[rescue] Re: Linux on SS1000 (was SS1000)

Tom 'spot' Callaway tcallawa at redhat.com
Mon Dec 9 15:15:47 CST 2002

On Sat, 2002-12-07 at 21:52, Robert Novak wrote:
> On Sat, 7 Dec 2002, Al Potter wrote:
> > kloch at gurunet.net said:
> > > When is RedHat going to get off their asses and produce a sparc
> > > version (again)?
> > 
> > > There's probably no demand, given the superior alternatives.

I'm definitely not here to get in a pissing contest over which OS is
better. I advocate choice. If SunOS, Solaris, or a *BSD is better for
your on your SPARC box, then use it. I believe that having Linux as an
option on SPARC is good. I use it. I'm willing to help others use it.

As far as Red Hat, they have their SPARC port on indefinite hiatus. Why?
Because it sold really really poorly. Red Hat is a business, we can't
keep spending money to make a product that virtually no one buys. On top
of that, almost no one downloaded it either. We don't have statistics
from the mirrors, but the main site numbers were very low for 6.2 SPARC
(yes, I've seen them, no, I can't tell you what they were).
So Red Hat, as a company, logically looked at the potential market for
SPARC/Linux, and decided to shelve the product until its time is right.
Its time may never be right, I don't know. My psychic powers only work
on Thursday. ;)

Dave Miller still works on the Linux/sparc64 kernel branches. Pete
Zaitcev is putting in a lot of work on the sparc32 branch of the 2.5
kernel. Both of these folks collect a Red Hat paycheck.

> > OK, what's superior, and supports SMP, and is free for SMP?
> I'd guess Debian or SuSE or Caldera or Mandrake or Slackware or Rock or
> Gentoo or Aurora. :) http://www.ultralinux.org/dists.html

Aurora came about because a group of us recognized that there were users
out there seeking to do Linux/SPARC. We missed having a "Red Hat Linux"
on SPARC, so we started our own port. At the time, Mandrake's port was
fairly broken (and has since been cancelled). Slackware cancelled its
official port (there has been a similar, but somewhat inactive grass
roots effort in the same ideology as Aurora, called Splack). Rock Linux
only works on sparc64, Caldera, well, its SCO now. Gentoo doesn't
install properly on sparc. That left the end user with SuSE & Debian for
broad support, and SuSE releases its SPARC port almost as often as
Debian does (When I asked SuSE when they would have a new SPARC port,
they told me that it was postponed indefinitely). So, we're down to
Debian, which is 2.2 on sparc32. Aurora is currently the only Linux
using a 2.4 kernel on sparc32 & sparc64. Yeah, maybe we run into more
problems than we'd like, but we're burrowing through them. Its fun. :)

> Here's a dumb question:  How does redhat build a distribution?  It 
> seems like it'd be fairly automated with source rpms, once the 
> original patches/etc are taken care of.  If it could be automated in a
> cross-compiled sort of way, it seems like an "unofficial" redhat 8.0 
> for linux/(pick an arch) could be built with only a minor fuss, which
> would make the alpha and sparc ports come back to life, as well as 
> other ports which never existed (hppa, m68k, arm, etc)

Short answer: It ain't that easy. ;) Aurora is that effort for SPARC.

For those interested: http://www.auroralinux.org. I think I'm far enough
OT for this list, so I'll stop now.

Tom "spot" Callaway <tcallawa(a)redhat*com> Red Hat Sales Engineer
Sair Linux and GNU Certified Administrator (LCA)
Red Hat Certified Engineer (RHCE)
GPG: D786 8B22 D9DB 1F8B 4AB7  448E 3C5E 99AD 9305 4260

The words and opinions reflected in this message do not necessarily
reflect those of my employer, Red Hat, and belong solely to me.

"Immature poets borrow, mature poets steal." --- T. S. Eliot

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