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Linux Software Businesses Apple Hardware

Gentoo/PPC64 Beta Live CDs Released 168

pvdabeel writes "Gentoo/PPC developer, IBM employee and former PPC64 kernel maintainer Tom Gall has announced beta-level live CDs and stages for ppc64. The hardware supported by gentoo-ppc64 is PowerMacintosh G5, IBM pSeries, older IBM 64 bit RS/6000s (such as the model 260, 270, F80, H80, see linuxppc64.org for a complete list) and soon IBM iSeries hardware. Gentoo-ppc64 is the other side of the ppc equation, it is a 64-bit kernel as well as a 64 bit user space. We are the first linux distribution to offer a 64-bit top-to-bottom solution which is not a toy environment. This is a significant and exciting step as there is interest in cluster computing circles, users of java, and more generally those who have needs of large address spaces. It's fairly exciting to be on the forefront and continue to push the capabilities of linux on ppc64 forward."
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Gentoo/PPC64 Beta Live CDs Released

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    We are the first linux distribution to offer a 64-bit top-to-bottom solution which is not a toy environment.


    Kind of defeats the purpose of all computing, which is to run on LEGO. [neilturner.me.uk]

    Let me know when you have a 64-bit top-to-bottom solution which is a toy solution, and I'll know 64-bit computing has finally arrived (think about it).
    • And to be pedantic, their statement is also just plain false.
      Some of us have been running Alpha servers using Redhat, SuSE, Debian, etc. linux since before Gentoo was even founded.
      Alphas have been 64-bit since day one (1992), as have the Linux distributions on them. (MS released a crippled 32-bit version of Windows for it, but Linux and *BSD have always been the real deal.)

      YAW.

  • GREAT! (Score:5, Funny)

    by agent dero ( 680753 ) on Sunday May 30, 2004 @11:51PM (#9293926) Homepage
    Now all I need is that G5 :-)
  • by Wesley Felter ( 138342 ) <wesley@felter.org> on Sunday May 30, 2004 @11:53PM (#9293938) Homepage
    They've had PPC64 versions for a while, and they seem to work.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2004 @12:58AM (#9294243)
      Yes, SLES and RHEL have been around quite a while, and both of them work great. The big difference is "top to bottom 64-bit enviroment". On SLES and RHEL, most of userspace is 32-bit.

      It can be argued that there's any value in having a fully 64-bit userspace. You don't need a 64-bit ls or bash. But you can have them, it's not much slower than 32 bit and it works.
      • Yeah! So I can upgrade from my G4 to something that's "not much slower than 32 bit and it works."

        me thinks I'll spend my wad on a side of beef and enjoy the summer.
      • Yes, userspace is 32bit but all of IBM, Redhat and SUSE have worked pretty hard on getting the toolchain (gcc, binutils, glibc) to work and Redhat and SUSE have put significant efforts into making applications work on the ppc64 platform.

        Whoever thinks that ./configure ; make ; make install is sufficient when a new platform appears is usually mistaken.

        Those 3 Linux giants have been working on this for you since mid of 2002, and it just proves
        the effectiveness of OpenSource that now gentoo can step up and c
        • I don't think they claim they 'invented the wheel' with PPC64. The article reads:

          We are the first linux distribution to offer a 64-bit top-to-bottom solution which is not a toy environment.

          So no, SLES and RHEL are not referred to as toys, as far as I read it, since they are not full 64bit. This looks more like something on the line of "so far the PPC64 distros were a 32b/64b mix of code for various good reasons. Now, for those who want/need a full 64b distro that is not some research project, here it i

          • So no, SLES and RHEL are not referred to as toys, as far as I read it, since they are not full 64bit.
            That's splitting hairs. Most people are going to read "we are the first linux distribution to offer a 64-bit top-to-bottom solution which is not a toy environment" as a claim that other Linux 64-bit releases are toys. IMHO, it's devious marketspeak aimed at smearing SLES and RHEL without actually being factually incorrect. They didn't need to include the toy reference.
  • by Zetta Matrix ( 245803 ) on Sunday May 30, 2004 @11:57PM (#9293959)
    I don't quite understand why IBM doesn't want to create something like a G5, only "more serious". I'm sure the pSeries machines are excellent, but if they could just lower the price a bit by dropping some of the enterprise features that drive the price up, they could sell quite a lot of them. For people like myself, it's a chance to use a superior architecture in a not-quite-so-proprietary setting (Apple hardware is very proprietary in some areas). We could benefit from the commodity market for all the standardized components and interconnects (DDR RAM, SATA, PCI-X, PCI Express, AGP, USB, IEEE 1394, whatever) without being forced to buy Apple hardware or pay the MS tax. Commodized G5 system running an open source operating system like Linux or *BSD... that's where it's at.

    I know I would like to buy such a machine for myself, and try to convince my employer to buy one for me...
    • For servers there's the JS20 [ibm.com]. If you're talking about an IBM Linux PPC workstation, give up already; that market's even smaller than Apple's.
      • If you're talking about an IBM Linux PPC workstation, give up already; that market's even smaller than Apple's

        Here we have the old chicken and egg debate. Is that market so small because of the limited hardware choices or are hardware choices so limited because the market is so small?

        If I could buy commodity PPC hardware, I'd build a development server.

        LK
    • I think the PPC 970's architechture specs are open. I think this means a company, with enough resources and ambition, could create a PPC 970 mobo, bundle it with the CPU, and put it out on the market. I don't think this has been done (well, outside of apple), but i think it is doable. I've wanted a POWER-esk chip for at least a couple years now, and i'd be in the market to buy something like this. I wonder how much a PPC 970 system would run without all the apple branding and sleek design overhead.
    • by Billly Gates ( 198444 ) on Monday May 31, 2004 @12:38AM (#9294155) Journal
      Apple is your best bet for a non server workstation.

      Yes IBM, SUN, SGI, and HP all have taxes on proprietary hardware. Either way your screwed and are paying a tax. Hell I remember installing HP kayaks and telling the user they would have to wait for 3 weeks for special tracks just to mount the cd-rw drives?? (The cdrom-rw was also made by HP)

      Ask anyone who bought ram for an SGI or Sun workstation?

      I was under the impression that new world macs are more open. Jobs saw to that to make more peripherals available to the macs when he returned. This is why Linux runs on them and not older world macs.

      The trick to save money is this. Don't buy the upgrade options from Apple's website. By the ram at compusa or from micron direct. If you want gigantic storage, buy a mac with teh smallest hard drive and purchase the big ones seperately.

      All the macs have affordable 3d opengl cards, SATA, dvd drives -rw, USB and firewire support, flashdrive support, and MacOSX.

      Things a Pseries would not have anyway.
      Its great to use shockwave or photoshop on occasion or to see what a webpage will like like on IE. The dual boot option is nice.

      If you want the IBM because of scsi you can also buy an adeptec scsi adapter or buy one from apple with scsi hardware including raid. They are pricey of course with that installed. Or buy the mac adeptec card yourself and buy the scsi drives seperately like I mentioned above.

      There is nothing these machines wont have that the pseries has. The exception is server oriented features like hot swappable hardware and special more professional 3d cards and ECC ram. But even then I am sure the true 3d support will only be available for AIX.

      Intel might become proprietary too if palidium comes into existance. MS would love to use the hardware to defeat Linux... all in the name of security of course.

      • by HalfFlat ( 121672 ) on Monday May 31, 2004 @12:51AM (#9294207)
        If the G5s had support for ECC memory, then we could use them for modelling without taking a gamble that a flipped bit screws the results.

        When days of computation go into making a calculation, the last thing you want to do is to run it again because there's a non-negligable chance that there was an uncaught bit error.

        Luckily Apple have since seen the light and the new Xserve G5 at least supports ECC RAM. Before that, for affordable scientific computing, dual Opteron machines had no real competition.
      • I was under the impression that new world macs are more open. Jobs saw to that to make more peripherals available to the macs when he returned. This is why Linux runs on them and not older world macs.

        Linux runs on OldWorld Macs just fine. More difficult than running on NewWorld, but it works nonetheless. Boot into it with BootX or quik. Personally I run it on a Power Mac 9500 and have run it on a Power Mac 7200.

        Tangenting, I believe you can run them on pre-PCI/pre-OF/pre-7200 PPC machines. And you

    • My roommate and I have had many long discussions about this, and came to the conclusion that it would most likely only be desired by geeks to replace their home home x86 boxes. I agree it would be very cool, but it wouldn't be a very popular product, they'd be like BeBoxes, a good idea, great value, etc. but not popular enough to make it worth it to IBM.
    • IBM probably wants you to go out and buy a G5 system if you're a home user.

      Think of it, with Apple selling G5's by the boatload, IBM makes cash, plus they don't need to support PEBKAC lusers.

      If IBM sold cheap(ish) G5 rigs running Linux, they would need to support every single moron who calls them up, probably not something they want to do.


    • I don't quite understand why IBM doesn't want to create something like a G5, only "more serious". I'm sure the pSeries machines are excellent, but if they could just lower the price a bit by dropping some of the enterprise features that drive the price up, they could sell quite a lot of them.

      Well, what you're talking about is essentially a consumer version of the PPC. Unfortunately, the consumer market is a business IBM has made it clear they don't want to be in, the enterprise is where they've chosen to
    • I don't quite understand why IBM doesn't want to create something like a G5, only "more serious".
      What would such a system have over the Opteron? (Not a rhetorical question).

      Also, is this story saying that there is still really no 64-bit linux distro for Athlon64/Opteron? I'm thinking of buying one and took at look at Gentoo's X86-64 forum. But it's hard to get the big picture of how it really is to own one (and run it on a 64 bit OS).

      • Well, I have an AMD64 3200+ and it runs a complete 64-bit kernel and userland and yes it is Gentoo. But that is probably like saying "I love MS" here on /.

        The speed is excellent. There are however a few things that don't work perfect in 64-bit yet.

        I have an ATI 9200 card and there is no 64-bit ATi driver yet, not that it is a problem for me since I'm not a gamer and the driver supplied with xorg-x11 is moe than good enough for my use.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2004 @12:09AM (#9294023)
    Them's fightin' words, mister.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday May 31, 2004 @12:13AM (#9294035)
    While I'm proud to hear that Linux has come a long way and now supports more architectures and most other OSes, I'm starting to wonder what's the point. We have Sparc, iAMD64, Power, Itanium, PA and another dozen uncommon architectures out there - and the further you get away from the "standard" i386 the worse support gets. Look at Fedora Core 2 for AMD64 - mysql is 32bit... Try get a JDK1.4 for Sparc Linux... How about Oracle for Linux/Power4?
    While we have dozens of distributions there is not a single 64bit Linux out there that is even close to being as full-featured as debian, fedora, redhat, mandrake,... on i386 are...
    Since 64bit porting is pretty much the same for all platforms, wouldn't it make sense for the distributions to work together in that aspect?
    • Try get a JDK1.4 for Sparc Linux...

      Available here. [mirror.ac.uk]

      Sorry, I nitpick.
      • But it is interesting how Sun kind of provides NO information about alternate sources for Java. While they may have some small reason to prefer their own flavors, they would seem to have more reasons to support alternates that handled hardware / OS combos they don't support.

        This is one area where more open languages like Perl, PHP, and Python have an advantage. All you need to know is how to find the home page and you're pretty much golden. To quote the Perl web site:

        Note that CPAN does not build thes
    • mysql on fedora 2 (Score:4, Informative)

      by David Jao ( 2759 ) * <djao@dominia.org> on Monday May 31, 2004 @03:01AM (#9294704) Homepage
      the further you get away from the "standard" i386 the worse support gets. Look at Fedora Core 2 for AMD64 - mysql is 32bit...

      Um, this statement is false. The mysql server and client are fully 64-bit... here's proof [astraldream.net].

      While we have dozens of distributions there is not a single 64bit Linux out there that is even close to being as full-featured as debian, fedora, redhat, mandrake,... on i386 are...

      If you want something as full-featured as i386, then (aside from simply running i386) x86-64 is the best game in town, because it actually runs i386 binaries. For example, my copy of Mathematica for i386 Linux runs perfectly in Fedora 2 x86-64.

      As an aside, x86-64 clearly contradicts the story summary's claim of being the "first linux distribution to offer a 64-bit top-to-bottom solution which is not a toy environment." Red Hat Enterprise 3 for AMD64 was released six months ago with a full 64-bit userspace environment, and I don't think anybody can seriously argue that RHEL3 is a "toy environment" compared to a beta gentoo-ppc64 release.

  • Damnit. One less excuse to get a mac. Freaking "A"!
  • Finally (Score:5, Funny)

    by MrFrank ( 261142 ) on Monday May 31, 2004 @12:30AM (#9294110)
    I finally have something other than AIX to run on the 8 H80s I have sitting in the closet!!!
    • Goddamned right. (Score:1, Interesting)

      by Anonymous Coward
      As someone who uses AIX every day at a very large organization, I can say without hesitation that AIX sucks.

      badly.

      Compiling software for AIX is hell. Things that are a simple ./configure, make, make install on competent operating systems are impossible on AIX.

      Now, Gentoo on PPC64 is great news just as soon as you can get major vendor support contracts for it and you can run Oracle on it.
      • At my fairly large organization, we have a healthy mix of 4.3.3, 5.1 and 5.2. Systems ranging from F/H50's all the way to 8 fully-loaded p690s.

        I run ./configure && make commonly and although it is nowhere near as consistent at successfully building software as Linux, it is FAR from impossible. All I can think is that you're either forced to use XLC, or you're stuck on 4.3.x systems (or older) upon which compiling is much more difficult.

        What really burns me though, is that you wholesale claim tha
  • Other 64-bit linuxen (Score:3, Informative)

    by mcelrath ( 8027 ) on Monday May 31, 2004 @12:48AM (#9294194) Homepage
    We are the first linux distribution to offer a 64-bit top-to-bottom solution which is not a toy environment.
    I would point out that above statement is incorrect. Redhat released several versions for the Alpha. Debian has support for both the Alpha and Sparc64. These are true 64-bit top-to-bottom solutions.

    -- Bob

    • Sure, but give them a break, they're probably just extremely happy with the way their work turned out. I know I would be under the circumstances. First-release overstatements are understandable. ^_^
    • Pft. Well they're OBVIOUSLY toy environments. Get with the times, man.
    • by SuperQ ( 431 ) *
      The first iteration of my web/mail/whatever server was a DEC PC 150, 150mhz alpha.. 64bit, with lots of ram and disk space (for the time).

      I got the thing back in 1998, some idiot brought it to a computer renaissance (used computer place) and the even dumber sales people bought it as a trade-in. I don't know where it came from, but the sales guys were very confused when the win95 disks wouldn't boot. ha!

      After a lot of pain and trouble trying to get some of the system utility software from Compaq.. (god
    • Really? does it really matter when you consider this; Alpha, had two great operating systems for it, OpenVMS and UNIX, same goes for SPARC64, it has Solaris.

      Of what possible benefit is there bringing Linux accross? Linux's main attraction was the fact that it finally offered a viable solution on the x86. The home of Linux IS the x86.
  • Java support (Score:2, Interesting)

    by n3xu5 ( 205312 )
    The poster mentioned Java support. I didn't see anything that indicated if this was in reference to using gcj for Java support, or if IBM had contributed a full Java implementation. I would be curious to know which it might be. Since this effort seems more oriented towards a server system, it is likely not needed to support the Java GUI frameworks (AWT, Swing). This would seem to lean towards gcj (and Classpath) since it does not currently support most of the GUI functionality. But with IBM already hav
    • Re:Java support (Score:3, Insightful)

      by cbiffle ( 211614 )
      Perhaps I'm simply naive about PPC32/64 porting issues (okay, no, I'm not), but y'all are aware that the recent JDKs have full source available?

      I mean, yes, it will take a bit of nudging to get it to compile if you're on an unexpected platform. (Most of my work's been on FreeBSD.) But it's not like you have to wait for the graces of Sun or IBM to deem you worthy to have a binary JDK.

      That's why I was always confused about people saying "FreeBSD is great, but no Java!" right after I'd done a `make install
  • by JessLeah ( 625838 ) * on Monday May 31, 2004 @12:55AM (#9294224)
    ...and run at a blistering 5 KIPS! (Thousand Instructions Per Second)
  • I'm rather curious to see how long it would take to render a full divx movie in a pure 64 bit environment. Drool..
  • but... but... why? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by chasingporsches ( 659844 ) on Monday May 31, 2004 @01:11AM (#9294299)
    i've tried the whole linux-on-a-mac thing many times, and on the older machines, its hardcore. mac os 9, IMO, sucks really hard, so running Debian on a PowerMac 7500 (i think that was the model) was really cool, and brought extended functionality to that aged old-world machine. but gentoo/debian/yellowdog instead of mac os x on a desktop? i don't think its worth it. maybe for cluster computing, or servers, or whatnot to avoid licensing issues. but i think those that honestly think linux is better and/or more functional than mac os x on the same machine are smoking something that, if not already, should be made illegal (or government sanctioned). user interface? osx wins hardware compatibility? osx wins, it was made for the hardware after all multimedia? osx wins software availability and ease of use? osx wins again the only area where i could think that you would want to use linux over os x is if you are a linux developer and NEED full compatibility with hardware-related procedures, or if you are a 13 year old kid who got a mac, dont feel like learning OS X (which takes the better part of a measely hour), and think you're gonna be l33t by running a "free" os rather than mac os. if thats the case, go for it. but IMHO you're wasting your time. especially with a fully-functional GCC, xcode, X11, terminal, and BSD base.
    • by N1KO ( 13435 )
      PPC != Mac, therefore your claim that OSX has better hardware compatibility is false because it's only compatible with the G5.

      Also, just because the user interface of OS X may be easier to learn or because you like it doesn't mean it's better.

      Maybe someone wants to learn about Linux or maybe the people who want to run Linux on PPC just don't care about OS X to consider using it. Whatever the reason, there's nothing wrong with trying to "Think Different".
      • OS X runs on PearPC, so I don't see why it wouldn't be able to run on any other generic PPC hardware with some tweaking (licensing issues notwithstanding)
    • And if you dont' like Aqua, darwin has better hardware support (FAN CONTROL) and can run X and E or whatever just like a linux system.
  • RIP Alpha (Score:2, Interesting)

    by norculf ( 146473 )
    Alpha would blow the doors off PPC64 if had been developed. It would easily be past 2 GHz today and would also have SMT and/or multiple cores on a single die. Fuck you Compaq. Fuck you Hewlett Packard. Fuck you Tipper Gore. Oh wait...
  • by Dwonis ( 52652 ) * on Monday May 31, 2004 @03:20AM (#9294765)
    It's easy!

    Step 1. Insert Live Gentoo CD.
    Step 2. Wait 15 hours for CD to automatically compile the software in RAM (including the kernel).
    Step 3. Reboot (to boot the new kernel).
    Step 4. Go to step 2.
  • Because Apple makes really great hardware, but I don't use software that doesn't come with source code and the freedom to improve it.

    Gee, that must make it hard to use computers at all. The firmware in your disk drives, network controller, are graphics card are almost certainly closed source. (Even your BIOS is likely to be, although there are alternatives.) Not to mention all the switches, bridges, and routers your packets go through on the way to slashdot...

    However, if you had enough money, I'm s

  • by brunes69 ( 86786 ) <slashdotNO@SPAMkeirstead.org> on Monday May 31, 2004 @07:39AM (#9295380) Homepage

    "Hey boss, mind if I reboot the RS/6000? I am *dying* to try out this new KDE 3.2!!!

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