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Thread: Ubuntu Plans To Drop Non-SMP PowerPC Support

  1. #1
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    Default Ubuntu Plans To Drop Non-SMP PowerPC Support

    Phoronix: Ubuntu Plans To Drop Non-SMP PowerPC Support

    As a last minute change prior to next month's release of Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, Canonical is planning to drop the non-SMP version of Ubuntu's PowerPC Linux kernel...

    http://www.phoronix.com/vr.php?view=MTA3MDc

  2. #2
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    They should just get rid of PowerPC support entirely. Seriously, who still runs a machine on Power? People with supercomputers? And are they going to be at all interested in running a casual desktop OS like Ubuntu?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all in favor of supporting exotic architectures and hardware -- but once the percentage of users running a given piece of hardware is something less than 0.00001%, it becomes questionable whether people who are "shared resources" (people who get paid to work on all kinds of things, like the kernel team) should be responsible for maintaining that support just for the extreme minority (0.00001% of Ubuntu users is probably somewhere around 2 and that's how many people I think still run Ubuntu on Power).

    I think this is a great idea.

  3. #3
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    I know a few people that run Ubuntu on PPC to do embedded development on (Of course they know how to recompile their kernels and most do for performance reasons). If Ubuntu doesn't want to support a distro for PPC it will just get them to move over to a better distro like Gentoo.

  4. #4
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    I don't get it.

    Did they just said that kernel build lasts 2 hours, and thats the
    reason for not having a non-SMP kernel? Are they building it on
    a single core PPC with a non-SMP kernel?

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by allquixotic View Post
    They should just get rid of PowerPC support entirely. Seriously, who still runs a machine on Power?
    People with old Macintosh computers, I think? They're stuck with OS X 10.4 and 10.5 otherwise.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by RealNC View Post
    People with old Macintosh computers, I think? They're stuck with OS X 10.4 and 10.5 otherwise.
    No Applefag who sold his/her soul to SJ will run anything other than OS X on their Macs because they have been brainwashed to believe that only Apple knows how to 'bling' up an OS.

  7. #7
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    Default So what?

    As if anyone seriously uses a powerpc processor anyway, let alone a single core version.
    I have a dual g5 mac somewhere, but even a cheap pc is much faster.
    The hassle to get it to work with linux, and keeping it uptodate is too much. And then there are the plugins, and drivers that are not available for linux for ppc. Like flash, 3d acceleration.

    I got the dual g5 for free, btw, from my work. It was gathering dust for over two years, so I asked if I could take it. But I have to ask myself what the point is anyway. Linux on it is too limited, and Apple does not make their new OS's available for it anymore.
    Last edited by perpetualrabbit; 03-15-2012 at 03:16 AM.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by perpetualrabbit View Post
    As if anyone seriously uses a powerpc processor anyway, let alone a single core version.
    I have a dual g5 mac somewhere, but even a cheap pc is much faster.
    My wife was using a single-core G4 iBook up until a few months ago (OSX 10.4, 1.4Ghz, 1.25GB RAM). It was chugging along after years of accumulating cruft, but we still have it laying around as a backup. My plan for after she backed up the drive was to either upgrade it to 10.5 or to wipe it and install Linux. If Ubuntu decides to drop PPC altogether in the future, I know what my choice won't be.

    These machines are still out there and Apple was selling PPC chips until Aug 2006 (2.5Ghz Quad-core G5). My wife's iBook was made as late as May 2006. I've got multiple Pentium-M laptops older than that still in service.

    Regarding this change. I don't mind that they're dropping the SMP kernel too much, as long as they keep supporting the PPC architecture for a while longer. I can handle a slower SMP on single-core kernel as long as it still boots properly and I can build my own kernel or grab a pre-compiled one through a PPA.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sonadow View Post
    No Applefag who sold his/her soul to SJ will run anything other than OS X on their Macs because they have been brainwashed to believe that only Apple knows how to 'bling' up an OS.
    Say what now obvious troll? I've been running the Ubuntu build on G4 era Macs since 2005, I've tried Debian, but even the unofficial PPC Ubuntu build works better on these old boxes so long as you don't use Unity or Gnome-Shell.

  10. #10
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    Default I thought they dropped the uni-processor kernel

    Quote Originally Posted by Veerappan View Post
    My wife was using a single-core G4 iBook up until a few months ago (OSX 10.4, 1.4Ghz, 1.25GB RAM). It was chugging along after years of accumulating cruft, but we still have it laying around as a backup. My plan for after she backed up the drive was to either upgrade it to 10.5 or to wipe it and install Linux. If Ubuntu decides to drop PPC altogether in the future, I know what my choice won't be.

    These machines are still out there and Apple was selling PPC chips until Aug 2006 (2.5Ghz Quad-core G5). My wife's iBook was made as late as May 2006. I've got multiple Pentium-M laptops older than that still in service.

    Regarding this change. I don't mind that they're dropping the SMP kernel too much, as long as they keep supporting the PPC architecture for a while longer. I can handle a slower SMP on single-core kernel as long as it still boots properly and I can build my own kernel or grab a pre-compiled one through a PPA.
    If I read the article correctly, they will not drop the smp kernel, but the uni-cpu kernel. Of course you can still compile it yourself. I used to have a ultra sparc 60 machine a few years ago, and I went through the trouble of maintaining hardened Gentoo on it, complete with gnome and kde desktops. I used cross compiling on a fast x86_64 machine to compile the packages for it. I imagine you can support those old ppc machines the same way.

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