In 2018, Linux Is Still Receiving Fixes For The Apple PowerBook 100 Series

Written by Michael Larabel in Hardware on 2 April 2018 at 02:00 PM EDT. 55 Comments
The PowerBook 100 sub-notebook launched in 1991 with a 16MHz Motorola 68000 processor and up to 8MB of memory. In 2018, the Linux kernel is still receiving fixes/improvements for the PowerBook 100 series.

While Linux 4.17 is dropping support for eight obsolete CPU architectures, the kernel is still sticking around with obsolete hardware support. With the Motorola 68000 processors still being around, the Linux kernel "m68k" code continues to be maintained. But hitting the mailing list today were the m68k architecture updates and it included some updates for "Macintosh enhancements and fixes."

These Macintosh updates coming for Linux 4.17 include support for the real-time clock (RTC) on the PowerBook 100-series, PDMA support for the PowerBook 190, and some other code fixes/clean-ups for the Macintosh m68k code. Yes, really.

PDMA in this context is pseudo DMA support in the SCSI code. The PowerBook 190 series is from 1995 and at that time its Motorola processor is running at 33MHz and up to 8MB of memory. With the patch enabling PDMA support for the PowerBook 190, the sequential I/O read performance is said to improve by a factor of five.

Courtesy of Wikipedia, a look at the PowerBook 100:

Not sure what anyone would be doing with a PowerBook 100 series device on the latest Linux kernel code from 2018, but that's part of the 4.17 cycle and the possibilities with open-source. I'd hate to think how long it takes trying to compile any modern software on this device or even the length of the boot process...
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 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 automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via

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