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      /  Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
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bison 
Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 11-Jan-2021 4:03:12
#1 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1825
From: N-Space

Quote:
Some non-ARM platforms that might also be candidates for removal include:

- H8300
- C6X
- SPARC/Sun4M
- PowerPC/CELL (separate from the PlayStation 3 code)
- PowerPC/CHRP
- PowerPC/AmigaOne

Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs

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Hypex 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 11-Jan-2021 6:05:36
#2 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10161
From: Greensborough, Australia

@bison

PowerPC/AmigaOne? When did they ever support PowerPC/AmigaOne? I've never seen an official kernel build in the past 15 years that supported PowerPC/AmigaOne out of the box so I don't know that means.

Do they mean removing support for configuring it in a custom kernel? In that case PowerPC/AmigaOne is rather obsolete as there has been PowerPC/SamXXX, PowerPC/AmigaOne X1000 and PowerPC/AmigaOne X5000 in the meantime. All completely different PowerPC/AmigaOne platforms. Also what about PowerPC/Pegasos that was directly supported in PPC distros?

To be fair running Linux on a PowerPC/AmigaOne platform these days is too dog slow. You can't do much with it. Even just on a simple desktop it's not good. A sub 1Ghz CPU and no graphics acceleration is just too slow for even basic work. It works but it isn't pretty to deal with lag. The only thing in its favour is the kernel can boot real fast on an XE and would be wicked fast on an SSD I imagine.

Last edited by Hypex on 11-Jan-2021 at 06:08 AM.

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Geri 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 11-Jan-2021 8:51:49
#3 ]
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Joined: 7-Oct-2003
Posts: 2038
From: ST/AT

@Hypex

Quote:
Hypex wrote:
@bison

PowerPC/AmigaOne? When did they ever support PowerPC/AmigaOne? I've never seen an official kernel build in the past 15 years that supported PowerPC/AmigaOne out of the box so I don't know that means.

Code to boot Linux on a first-gen AmigaOne is in the official Linux source code since kernel v2.6.30 IIRC. Distribution support is naturally a different thing. In this case you're right: no GNU/Linux distribution ever provided kernel images for the first-gen AmigaOne machines.

Big problem in this case was that interest in PowerPC was declining due to Apples shift to x86 and Debian lost its PowerPC maintainer back then. So bringing AmigaOne platform support into Debian wasn't really possible at that time. My hope was to change that now that the Debian PowerPC Port again has a proper maintainer and new distributions like Void PPC are specifically targeting PowerPC. But hope dies last...

Quote:
Do they mean removing support for configuring it in a custom kernel?

They're talking about completely removing support for building a kernel that can run on first-gen AmigaOnes.

Quote:
In that case PowerPC/AmigaOne is rather obsolete as there has been PowerPC/SamXXX, PowerPC/AmigaOne X1000 and PowerPC/AmigaOne X5000 in the meantime. All completely different PowerPC/AmigaOne platforms. Also what about PowerPC/Pegasos that was directly supported in PPC distros?

To be fair running Linux on a PowerPC/AmigaOne platform these days is too dog slow. You can't do much with it. Even just on a simple desktop it's not good. A sub 1Ghz CPU and no graphics acceleration is just too slow for even basic work. It works but it isn't pretty to deal with lag. The only thing in its favour is the kernel can boot real fast on an XE and would be wicked fast on an SSD I imagine.

I agree that it is dog slow and the missing graphics acceleration is a pain in the ass, but according to this also support for the m68k/amiga platform would have to be removed where even booting the bare Linux kernel takes at least 10 minutes. But okay, this platform has probably more Linux users than the first-gen AmigaOne.

BTW: is any of the other AmigaOne platforms officially supported by a Linux distribution (and no, I'm not talking about the support provided by AEON for Linux)?

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bison 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 11-Jan-2021 18:36:35
#4 ]
Super Member
Joined: 18-Dec-2007
Posts: 1825
From: N-Space

@Hypex

I searched the kernel,org mailing list thread, and at this time there's really not any further information, except for this brief note:

Quote:
I can also confirm that Pegasos2 users in the Amiga scene are running Linux (Debian) on these machines.

Old platforms: bring out your dead

Last edited by bison on 11-Jan-2021 at 06:42 PM.

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Geri 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 11-Jan-2021 20:29:17
#5 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Oct-2003
Posts: 2038
From: ST/AT

@bison

Quote:
bison wrote:
@Hypex

I searched the kernel,org mailing list thread, and at this time there's really not any further information, except for this brief note:

Quote:
I can also confirm that Pegasos2 users in the Amiga scene are running Linux (Debian) on these machines.

Old platforms: bring out your dead

Yepp, some users over at a1k.org have installed Linux on their Pegasos2 machines. More important however is that the Debian PowerPC ports maintainer is still using powerpc/chrp machines to which the Pegasos2 belongs to.

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Hypex 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 22-May-2021 13:48:50
#6 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10161
From: Greensborough, Australia

@Geri

Quote:
But okay, this platform has probably more Linux users than the first-gen AmigaOne.




Quote:
BTW: is any of the other AmigaOne platforms officially supported by a Linux distribution (and no, I'm not talking about the support provided by AEON for Linux)?


Well, there are patches in the source tree, which is the closest to actual support. Christian is the main maintainer on AmigaOne X1000 and X5000 platforms. Although his name is not mentioned down below in the author list, he would submit bug reports.

https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/log/?h=v5.10&qt=grep&q=amigaone

To my knowledge, there are no distros with official support for the A1 series. Which would be hard as that would imply a bootable installer with working Linux system, ready to boot from, at least to me. However, there is the relatively recent Fienix distro specific for PowerPC. There's no installer that I'm aware of so it must be imaged to a partition then is ready to go after setting it up in the boot menu.

http://fienixppc.blogspot.com

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Geri 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 22-May-2021 22:47:48
#7 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Oct-2003
Posts: 2038
From: ST/AT

@Hypex

Quote:
Hypex wrote:
@Geri

Quote:
But okay, this platform has probably more Linux users than the first-gen AmigaOne.




Well, I know that some A2000/A3000s are used as build boxes for the Debian m68k port.

Quote:
Well, there are patches in the source tree, which is the closest to actual support. Christian is the main maintainer on AmigaOne X1000 and X5000 platforms. Although his name is not mentioned down below in the author list, he would submit bug reports.

https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/log/?h=v5.10&qt=grep&q=amigaone

I only know that Darren Stevens posts patches specifically for the X1000 from time to time (as can be seen for some of the commits under the link you posted).

Quote:
To my knowledge, there are no distros with official support for the A1 series. Which would be hard as that would imply a bootable installer with working Linux system, ready to boot from, at least to me. However, there is the relatively recent Fienix distro specific for PowerPC. There's no installer that I'm aware of so it must be imaged to a partition then is ready to go after setting it up in the boot menu.

http://fienixppc.blogspot.com

Ah yes, I forgot about the Fienix distro. Unfortunately it seems to be for 64-bit machines only. So Debian testing is still the only alternative for 32-bit powerpc machines.

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Hypex 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 23-May-2021 9:32:30
#8 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10161
From: Greensborough, Australia

@Geri

Quote:

Well, I know that some A2000/A3000s are used as build boxes for the Debian m68k port.


That's great news! Amiga over Mac.

Quote:

I only know that Darren Stevens posts patches specifically for the X1000 from time to time (as can be seen for some of the commits under the link you posted).

Yes I noticed that name a bit. What I found interesting is that the X1000 was last updated 2020 but I could only find one entry from 2015 for the X5000 (Cyrus.) Must be a solid platform.

https://git.kernel.org/pub/scm/linux/kernel/git/torvalds/linux.git/log/?h=v5.10&qt=grep&q=cyrus

[quote]
Ah yes, I forgot about the Fienix distro. Unfortunately it seems to be for 64-bit machines only. So Debian testing is still the only alternative for 32-bit powerpc machines.


Perhaps, but if it gives you some hope, the kernels tend to be 64-bit but the programs run in 32-bit user space. In the Fienix about window it says 32-bit release.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 23-May-2021 10:31:23
#9 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11705
From: Norway

@Hypex

So are they talking about dropping 32bit support, or is just big endian cpus that they want to stop supporting, PowerPC is used in embedded space, NASA uses cpus and US military, sure many of PowerPC har hybrids, stopping supporting 32bit, and many of embedded system should happy run 64bit kernels.

Dropping all 32bit support should result in some pushback, Linux is not just for desktop, in fact, I bet most Linux installations are client / server installations. Not desktop installation.

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NutsAboutAmiga 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 23-May-2021 10:37:06
#10 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 9-Jun-2004
Posts: 11705
From: Norway

@bison

Regarding code organizing, my guess is lot of this has to do how code is organized, if code is badly organized, it being in way, making code less readable, then it where likely that people wont it removed, if code is well organized, modular / self-contained, and follow guidelines, Im sure they wont have issue with it. unless something major is going to happen to the kernel.

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cdimauro 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 23-May-2021 12:34:25
#11 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 29-Oct-2012
Posts: 2252
From: Germany

@NutsAboutAmiga Quote:

NutsAboutAmiga wrote:
@Hypex

So are they talking about dropping 32bit support, or is just big endian cpus that they want to stop supporting,

The general trend is to drop support to big-endian.

That's because all major architectures support little-endian.
Quote:
PowerPC is used in embedded space, NASA uses cpus and US military, sure many of PowerPC har hybrids, stopping supporting 32bit, and many of embedded system should happy run 64bit kernels.

Legacy stuff can still keep and use the existing tools.
Quote:
Dropping all 32bit support should result in some pushback, Linux is not just for desktop, in fact, I bet most Linux installations are client / server installations. Not desktop installation.

32-bit support is here to stay. It's too early to stop supporting it...

Quote:
NutsAboutAmiga wrote:
@bison

Regarding code organizing, my guess is lot of this has to do how code is organized, if code is badly organized, it being in way, making code less readable, then it where likely that people wont it removed, if code is well organized, modular / self-contained, and follow guidelines, Im sure they wont have issue with it. unless something major is going to happen to the kernel.

Who will do or pay for it?

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Geri 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 23-May-2021 22:16:44
#12 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 7-Oct-2003
Posts: 2038
From: ST/AT

@Hypex

Quote:
Hypex wrote:
@Geri

Perhaps, but if it gives you some hope, the kernels tend to be 64-bit but the programs run in 32-bit user space. In the Fienix about window it says 32-bit release.

Good to know! But I guess it is still to heavy for the first-gen AmigaOnes. But I wonder if it comes with Arcticfox - would love to see that in Debian ports.

Quote:
NutsAboutAmiga wrote:
@Hypex

So are they talking about dropping 32bit support, or is just big endian cpus that they want to stop supporting, PowerPC is used in embedded space, NASA uses cpus and US military, sure many of PowerPC har hybrids, stopping supporting 32bit, and many of embedded system should happy run 64bit kernels.

Dropping all 32bit support should result in some pushback, Linux is not just for desktop, in fact, I bet most Linux installations are client / server installations. Not desktop installation.

Neither big-endian nor 32bit in general is being dropped, but architectures and platforms that are either unsupported by their original developers, which disappeared from the market (some embedded CPU architectures) with no users left or are already known to be broken since some releases with nobody even caring about it (no bug reports from users).

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Hypex 
Re: Linux Kernel Developers Discuss Dropping A Bunch Of Old CPUs
Posted on 26-May-2021 15:27:48
#13 ]
Elite Member
Joined: 6-May-2007
Posts: 10161
From: Greensborough, Australia

@NutsAboutAmiga

Quote:
So are they talking about dropping 32bit support, or is just big endian cpus that they want to stop supporting, PowerPC is used in embedded space, NASA uses cpus and US military, sure many of PowerPC har hybrids, stopping supporting 32bit, and many of embedded system should happy run 64bit kernels.


I've only noticed dropping 32-bit support for PowerPC in main distros like Debian. And then focus on ppc64el.

Though it seems strange to me to just drop ppc 32 support. As i386 is still supported last I looked. Seriously, people are still using old 32-bit x86 CPUs in this day and age? A 32 bit ppc is 15 years out of date sure. But I can't imagine any use for a 32 bit x86 these days unless it's a special embedded one. There would be no drivers included to work on such old hardware.

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