Phase out 32bit ppc due to bugfix and maintenance burden
pknirsch at redhat.com
Fri May 9 09:32:33 UTC 2014
Over the past year the team working on the Power architecture for Fedora
has been struggeling more and more with keeping 32bit alive and happy.
This is simply due to the fact that we neither have the manpower to fix
all the issues coming up over and over again for 32bit nor do we have
the legacy hardware anymore for testing things (though the later is less
of a problem).
A few weeks ago the team then sat together and talked about this for a
while. At the end we bascially were left with 4 possible scenarios:
1) Manually modify all packages that continually fail on 32bit ppc and
ExcludeArch them, together with the whole dep chain if necessary
2) Split off 32bit as a completely separate arch. That would require
changes in yum and rpm as well as changes to koji and our infrastructure.
3) Someone with proven packager status from the community steps up and
commits to do the work on fixing the 32bit ppc failures when they occur
4) Phase out and retire 32bit ppc over the course of the next Fedora release
Keeping the status quo wasn't an option to begin with, as we just can't
continue with the current rising issues on 32bit ppc anymore.
So for 1) this would effectively mean we'd have to look at every failed
build for 32bit ppc and put ExcludeArch: ppc in it. On top of that we'd
then need to additionally look for all components that require or
buildrequire recursively these packages and do the same for all those
packages, too. Just for the java stack thats several hundreds of
packages alone. Overall thats an enormous amount of effort and would
have to be constantly done for any new 32bit ppc package failing, so we
dropped this solution.
For 2) we discussed how that would look like and to what it would lead:
If we'd split 32bit ppc and 64bit ppc in koji, we'd have to then treat
them really as separate and distinct archs as we would never be able to
guarantee that the same versions of all packages would be available for
both 32bit ppc and 64bit ppc anymore (as thats kind of the point in the
separation as well). In turn that means we'd then have to have a full
2nd infrastructure set up for 32bit ppc, complete with hub and builders,
nearly doubling our infrastructure. We'd also need changes in rpm, yum
and all other package related tooling to not treat ppc and ppc64 as
multilib anymore, as they wouldn't and couldn't be anymore (see point
before with versions). So again, due to the massive impact of this
separation we decided that that wouldn't be a workable solution either.
That leaves us with only option 3) and 4). For 3) we'd need someone
really dedicated to actually fix the build issues on 32bit ppc, so
proven packager is basically a necessity there. And that person would
have to really commit to it. Being away for a month or 2 would block
64bit builds for that time then as well, and thats what's really been
hurting us more and more over the past year and what we want to get away
So unless 3) happens over the next few weeks, the only option at this
point for us is to say goodbye to 32bit ppc for Fedora. The maintenance
burden has grown just too big for the team to handle it and the quality
of the 64bit ppc port suffers more and more because of it. We'll of
course still keep the old 32bit trees around for anyone to use, enjoy or
play around with, or even pick them up themselves and do their own thing
with it. Or alternatively anyone can set up their on koji and 32bit ppc
build infrastructure for building things
The plan for now is to do this prior to the branching for Fedora 21 in
Rawhide only. We will of course be continuing to do 32bit update builds
for Fedora 20 and earlier until they go EOL.
According to the current schedule and the planed mass rebuild for
Fedora 21 that means we have to do this before the beginning of June.
Therefore we're currently aiming at Friday Mai 16 to make this change.
We just wanted to communicate this early so not to surprise anyone and
give ample time for everyone to look for alternatives.
The Fedora Secondary Arch Team for Power
Philipp Knirsch | Tel.: +49-711-96437-470
Manager Core Services | Fax.: +49-711-96437-111
Red Hat GmbH | Email: Phil Knirsch <pknirsch at redhat.com>
Wankelstrasse 5 | Web: http://www.redhat.com/
D-70563 Stuttgart, Germany
More information about the ppc