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Debian Amiga

Debian m68k Port Resurrected 145

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 King_TJ ( 85913 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @01:16PM (#42395779) Journal

    I doubt I'll *ever* make use of this project myself, but I'm inspired by the tale of how it went from "left for dead" to a full-on revival, based on something as unexpected as a rather unrelated 3rd. party software project (Atari emulator that happened to allow the m68k developers to work on their code from any laptop computer they happened to be using), as well as a single motivated individual bent on making his shell run on all known variants of Debian.

  • 6809xxxxxx (Score:4, Interesting)

    by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) on Wednesday December 26, 2012 @05:13PM (#42398117) Homepage Journal

    I keep hoping someone will take the 6809 architecture, extend it to 64 bits wide per register, add an MMU, implement underneath a modern microcoded engine (the original was random logic), and throw an FPU on-board. Maybe add a few megs of register pages for context switching, a few instructions to give it supervisor/user smarts.

    It was *so* easy to write code for that thing; it had pretty much the perfect mix of instructions -- way better than the 68000, for instance. The 6809 was the best 8 bit uP ever from a programming POV. I wrote a couple of compilers for it over the years, it felt like the uP designers totally knew what I was going to need.

    Probably never happen.


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