Slashdot: Linux And The PowerPC Architecture

Speaking of porting software, you’d be amazed how much of
it compiles just fine on the PowerPC architecture. Since a great
number of tools are available in source code form for Linux,
porting it over to another platform isn’t that difficult
, and
crosses the great divide between the ‘IBM’ and ‘Macintosh’ sections
of the virtual software store. I also got to speak to Ani Joshi, a
University of Maryland student that’s also working hard to make
more things work on PowerPC Linux.”

“When I go about porting software, I first build it alongside
with my x86 machines. I make sure there is no inline assembly which
could cause problems, and if there is then I break out my x86
assembly manuals and start porting to straight PowerPC asm for
those routines. Otherwise our glibc (thanks to our gcc/glibc man
Franz Sirl) is very helpful and will assist me in any
cross-platform code in the app. If there is some x86 non-asm code
in there, it should not be a problem for us as we have very good
userland libraries which allow a clean powerpc ‘solution’ to the
problem. As for performance in LinuxPPC, I’d say people will be
very happy with the G4’s performance, especially once more people
start enhancing software for the AltiVec unit. Our CPU’s speak for
themselves; the PPC platform is quite strong, in our humble

“There’s also a philosophical problem sometimes. Some of the
people we talk to have heard all these wonderful things about Linux
and are expecting it to be as easy and polished as the Mac OS.
That’s a hard standard to live up to. It’s NOT easy – Don’t believe
the hype. Putting Linux on the desktop still very much depends on
educating the desktop user. A lot of them have no interest in such
education and rightly so.”