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Ubuntu 22.04 LTS To Shift Its PPC64EL Baseline To POWER9 CPUs, Dropping POWER8

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  • Ubuntu 22.04 LTS To Shift Its PPC64EL Baseline To POWER9 CPUs, Dropping POWER8

    Phoronix: Ubuntu 22.04 LTS To Shift Its PPC64EL Baseline To POWER9 CPUs, Dropping POWER8

    Ubuntu 22.04 LTS isn't expected to run on aging IBM POWER8 hardware as Canonical is shifting its PPC64EL architecture baseline to POWER9 for building packages...

    https://www.phoronix.com/scan.php?pa....04-LTS-POWER9

  • #2
    Not that I use the ppc64el target, but this seems like a very aggressive depreciation schedule.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by jabl View Post
      Not that I use the ppc64el target, but this seems like a very aggressive depreciation schedule.
      I agree completely. People are still whining about depreciating i686 class hardware and with semi-logical reasoning given that atoms were originally 32bit and put into a lot of netbooks running XP, but this is just insane.

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      • #4
        Agree, what is the real motive for it?because if we all start chasing the last bread, we will end up just supporting the last iteration of hardware..

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        • #5
          Wow they don't even attempt to give a rationale for a change that will seriously impact some users. That's certainly one way to treat your community.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Space Heater View Post
            That's certainly one way to treat your community.
            They are already farting in the comunity's face with mandatory snapcrap. Next Linux installations will be everything but ubuntu.

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            • #7
              Good, they should reward newer hardware so the kernel runs faster on it. Nothing stopping anyone from compiling their own kernel with those flags or running 20.04 LTS until 2025. Don’t see any problem here.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by perpetually high View Post
                Good, they should reward newer hardware so the kernel runs faster on it. Nothing stopping anyone from compiling their own kernel with those flags or running 20.04 LTS until 2025. Don’t see any problem here.
                You really think that an OS shouldn't support a six years old PC just because the latest breed is "faster"? As Power9 debuted in 2017, a 2016 Raptor is still Power8.

                And unlike Windows, Linux ecosystem got an extra burden of almost all software packages being tied to OS upgrade. In Windows, when Microsoft say they are not supporting Windows XP / 7 by year 20XX, 3rd party software don't drop their support in that exact same year. Most open source software drop their support in a much later time. In Linux, since software packaging are highly integrated, when OS support is dropped, anyone who still want to run new software versions can become a lot more troubled.

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                • #9
                  PowerPC is largely an enterprise only architecture, not a lot of end users will be affected by a change like this. Contrast that to making x86 baseline requirement changes, which have significantly more reach and impact on orgs and end user alike.

                  Canonical is not alone in this. Red Hat has made this call earlier, as CentOS Stream 9 and RHEL 9 (currently Beta) only support Power9+, dropping Power8. RHEL 9 is due out between May and June 2022. If organizations absolutely need Power8 support for these new operating systems, they need to make their voices heard now (though it's probably a bit too late). Keep in mind the lifespan and target of these distributions: in the case of RHEL they'd have to support the 2013/2014 Power8 architecture into 2032. The same applies to Ubuntu when under the extra 5 year support contract. Major LTS versions are the place to make these fundamental changes as they can place fairly large burdens and impacts on how a distribution is optimized and what technologies they can take advantage of to improve their offerings for their target market.

                  These kinds of changes are made with a balance of knowing what customers are primarily running and how engineering wants to plan for the future.

                  https://blog.centos.org/2021/12/intr...ntos-stream-9/
                  https://access.redhat.com/documentat.../architectures

                  Cheers,
                  Mike
                  Last edited by mroche; 11 December 2021, 01:27 PM.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mroche View Post
                    These kinds of changes are made with a balance of knowing what customers are primarily running and how engineering wants to plan for the future.
                    That doesn't excuse them from providing a brief explanation for why the change is being made. At a bare minimum I would expect Canonical to provide a short summary that provides the motivation for the change, something like:

                    "Less than x% of Ubuntu ppc64el users are running Power8 hardware and -march=power9 provides up to y% performance increase for common workloads. Therefore we are increasing the baseline to Power9 for Jammy."

                    I also don't see why Canonical couldn't have floated this idea publicly a few months before making the change to gather community feedback. It really isn't a huge burden to allow your community a modicum of involvement.

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