Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386 - Powerpc

This is a discussion on Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386 - Powerpc ; I am in the process of installing (well, trying to...) Fedora Core 6 on a surplus Macintosh G4 PPC. The plan is to use it as a server for the clients of our consulting business, running things like gnats, bugzilla, ...

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Thread: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

  1. Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386


    I am in the process of installing (well, trying to...) Fedora Core 6 on a
    surplus Macintosh G4 PPC. The plan is to use it as a server for the
    clients of our consulting business, running things like gnats, bugzilla,
    subversion, and various and assorted other business-type applications.

    I am wondering if trying to run all of this on a PowerPC platform might be
    letting us in for more problems than we need right now.

    Specifically, are applications available for the PowerPC pretty much as
    often as they are for i386, or do available applications for i386 far
    outrun those for PPC?

    I am generally quite capable of building my own from sources, but often
    that doesn't work as well as I would like, due to some library or module
    that's missing or not in the location the source makefile expects to find
    it (ran into this problem with subversion on another installation and
    never did really fix it, so had to find and use ready-built binaries).

    So, if you had to put up a server for your clients to use, and it had to
    be able to run a fairly wide variety of business and development
    applications, would you feel safe with a PPC platform or would you be
    safer with i386?

    Thanks...


  2. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    I would recommend Gentoo for PPC. It has a huge load of software and
    good support forum.
    praveen

    Eric wrote:
    > I am in the process of installing (well, trying to...) Fedora Core 6 on a
    > surplus Macintosh G4 PPC. The plan is to use it as a server for the
    > clients of our consulting business, running things like gnats, bugzilla,
    > subversion, and various and assorted other business-type applications.
    >
    > I am wondering if trying to run all of this on a PowerPC platform might be
    > letting us in for more problems than we need right now.
    >
    > Specifically, are applications available for the PowerPC pretty much as
    > often as they are for i386, or do available applications for i386 far
    > outrun those for PPC?
    >
    > I am generally quite capable of building my own from sources, but often
    > that doesn't work as well as I would like, due to some library or module
    > that's missing or not in the location the source makefile expects to find
    > it (ran into this problem with subversion on another installation and
    > never did really fix it, so had to find and use ready-built binaries).
    >
    > So, if you had to put up a server for your clients to use, and it had to
    > be able to run a fairly wide variety of business and development
    > applications, would you feel safe with a PPC platform or would you be
    > safer with i386?
    >
    > Thanks...
    >



    --
    http://pc.freeshell.org

  3. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    On Thu, 26 Apr 2007 09:22:09 +0200, Praveen C wrote:

    > I would recommend Gentoo for PPC. It has a huge load of software and
    > good support forum.


    Good morning, Praveen.

    Well, OK, but I was asking more in terms of application software, that run
    on any Linux distro.

    Some applications may only be available in binary form (e.g. VMware,
    Understand for C++) and may not be available for the PPC regardless of
    distro. I'm just trying to get a feel for how prevalent that is.


  4. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    Hi Éric,

    If you are interested in big-endian Linux distributions with PPC



    I will install it on my dual-G4@1.25GHz soon.

    Regards,

    -- François LE COAT
    Author of Eureka 2.12 (2D Graph Describer, 3D Modeller)
    http://eureka.atari.org/

    Eric wrote :
    > I am in the process of installing (well, trying to...) Fedora Core 6 on a
    > surplus Macintosh G4 PPC. The plan is to use it as a server for the
    > clients of our consulting business, running things like gnats, bugzilla,
    > subversion, and various and assorted other business-type applications.
    >
    > I am wondering if trying to run all of this on a PowerPC platform might be
    > letting us in for more problems than we need right now.
    >
    > Specifically, are applications available for the PowerPC pretty much as
    > often as they are for i386, or do available applications for i386 far
    > outrun those for PPC?
    >
    > I am generally quite capable of building my own from sources, but often
    > that doesn't work as well as I would like, due to some library or module
    > that's missing or not in the location the source makefile expects to find
    > it (ran into this problem with subversion on another installation and
    > never did really fix it, so had to find and use ready-built binaries).
    >
    > So, if you had to put up a server for your clients to use, and it had to
    > be able to run a fairly wide variety of business and development
    > applications, would you feel safe with a PPC platform or would you be
    > safer with i386?


  5. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    On Wed, 25 Apr 2007 18:17:10 -0400,
    Eric , in
    wrote:
    >+
    >+ I am in the process of installing (well, trying to...) Fedora Core 6 on a
    >+ surplus Macintosh G4 PPC. The plan is to use it as a server for the
    >+ clients of our consulting business, running things like gnats, bugzilla,
    >+ subversion, and various and assorted other business-type applications.


    "various and assorted other business-type applications"? there's a
    hole in the ground with no bottom. If you can provide a (hopefully)
    short list of show-stopper must-have applications, it is more likely a
    more specific answer than "maybe" can be provided.

    >+ I am wondering if trying to run all of this on a PowerPC platform might be
    >+ letting us in for more problems than we need right now.


    It depends. If by "business-type applications" you mean "must be able
    to run a Lotus Notes client", then no, the PPC solution will not
    satisfy that requirement.

    --
    Consulting Minister for Consultants, DNRC
    I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow
    isn't looking good, either.
    I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.

  6. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    Hi,

    > Well, OK, but I was asking more in terms of application software, that
    > run on any Linux distro.
    >
    > Some applications may only be available in binary form (e.g. VMware,
    > Understand for C++) and may not be available for the PPC regardless of
    > distro. I'm just trying to get a feel for how prevalent that is.


    Well I think the reason that Praveen mentioned Gentoo is that it is a
    source distribution. That is the entire system, applications included, are
    built by downloading source and building for the current platfom using
    automated scripts.

    Obviously this doesn't help with closed source code. If you need closed
    source code that is only available for x86, you have your answer. I don't.

    HTH,
    John McCallum

  7. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    On Thu, 26 Apr 2007 16:04:47 +0100, John McCallum wrote:

    > Obviously this doesn't help with closed source code. If you need closed
    > source code that is only available for x86, you have your answer. I don't.


    Good morning, John.

    I'm looking for answers in more general terms.

    As IRA Darth Aggie correctly noted, just saying "various and assorted
    applications" doesn't help much with specifics.

    The unfortunate fact is, though, that I don't know what applications I
    will be called on to run. I do know, for example, that one of my partners
    thinks that Subversion is a "toy" and not suitable for serious work
    (despite the fact that many organizations use it every day for projects
    orders of magnitude larger than anything with which we'll ever be
    involved) and is pushing hard for a commercial replacement revision
    control system like PVCS or ClearCase. Should we be fortunate enough (or
    UNfortunate enough, depending on your point of view) to find anything like
    that that runs on Linux at all, then there would be the other issue of
    i386 vs PPC. And that's only one example.

    So, if I got answers back from people's personal experience that said "I
    could only find PPC versions of about half the stuff I needed to run" or
    "I have found that almost everything that's available for i386 is also
    available for PPC", those would be helpful answers and certainly all I
    could expect or hope for given the limited information that I possess to
    provide at this time.

    I'm looking for some kind of feeling about whether I'm likely to run into
    trouble in the future. I realize that anything any of you could say would
    be educated guesses at best ("educated" in the sense that you all have
    worlds more experience running Linux on PPC than I do).

    All of this is probably moot if I can't figure out how to make the thing
    boot (per my other post "Fedora Core 6 Won't Boot On Macintosh G4 PPC"
    from yesterday afternoon).


  8. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    If you have to run closed source binaries on Linux/PPC then you may be
    in trouble since it is not commonly supported by software vendors.

    --
    http://pc.freeshell.org

  9. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    On Thu, 26 Apr 2007 11:33:34 -0400,
    Eric , in
    wrote:

    >+ will be called on to run. I do know, for example, that one of my partners
    >+ thinks that Subversion is a "toy" and not suitable for serious
    >+ work


    It's people like this that make me want to be a consultant.

    But that simplifies your current situation: just go with an Intel
    chipset and not bother looking back. Of course, that begs the
    question: x32 or x64?

    And if you could, please have your partner to pay for shipping your
    "surplus" PPC machine to me. Thanks!

    --
    Consulting Minister for Consultants, DNRC
    I can please only one person per day. Today is not your day. Tomorrow
    isn't looking good, either.
    I am BOFH. Resistance is futile. Your network will be assimilated.

  10. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    On 2007-04-26, Eric wrote:
    >
    > The unfortunate fact is, though, that I don't know what applications I
    > will be called on to run.


    Well, the best way to anticipate future unknown needs is to go x86. If
    you can go x86_64 (i.e., AMD's 64bit chips), you should be covered every
    which way: you can run 32bit and 64 bit x86 apps, even the proprietary
    ones.

    If you really want to stick with PPC, if you do happen to find a
    showstopper application, it might run from within OS X through MOL.
    MOL is the moral equivalent to VMWare, in that it lets you run OS X from
    within linux.

    > So, if I got answers back from people's personal experience that said "I
    > could only find PPC versions of about half the stuff I needed to run" or
    > "I have found that almost everything that's available for i386 is also
    > available for PPC", those would be helpful answers and certainly all I
    > could expect or hope for given the limited information that I possess to
    > provide at this time.


    I don't think those answers would be helpful at all. If your client
    says "We must run X!", and X only runs on x86, then it doesn't matter if
    I've found only a few things which don't run on my ppc box--your client
    will be peeved if he can't run X, no matter what we say.

    FWIW, I've only found a few things I want which don't run on my ppc box,
    like plugins for Firefox (e.g., Flash, Shockwave) and a few things I
    have trouble with but haven't bothered to fix (e.g., MOL, openoffice).

    --keith

    --
    kkeller-usenet@wombat.san-francisco.ca.us
    (try just my userid to email me)
    AOLSFAQ=http://www.therockgarden.ca/aolsfaq.txt
    see X- headers for PGP signature information


  11. Re: Availability of software for Linux PPC vs i386

    Hi Éric,

    Here is the installation guide for Yellow Dog Linux on PPC machines



    The free ISO image was put online yesterday.

    Regards,

    -- François LE COAT
    Author of Eureka 2.12 (2D Graph Describer, 3D Modeller)
    http://eureka.atari.org/

    Francois LE COAT a écrit :
    > If you are interested in big-endian Linux distributions with PPC
    >
    >
    >
    > I will install it on my dual-G4@1.25GHz soon.
    >
    > Eric wrote :
    >> I am in the process of installing (well, trying to...) Fedora Core 6 on a
    >> surplus Macintosh G4 PPC. The plan is to use it as a server for the
    >> clients of our consulting business, running things like gnats, bugzilla,
    >> subversion, and various and assorted other business-type applications.
    >>
    >> I am wondering if trying to run all of this on a PowerPC platform
    >> might be
    >> letting us in for more problems than we need right now.
    >>
    >> Specifically, are applications available for the PowerPC pretty much as
    >> often as they are for i386, or do available applications for i386 far
    >> outrun those for PPC?
    >>
    >> I am generally quite capable of building my own from sources, but often
    >> that doesn't work as well as I would like, due to some library or module
    >> that's missing or not in the location the source makefile expects to find
    >> it (ran into this problem with subversion on another installation and
    >> never did really fix it, so had to find and use ready-built binaries).
    >>
    >> So, if you had to put up a server for your clients to use, and it had to
    >> be able to run a fairly wide variety of business and development
    >> applications, would you feel safe with a PPC platform or would you be
    >> safer with i386?



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