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Debian Amiga

Debian m68k Port Resurrected 145

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the just-a-flesh-wound dept.
After two years of work, Debian m68k has working build servers, and is slowly working through the backlog of stale packages. "Contrary to some rumours which I've had to debunk over the years, the m68k port did not go into limbo because it was kicked out of the archive; instead, it did because recent versions of glibc require support for thread-local storage, a feature that wasn't available on m68k, and nobody with the required time, willingness, and skill set could be found to implement it. This changed a few years back, when some people wrote the required support, because they were paid to do so in order to make recent Linux run on ColdFire processors again. Since ColdFire and m68k processors are sufficiently similar, that meant the technical problem was solved. However, by that time we'd fallen so far behind that essentially, we needed to rebootstrap the port all over again. Doing that is nontrivial, and most of the m68k porters team just didn't have the time or willingness anymore to work on this; and for a while, it seemed like the m68k port was well and truly dead." The tales of acquiring the needed hardware are pretty interesting (one machine is an Amiga in a custom tower case).
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Debian m68k Port Resurrected

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  • by Megane (129182) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @02:40PM (#42396619) Homepage

    The specific reasons to drop 386 support from the kernel were because 1) its MMU is substandard compared to 486 and later and causes a lot of complications in the kernel, 2) it doesn't have CMPXCHG which is used for semaphores (in glibc, not just the kernel), and 3) it doesn't have the byte swap instruction which makes a big difference in network code.

    Dropping 386 support is like dropping 68000 and 68010 support. It's the oldest sub-architecture, lacking a lot of good improvements that came in the next generation. Guess what? Debian dropped 386 years ago, and this m68k port doesn't work with anything less than a 68020+MMU. For all I know, the kernel doesn't support 68000 or 68010 either.

    Nobody uses anything anymore that won't work a 486 build and thus requires 386, aside from someone with a 20-year old PC. But m68k is a whole architecture (like x86), and Coldfire is still Not Dead Yet. Seriously, do YOU have anything that requires a 386 build or know anybody who does? If not, why the hell do you even care, other than just to be a troll?

  • Re:Stop. Just stop. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Megane (129182) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @02:48PM (#42396691) Homepage

    Ever hear of Coldfire? [] It isn't nostalgia (not yet, at least), it's still a viable embedded CPU architecture, less than 10 years old. It's a RISC-ified 68K, with a few instructions removed (they can be implemented via the illegal instruction trap) to make the RISC work. If you had bothered to read TFS, you would see that was what started all this.

    Maybe you should put your time into something more constructive instead of trolling for no useful purpose at all.

There's got to be more to life than compile-and-go.