Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-factory (592 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-factory] feasibility of porting opensuse to SPARC
  • From: Andreas Jaeger <aj@xxxxxxx>
  • Date: Sun, 01 Oct 2006 11:29:15 +0200
  • Message-id: <m37izks7tg.fsf@xxxxxxxxxxx>
"Alexey Eremenko" <al4321@xxxxxxxxx> writes:

> Actually, openSUSE is very good OS and is more convenient than Solaris.
> So if you have powerful multi-CPU SPARC Server and want a convenient OS,
> openSUSE is the only way to go.
> This way you can reutilize Sun Servers as Linux Workstations or Servers.
> But this would require a very serious rebuild of the whole distro.
> Question:
> How much time it would require for 1 Linux expert to port all openSUSE from
> x86 to SPARC ? (including installer & full FTP repository) provided he know
> both architectures & works full-time.

It's not that easy to give any timeframe. It depends on various
issues, so let me give some commands based on my work getting SUSE
Linux running on x86-64.

The challenge is getting the base system running:
* gcc
* glibc
* binutils
* kernel

The problem is that in these projects only a few folks take care of
SPARC. I do not know whether current versions of these do run at all.

> 1 week, 1 month, 1 year ?

If the above is done, there are two challenges:
* packages
* yast changes

yast changes should be only partitioning and booting, the rest should
be generic. So, this is is something of a few weeks.

With packages it's lots of time to rebuild everything (bootstrap) and
fix problems. Since we already support i386, x86-64, ppc, ppc64,
s390, s390x and ia64 most of the problems where packages are not
portable (endianness, 64-bit) should be fixed already. The problems
arise when packages are failing through the build. This is initially
quite often a problem in the toolchain but could also be a
non-portable package. So, this needs somebody that can debug bugs at
a low level and fix them. If somebody has these skills, this is
something of a few person months.

Now comes the challenge: Everything above is with a non-moving target.
Factory is moving forward every day, so a new toolchain and new
packages come in - and you have to keep up with that and fix issues
that arise if you rebuild with new packages. This is a couple of
hours a week - and for rebuilding you need some disk space and lots of
CPU power...

Andreas Jaeger, aj@xxxxxxx,
SUSE Linux Products GmbH, Maxfeldstr. 5, 90409 N├╝rnberg, Germany
GPG fingerprint = 93A3 365E CE47 B889 DF7F FED1 389A 563C C272 A126
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