Fedora: Support for new PA6T systems (ppc32)

Al Dunsmuir al.dunsmuir at sympatico.ca
Sat May 17 22:20:34 UTC 2014

On Saturday, May 17, 2014, 8:52:55 AM, Christian Zigotzky wrote:
> A-EON had sold a lot of new PA6T systems
> (http://www.a-eon.com/?page=nemo), last year. And there are lot of PA6T
> systems to buy 
> (http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=1160).
> It would be a pity to remove ppc32 support because 64-bit packages won't
> work. The PA6T is not compatible (enough) to Power5 or newer which is 
> the minimum requirement for 64-bit Fedora to work.

ppc64  is  focussing  on modern 64-bit architecture levels, and likely
wants  to exploit the new instruction sets for best performance.  That
is entirely reasonable.

Some questions:

1) Is the PA6T Linux kernel that you have 32-bit, or 64 bit?

2) Could  the  PA6T,  PowerMac G5, and older IBM pSeries use a common
   64-bit kernel, built at a lower arch level?
   - PA Semi Dual-core PA6T-1682M is Power ISA v2.04
   - My PowerMac G5 has an (IBM?) PowerPC 970 - Power ISA v2.02
   - Alex's IBM pSeries 610 (Model 6C1) is POWER3-II

Such  a  kernel would support a 32-bit chroot environment suitable for
initial  ppc32 builds and development. Alternatively, multiple kernels
would  allow sharing the lowest common denominator 64-bit minimal core
functionality  but  allow  the  G5  and  PA6T  to  better  exploit the

Supporting this seems like a reasonable parallel goal to build up core
functionality  for  the lower architecture 64-bit processors, distinct
from  the  mainstream ppc64. It would require a distinct arch name for
the  common  (P3)  and  slightly higher (G5 and PA6T) levels - perhaps
ppc64p3, ppc64g5 and ppc64pa6t respectively.

That being said, I'd still like the ppc32 support be the primary focus
for the common user-land code that does not *have* to be 64-bit.

Note  that  a  resurrected  ppc32  Fedora  would return to building in
32-bit  chroots  running  under  a  mainstream ppc64 build in whatever
modern  hardware  Fedora  would make available. Similarly, the ppc64p3
would  be  built  in  64-bit chroots (like mainstream ppc64, but using
distinct build options).

> A-EON Nemo board with the PA6T cpu: 
> http://www.supertuxkart-amiga.de/amiga/x1000.html

> Please don't remove the ppc32 support. I like Fedora very much and it 
> would be a very pity to remove the ppc32 support.

It is basically gone, until we can bring it back.

The  good  news is that since Fedora ppc32 used the chroot environment
for  the  builds,  we  don't  have the worry that ppc32-specific build
hardware is being scrapped.

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