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

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 11 December 2021 at 05:30 AM EST. 33 Comments
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.

Matthias Klose issued a notice this week that for Ubuntu 22.04 "Jammy Jellyfish" they are bumping the PPC64EL architecture baseline requirement to POWER9 with their GCC 11 compiler.

On recent Ubuntu releases the PowerPC builds they have been producing were targeting "-march=power8 -mtune-power9" while now they are moving ahead with "-march=power9" to optimize the code generation for POWER9 processors.

Ubuntu 22.04 LTS and newer as a result isn't expected to work with POWER8. POWER8 was announced back in 2013 with hardware appearing a year later while since succeeded by POWER9 in 2017 and now POWER10 hardware working its way to market. Some Linux users may still be grinding away on POWER8 as it powered the original free software Raptor Talos system (not the newer Raptor POWER9 offerings) as well as a few years back being found in some ~$300 servers.

This change has caused some questions and confusion even among Canonical staff with their ISO testing and some of the other work currently relying on IBM POWER8 servers, which will now have to be swapped out for POWER9. Those with POWER8 can still rock out to Ubuntu 20.04 LTS to use another distribution supporting the older Power ISA target.

More details on the change via this mailing list thread. Ubuntu 22.04 LTS is due out in April.
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