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-   -   When are Qemu SPARC/PPC coming back? (http://www.linux-archive.org/fedora-development/575828-when-qemu-sparc-ppc-coming-back.html)

Josh Boyer 09-15-2011 12:13 AM

When are Qemu SPARC/PPC coming back?
 
On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 7:29 PM, Nathaniel McCallum
<nathaniel@natemccallum.com> wrote:
> The context for this question can be found here:
> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/virt-maint/2011-March/002289.html
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=679179

> What I'm not fine with is that there seems to be no desire to bring
> these packages back. I spoke with several Red Hat virt people and the
> consensus was that SPARC/PPC "don't work." I beg to differ. I am
> building asm software on them right now. They are an invaluable
> software testing platform, even with their relative age.
>
> So in short, can we please bring back SPARC/PPC? I realize that we'll
> need a bit of build system magickery, but I really think its worth it.

No. Not magickery. Basically, it needs a build-able openbios or SLOF
(in the ppc case). And since Fedora doesn't provide cross
compilation, that is going to be hard to do in this case.

As I see it, there is likely one option. It is possible that we
leverage the secondary architecture builders for PPC and SPARC and
natively build the code, then allow an exception for i686/x86_64
packages to use that natively built openbios/slof. It would need
FESCo approval, but exceptions for bootstrapping have been granted
before.

All of this is predicated on someone stepping forward to do the work.
So far, we've found people that don't want to do the work but we need
to work the opposite angle.

josh
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Nathaniel McCallum 09-15-2011 12:45 AM

When are Qemu SPARC/PPC coming back?
 
On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 8:13 PM, Josh Boyer <jwboyer@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 7:29 PM, Nathaniel McCallum
> <nathaniel@natemccallum.com> wrote:
>> The context for this question can be found here:
>> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/virt-maint/2011-March/002289.html
>> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=679179
>
>> What I'm not fine with is that there seems to be no desire to bring
>> these packages back. I spoke with several Red Hat virt people and the
>> consensus was that SPARC/PPC "don't work." I beg to differ. I am
>> building asm software on them right now. They are an invaluable
>> software testing platform, even with their relative age.
>>
>> So in short, can we please bring back SPARC/PPC? I realize that we'll
>> need a bit of build system magickery, but I really think its worth it.
>
> No. *Not magickery. *Basically, it needs a build-able openbios or SLOF
> (in the ppc case). *And since Fedora doesn't provide cross
> compilation, that is going to be hard to do in this case.
>
> As I see it, there is likely one option. *It is possible that we
> leverage the secondary architecture builders for PPC and SPARC and
> natively build the code, then allow an exception for i686/x86_64
> packages to use that natively built openbios/slof. *It would need
> FESCo approval, but exceptions for bootstrapping have been granted
> before.
>
> All of this is predicated on someone stepping forward to do the work.
> So far, we've found people that don't want to do the work but we need
> to work the opposite angle.

"No. Not magickery. ... Fedora doesn't provide cross compilation ..."

How is this not magickery? Heck, even the build them natively and
allow other arches to use them is magickery...

Of course, there is a second option, and one that require far less
work: use the binaries that qemu provides. Yes, I know its evil and
all that (and I agree). Except that in this case the binaries are made
form open code that's just hard to build (and absent investment in
infrastructure, won't get any easier) and for which upstream already
does the hard work. Further these binary firmwares are actually
running in an emulator and as such the possible damage is approaching
0. Will it be harder to debug? Maybe, but I doubt it. In fact, you
could make an argument that shipping the upstream bios builds is the
best way to get upstream support for our build.

I'm happy for this issue to go to FESCo, but I don't think this issue
should be dropped. Having the ability to test software on the
not-so-obscure PPC and SPARC (seriously, we ship sh4/m68k, but not
these two?) is a really important feature, the lack of which will cost
people real money (or worse, they'll just go to Debian/Ubuntu who seem
to have no problem packaging it).

And lastly, lest I just seem like I'm asking for stuff for free, let
me know what I can do to help.

Nathaniel
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Josh Boyer 09-15-2011 01:12 AM

When are Qemu SPARC/PPC coming back?
 
On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 8:45 PM, Nathaniel McCallum
<nathaniel@natemccallum.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 8:13 PM, Josh Boyer <jwboyer@gmail.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 7:29 PM, Nathaniel McCallum
>> <nathaniel@natemccallum.com> wrote:
>>> The context for this question can be found here:
>>> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/virt-maint/2011-March/002289.html
>>> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=679179
>>
>>> What I'm not fine with is that there seems to be no desire to bring
>>> these packages back. I spoke with several Red Hat virt people and the
>>> consensus was that SPARC/PPC "don't work." I beg to differ. I am
>>> building asm software on them right now. They are an invaluable
>>> software testing platform, even with their relative age.
>>>
>>> So in short, can we please bring back SPARC/PPC? I realize that we'll
>>> need a bit of build system magickery, but I really think its worth it.
>>
>> No. *Not magickery. *Basically, it needs a build-able openbios or SLOF
>> (in the ppc case). *And since Fedora doesn't provide cross
>> compilation, that is going to be hard to do in this case.
>>
>> As I see it, there is likely one option. *It is possible that we
>> leverage the secondary architecture builders for PPC and SPARC and
>> natively build the code, then allow an exception for i686/x86_64
>> packages to use that natively built openbios/slof. *It would need
>> FESCo approval, but exceptions for bootstrapping have been granted
>> before.
>>
>> All of this is predicated on someone stepping forward to do the work.
>> So far, we've found people that don't want to do the work but we need
>> to work the opposite angle.
>
> "No. Not magickery. ... Fedora doesn't provide cross compilation ..."
>
> How is this not magickery? Heck, even the build them natively and
> allow other arches to use them is magickery...

Not it's not. You build them as noarch. It's not magic at all.

> Of course, there is a second option, and one that require far less
> work: use the binaries that qemu provides. Yes, I know its evil and
> all that (and I agree). Except that in this case the binaries are made
> form open code that's just hard to build (and absent investment in
> infrastructure, won't get any easier) and for which upstream already
> does the hard work. Further these binary firmwares are actually
> running in an emulator and as such the possible damage is approaching
> 0. Will it be harder to debug? Maybe, but I doubt it. In fact, you
> could make an argument that shipping the upstream bios builds is the
> best way to get upstream support for our build.

You could try and get an exception from FESCo for that, yes. I'm not
sure it would be approved until someone actually tries building them
first.

josh
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Nathaniel McCallum 09-15-2011 01:19 AM

When are Qemu SPARC/PPC coming back?
 
On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 9:12 PM, Josh Boyer <jwboyer@gmail.com> wrote:
> On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 8:45 PM, Nathaniel McCallum
> <nathaniel@natemccallum.com> wrote:
>> On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 8:13 PM, Josh Boyer <jwboyer@gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 7:29 PM, Nathaniel McCallum
>>> <nathaniel@natemccallum.com> wrote:
>>>> The context for this question can be found here:
>>>> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/virt-maint/2011-March/002289.html
>>>> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=679179
>>>
>>>> What I'm not fine with is that there seems to be no desire to bring
>>>> these packages back. I spoke with several Red Hat virt people and the
>>>> consensus was that SPARC/PPC "don't work." I beg to differ. I am
>>>> building asm software on them right now. They are an invaluable
>>>> software testing platform, even with their relative age.
>>>>
>>>> So in short, can we please bring back SPARC/PPC? I realize that we'll
>>>> need a bit of build system magickery, but I really think its worth it.
>>>
>>> No. *Not magickery. *Basically, it needs a build-able openbios or SLOF
>>> (in the ppc case). *And since Fedora doesn't provide cross
>>> compilation, that is going to be hard to do in this case.
>>>
>>> As I see it, there is likely one option. *It is possible that we
>>> leverage the secondary architecture builders for PPC and SPARC and
>>> natively build the code, then allow an exception for i686/x86_64
>>> packages to use that natively built openbios/slof. *It would need
>>> FESCo approval, but exceptions for bootstrapping have been granted
>>> before.
>>>
>>> All of this is predicated on someone stepping forward to do the work.
>>> So far, we've found people that don't want to do the work but we need
>>> to work the opposite angle.
>>
>> "No. Not magickery. ... Fedora doesn't provide cross compilation ..."
>>
>> How is this not magickery? Heck, even the build them natively and
>> allow other arches to use them is magickery...
>
> Not it's not. *You build them as noarch. *It's not magic at all.
>
>> Of course, there is a second option, and one that require far less
>> work: use the binaries that qemu provides. Yes, I know its evil and
>> all that (and I agree). Except that in this case the binaries are made
>> form open code that's just hard to build (and absent investment in
>> infrastructure, won't get any easier) and for which upstream already
>> does the hard work. Further these binary firmwares are actually
>> running in an emulator and as such the possible damage is approaching
>> 0. Will it be harder to debug? Maybe, but I doubt it. In fact, you
>> could make an argument that shipping the upstream bios builds is the
>> best way to get upstream support for our build.
>
> You could try and get an exception from FESCo for that, yes. *I'm not
> sure it would be approved until someone actually tries building them
> first.

Care to walk me through the process?
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Tom Callaway 09-15-2011 02:50 PM

When are Qemu SPARC/PPC coming back?
 
On 09/14/2011 07:29 PM, Nathaniel McCallum wrote:
> The context for this question can be found here:
> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/virt-maint/2011-March/002289.html
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=679179
>
> So the summary is that openbios needs to be compiled on PPC/SPARC and
> then imported to the rest of the repos as noarch. Spot spoke with Josh
> Boyer who noted that PPC was prep-only (no longer true) and concluded
> based upon this two person conversation that PPC should be dropped
> since it wasn't useful for Fedora purposes (mainly the PPC port). No
> conversation was had about SPARC (which had the same problem) and it
> was dropped as well. In short, the bug didn't get very wide attention
> and support was dropped for two features in order to push the Beta
> release. All of this I'm actually fine with.
>
> What I'm not fine with is that there seems to be no desire to bring
> these packages back. I spoke with several Red Hat virt people and the
> consensus was that SPARC/PPC "don't work." I beg to differ. I am
> building asm software on them right now. They are an invaluable
> software testing platform, even with their relative age.
>
> So in short, can we please bring back SPARC/PPC?

At least for SPARC, there is no reason to enable it. It simply does not
work at all for SPARC64, and it doesn't do anything useful on SPARC32.

~tom

==
Fedora Project
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"Richard W.M. Jones" 09-15-2011 05:33 PM

When are Qemu SPARC/PPC coming back?
 
On Wed, Sep 14, 2011 at 07:29:09PM -0400, Nathaniel McCallum wrote:
> The context for this question can be found here:
> http://lists.fedoraproject.org/pipermail/virt-maint/2011-March/002289.html
> https://bugzilla.redhat.com/show_bug.cgi?id=679179
>
> So the summary is that openbios needs to be compiled on PPC/SPARC and
> then imported to the rest of the repos as noarch.

Did you look into how hard it would be to cross-compile it? Sounds
better than some sort of build hackery, particularly for users who
might want to build the whole thing from source themselves. Fedora
contains (multiple) cross-compilers so there is precedent for this.

Rich.

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