The GNU/Linux PowerPC notebook community will launch a crowdfunding campaign soon. After some unsuccessful contacts between the notebook manufacturer and a potential financing partner, it seems that the best option to fund the project is to start a crowdfunding campaign. The community is about to decide which is the best option to achieve this and identifying the members to lead this action. In addition, the manufacturer will send all the suitable information required to describe the final product. This means that the estimated date to produce the notebook will be the end of 2016. Before that, at least 5 prototypes will be delivered to the community for software adaptation and beta testing.
We are working on the software
Regarding the software, there is an agreement to use Debian GNU/Linux as a primary distribution. This does not exclude other possibilities, as an example Fedora community is open to help to port their Linux flavor also.
Our developers are analyzing which are the main software challenges to be solved. Some of them are:
- To provide a proper 3d acceleration. Radeon cards support seems to be the best alternative.
- To improve some functionalities such as web videos, Java plugins and specific software that is reported to work but is not usable at all.
Moreover, this group is working on a Debian64 image installer using grub2 and booting the 64bit kernel, we have 10 people about to start on packages set up and two more developers scheduled to start the gfx driver development at January 2016.
If you want to contribute in this area the project needs people ready to start working as soon as possible, especially on ppc64 package maintenance and testing.
As said on previous articles, the CPU will be based on the e6500 core that provides ALTIVEC technology and PowerIsa 2.07. The GPU will be most probably AMD/ATI based, making use of a mxm connector.
Currently some of our developers are working with a Freescale T2080RDB development board donated by Freescale. The board is very useful in order to test u-boot, PCIe video card output and try to boot Debian.
Currently, we are 50 collaborators participating in the project and trying to probe/reach universities, online communities and local groups. We define ourselves as a Solidarity/Ethical/Passion driven community. We promote a Positive and Humane relationship between collaborators, and advocate giving people a choice to run GNU/Linux on different hardware platforms.
By definition, our project is attracted by the Free and Open software and hardware movements. Our aim is to keep the price as low as possible to attract interested developers, while staying financially responsible.
We are looking for people to participate mainly but not only in this areas:
software work-group: PowerPC GNU/Linux applications optimization (test GNU/Linux application packages, give feedback or fix the errors), distro porting (U-boot, etc), push sources to mainstream branches and package maintenance.
crowd-funding: someone with experience on this kind of campaigns
spread idea: we want to have more collaborators and news letter subscribers
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