issues to be fixed, please consider helping with the work. The first
step to this will be providing useful feedback messages with detailed error messages.
This way, I have a chance to see where the problems are and start working on them.


 .''`.  John Paul Adrian Glaubitz
: :' :  Debian Developer - glaubitz@debian.org
`. `'   Freie Universitaet Berlin - glaubitz@physik.fu-berlin.de
  `-    GPG: 62FF 8A75 84E0 2956 9546  0006 7426 3B37 F5B5 F913

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