Debian Brought Back To Life On M68K-Based Amigas
Written by Michael Larabel in Debian on 25 December 2012 at 10:40 AM EST. 39 Comments
The port of Debian GNU/Linux for the Motorola 68000 processors has been revived, which now allows for a working Debian OS to run once again on computers like the Amiga 3000/4000 and Atari.

It's been announced via a blog post on Christmas Eve that the Debian port to the Motorola m68k has been brought back to life.

The m68k Linux support began to break when glibc began to require thread-local storage, which wasn't available on m68k. When that glibc change occurred, breakage happened and no one stepped up for a few years to fix it. The glibc problem was fixed up when Linux support was added for ColdFire processors since the hardware is similar to that of the Motorola CISC processors, but by that time Debian needed to rebootstrap the entire architecture.

Jump to this year, there's now ARAnyM, an "Atari Running On Any Machine" emulator that picked up Linux support so m68k support could be done from virtually any modern PC with this Debian/m68k emulator. Besides having this emulator support to work on bringing back up to par the m68k port, a Debian maintainer (Thorsten Glaser) personally took to ensuring Debian m68k packages were in good shape.

As of yesterday, the Debian project has their first m68k "buildd" host running and generating packages for the first time in many years.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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