For the second time we were giving a talk to the GNU/Linux Valencia Group, a local Linux group located in the city of Valencia, Spain, which is doing a great job promoting Linux and open source in general. Guillermo gave a brief explanation of the project from the beginning to the present, the objectives, technical specifications, other related projects of the Power Progress Community association, FAQs about the project and so on.
In particular the group was updated about everything that has occurred in the project since the last time we visited them. One of the key points was the collaboration with Slimbook, this collaboration started just because of last year meeting with the group as this company is located at the same city and his CEO is one of the founders of this Valencian group. The company will provide the laptop body and is supporting our team giving all specifications we need.
You can find an article covering this meeting in the GNU/Linux Valencia group page (in Spanish):
Linux Day Milano – Italy 26th October 2019
This year we have as expositor our running DIY wooden desktop case with the T2080rdb devkit, with our new Power Progress Community T-shirt, with our Posters with our “Revivo with Scratch” manifest , searching notebook to recondition.
People are quite exited using our PowerPC 64 Desktop based on the same CPU NXP T0280 of our future notebook motherboard.
Many young people reach our table and talk with us.
As you probably know, the PowerPC Notebook team had already selected Debian 9 (Stretch) OS, as it seemed to offer a lot of advantages (DFSG, Altivec, compatibility etc…). Because of this, the Debian team has recently decided to remove powerpc (Big Endian) from its release architectures for the upcoming Debian 9 (Stretch) and Debian testing (Stretch) powerpc repositories have been removed. Besides that, they will keep ppc64el (Little Endian) as a release architecture (For those of you who don’t know the difference between powerpc, ppc64el (and ppc64) – check the short summary on the end of this message).
Debian 9 is coming
One of the reasons of this decision was an apparent lack of porters/maintainers/testers – Although the powerpc Debian team includes some very competent, motivated and reactive people.
Some of us are willing to take the Debian powerpc road, but we need volunteers, people willing to give some of their time to the Debian powerpc community, to learn, test, fix bugs etc…
This does not suggest we don’t keep a “plan B” – by testing another distribution. It is just that Debian powerpc works well on current 32 bits and 64 bits machines, and we can try to keep this situation.
If you have a 32 or 64 bits PowerPC machine, and want to join us in keeping Debian powerpc alive, contact us on [email protected].
Short summary about powerpc / ppc64 / ppc64el :
powerpc is the historical Debian PowerPC port (1997). It works on 32 and 64 bits Big Endian PowerPC (G3/G4/G5 and newer freescale/NXP chips). That’s what you would use on your PowerMac/PowerBook/Genesi/Amiga machines. Note that is supports Altivec, which accelerates greatly some applications (video, graphics, image processing).
ppc64 (Big Endian) was supposed to be used on 64 bits Big Endian PowerPC only (G5 and newer freescale/NXP chips). It has some advantages over the first but currently is not so well supported as powerpc.
ppc64el (Little Endian) started with Debian 8 Jessie. It works on newer Power chips from IBM (for servers). Despite some newer freescale/NXP chips can also be used in Little Endian mode (but without Altivec) they can not be used with ppc64el as this version is compiled with VSX (Vector Scalar eXtension) enabled.
As you can see from the updated about page you now know who are the people which are working on this project. More people are still being contacted right now and soon you will know them.
Fedora ppc64 on PowerPC Notebook
Peter Czanik talked with many people about this project at FOSDEM 2015 as he wrote on the forum and even at DevConf.cz where the Fedora/RHEL PPC team promised to help if needed to make Fedora run on our PowerPC 64 bit Notebook.