Linked by Bas v.d. Wiel on Thu 18th Dec 2003 05:12 UTC
Linux A couple of weeks ago TerraSoft released preliminary 64-bit ISO's of their flagship product, Yellow Dog Linux 3.0.1 (YDL), especially for owners of Apple's new G5 machines. I was pining for a chance to get an open source OS running in 64-bit mode so I quickly downloaded the three ISO's.
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Just curious ...
by Anonymous on Thu 18th Dec 2003 05:18 UTC

what applications do you run that needs a 64-bit processor?

RE: Just curious ...
by Anonymous on Thu 18th Dec 2003 05:19 UTC

did you say SETI ;)

RE: Just curious ...
by Eugenia on Thu 18th Dec 2003 05:21 UTC

Nothing. But it is nice to have it because it brings some speed boost and because it is the right time to have it and because you paid for it.

Once upon a time, in the 1980s, people were running on 16bit computers and I am sure some people at the time was asking the same question: "why do you need 32bit for?"

I'm a little bewildered
by Anonymous on Thu 18th Dec 2003 05:30 UTC

Honestly, I thought Linux will be at the forefront of adopting 64-bit computing. I was told it was as simple as recompiling all your apps with 64 bit flags via GCC and voila. But from what I've observed, it's nothing as smooth as running 32-bit Linux. What exactly is the problem? The inavailability of 64-bit drivers?

re: I'm a little bewildered
by Christopher X on Thu 18th Dec 2003 05:58 UTC

Not all apps can be guarenteed to be 64-bit clean, it depends on the app. Linux, the kernel, has been 64-bit capable for years and years now - the Alpha port happened in 1993 I believe. Apps? Most, I'd bet, should recomplile fine but there will always be some that will have issues.

re: re: I'm a little bewildered
by th on Thu 18th Dec 2003 06:18 UTC

Not all apps can be guarenteed to be 64-bit clean, it depends on the app. Linux, the kernel, has been 64-bit capable for years and years now - the Alpha port happened in 1993 I believe. Apps? Most, I'd bet, should recomplile fine but there will always be some that will have issues.

Yes, there is no such thing as new technology which works out of the box. 64 bit hardware is here, it works, it works well - I'm sure software people will update their proggies one by one as they get that hardware in their hands.

Why Linux?
by Traal on Thu 18th Dec 2003 06:58 UTC

What advantages would Linux have over OSX? Is OSX not tuned or compiled for 64-bit computing on the G5?

Kernel panic
by Sahil on Thu 18th Dec 2003 06:59 UTC

> In the higher resolution the install CD would boot, and soon afterwards give a string of errors with a full-blown kernel panic as the climax. I only found the remedy to this after a good bit of searching on the web and in newsgroups.

What was the panic string? How did you solve it? Not that I own a G5 ... ;)
Just curious.

re: Why Linux?
by Anonymous on Thu 18th Dec 2003 07:10 UTC

Traal, i'm almost certain osx isn't a 64bit real deal yet.

it's in transition.

probably be done when linux is done.

RE: Why Linux?
by Anonymous on Thu 18th Dec 2003 07:13 UTC

Linux scales excellently well on two processors, most especially with 2.6. I don't know how well compared to OS X though. Even though I have an iMac and I like it, I still can't live without Linux. :-) Whenever I'm in h4xxOr or l33T mode, I switch to linux. That will be 90% of the time.

Well...
by Anonymous on Thu 18th Dec 2003 09:17 UTC

"But from what I've observed, it's nothing as smooth as running 32-bit Linux."

That's because PC are 98% of the market of Linux. So very few people work on powerpc even fewer on PPC64.

AMD64 is different because you could mixed normal x86 code and x86-64 code without problem. Speed up are around 20%. Mostly by the doubling of the number of register i beleive. But what about G5 ?

Re: Traal
by Bascule on Thu 18th Dec 2003 10:52 UTC

What advantages would Linux have over OSX? Is OSX not tuned or compiled for 64-bit computing on the G5?

There are a lot of disadvantages to both at the present time.

OS X suffers from a lack of a 64-bit ABI and userland. This is most likely due to the incredible work which is required for Apple to modify their Cocoa development tools to support a secondary binary format, as the current Mach-O format dates back over a decade to NeXT. Consequently, applications can only address 4GB at a time (which can be somewhat disadvantageous if you're considering using the G5 for a scientific modelling program in which one process uses 8GB of RAM) and code which makes large usage of 64-bit integers does not see a performance boost.

The important thing to consider is that when Apple does define a new 64-bit ABI for MacOS X, they can address a number of problems limiting the performance of the current ABI. Consequently, when the 64-bit rollout occurs on OS X, it should result in an overall system performance increase of 10%-20% from the new ABI alone.

The biggest drawback of 64-bit Linux on the G5 right now is, in my opinion, the software controlled fans. The G5 is a marvelously silent machine... when running OS X. However, with no software regulating the fans, they default to their maximum speed, transforming the G5 from quiet elegance to a noisy monster. This may or may not be a problem for everyone, but it's certain to wear out the fans faster.

re: Bascule - RTFA ;-)
by Christopher X on Thu 18th Dec 2003 11:02 UTC

Bascule said -
"The biggest drawback of 64-bit Linux on the G5 right now is, in my opinion, the software controlled fans."

from the article -
"YellowDog Linux 3, obviously derived from RedHat Linux 8.0, came with working fan control. My G5 seems even quieter in Linux than it is using Apple's own OS but getting YellowDog to run in a usable way was quite an endeavour."

I'm personally shocked how fast Linux got support to control the fans, I had thought that might have been difficult and Apple would be less then helpful. Was the fan control code in Darwin 7? I dunno.

Next Stable YDL?
by Christopher X on Thu 18th Dec 2003 11:04 UTC

Anyone know when that might be? I own a G5 and I'd like to, once its stable, run Linux on my second HD. From the article it sounds like Linux and Mac OS X don't necissarily get along, would having Linux on a second HD help aleviate some of that?

RE: But what about G5 ?
by W Tarchalski on Thu 18th Dec 2003 11:30 UTC

You can compile apps with AltiVec™ gcc vector extensions.

some benchmarks will soon appear here: http://findsabrina.org/altivec/

Re: Well
by Behrang on Thu 18th Dec 2003 12:30 UTC

"But from what I've observed, it's nothing as smooth as running 32-bit Linux."

That's because PC are 98% of the market of Linux. So very few people work on powerpc even fewer on PPC64.

AMD64 is different because you could mixed normal x86 code and x86-64 code without problem. Speed up are around 20%. Mostly by the doubling of the number of register i beleive. But what about G5 ?


ALAIK PowerPC G5s also allow to run both 32-bit and 64-bit applications.

Re: Traal
by Carlie J. Coats, Jr. on Thu 18th Dec 2003 14:11 UTC

There are a lot of disadvantages to both at the present time... OS X suffers from a lack of a 64-bit ABI and userland... disadvantageous if you're considering using the G5 for a scientific modelling program...

And you can get the IBM xlc and xlf compilers (which you'll want for those mini-supercomputing projects) only for OS X ;-( (see http://www-306.ibm.com/software/awdtools/ccompilers/ and see also http://hpc.sourceforge.net/index2.php#ibm )

re: Sahil
by Bas v.d. Wiel on Thu 18th Dec 2003 14:13 UTC

I didn't write down the exact strings. I searched on Google Groups for kernel panics at boot time on a G5 and it came up with a suggestion to lower screen resolution from OSX. This works excellently even though it's just a patchwork solution to a problem that still needs dealing with. I'm sure TerraSoft (or someone else) will resolve this issue soon enough..

re: Just curious ...
by Observer on Thu 18th Dec 2003 14:14 UTC

>> what applications do you run that needs a 64-bit processor?

E.g., 24-bit (16 million colors) only allows for 256 shades of grey (and less of other colors). You need more bits for a cinema-like experience.

If you are lucky, this reply won't be modded off-topic.

re just curious
by heh on Thu 18th Dec 2003 16:41 UTC

>> >> what applications do you run that needs a 64-bit processor?

>>E.g., 24-bit (16 million colors) only allows for 256 shades >>of grey (and less of other colors). You need more bits for a >>cinema-like experience.

actually that's just for graphic table ;) ie, for your video card. you can run 32bit colors on a 8bit cpu.
64bit cpus allow for example more memory to be addressed (32bits are 2G, and a bit more with various tricks, 64bits should be in teras or something)
also it allows to process a 64bit unit in one pass, instead of segmenting it, stuff like that

Graphics mode
by Rob Sanders on Thu 18th Dec 2003 16:51 UTC

I've been running in 1600x1200 at 16 bits since the second beta
release from Terra Soft. Here's how I did it:
boot with video=fbonly on your yaboot line
as root, run Xautoconfig --safe to generate a basic 800x600 screen
startx
go in to the Display menu and under the advanced options
select your monitor, graphics memory, and select generic OF
compatable FB (I've got the Radeon 9600). Close X and restart
I then went in to the XF86Config file in /etc/X11 and modified
my resolution and screen depth to 1600x1200 and 16 bits.

I'm also dual booting YDL and OS X without any problems....


This worked for me.....
G5 2.0ghz(x2), Radeon 9600, 512Mb, Viewsonic P810.

YDL != the only linux
by Josh on Thu 18th Dec 2003 17:35 UTC

hmm yellowdog. a lot of mac users use that, but lets not forget their are different distros for mac as well... Mandrake, Gentoo, Debian, slackintosh.... I doubt all of them are up to par with Gentoo when it comes to the g5. YellowDog does only PPC solutions. So obviously theyre going to have an edge. Other distros on linux might be their might not. So its fair to say you cant judge the linux envoirnment on PPC untill you tried different versions. Mandrake barely put g3 optimizations into its latest distro mind you @_@, and its only 9.1. Why do i feel always that macs get jipped lol.

oops
by Josh on Thu 18th Dec 2003 17:37 UTC

Correction i meant up to par with YDL*. though Gentoo should be high up there since they do optimizations will all processors

Interesting...
by Henry on Thu 18th Dec 2003 18:50 UTC

First of all, I agree; my dual G5 is probably the best computer I've ever bought. 8)

I'm interested in how much the native 64-bit Linux would help performance. I think that GCC 3.3 and XLC will generate binaries on OS X that use 64-bit math on G5s (when dealing with 64-bit integers, for instance), but still only allow for dealing with 32-bits worth of addressable memory. Come kind of mySQL benchmark or something between 64-bit Linux and 32-bit OS X would be interesting to me.

We don't need no 64-bit computers. My Atari 400 with 4k of RAM, no hard drive, no floppy drive, works great. Just load and save stuff using an audio tape. No one should need more than 4k or RAM or a hard drive.

(Note: The above is the first "PC" I ever used. My best is an 800mhz G4 iMac now. Eventually I'll get to 64 bit computing...)

Seriously though. Can anyone seriously think that everything is optimized for 64 bit computing when it came out a couple months ago? Two years from now you'll be wondering how we ever got along with 32 bit computers... jeez. Talk about impatience.

Re: Christopher X
by Bascule on Thu 18th Dec 2003 20:54 UTC

Bascule said -
"The biggest drawback of 64-bit Linux on the G5 right now is, in my opinion, the software controlled fans."

from the article -
"YellowDog Linux 3, obviously derived from RedHat Linux 8.0, came with working fan control. My G5 seems even quieter in Linux than it is using Apple's own OS but getting YellowDog to run in a usable way was quite an endeavour."

I'm personally shocked how fast Linux got support to control the fans, I had thought that might have been difficult and Apple would be less then helpful. Was the fan control code in Darwin 7? I dunno.


Wow, RTFA bascule ;)

Well, color me impressed. Now the big question for me is... does IBM's XL Fortran compiler for Linux work on a G5?

what about the upcoming Pegasos G5 platforms?
by Ed on Thu 18th Dec 2003 21:35 UTC

I know it is currently vaporware (See 5th paragraph of http://www.genesi.lu/press_20031204.php), but does anyone feel like speculating on the geek coolness of running Linux on that platform once (if) it offers workstation level performance, and does anyone feel in a position to speculate whether the Pegasos will actually enter the market with SMP G5s anytime this year? Their G4 and G5 machines already run ports of several Linux distributions.

-- Ed

re: what about the upcoming Pegasos G5 platforms?
by Ed on Thu 18th Dec 2003 22:24 UTC

> Their G4 and G5 machines already run ports of several Linux distributions.

I mean their existing G3 and G4 platforms.

I'd rather wonder how fast their FSB will be.
(remember, that it's RISC)

Where download ??
by G5 on Fri 26th Dec 2003 17:30 UTC

Where I can download G5 isos YDL 3.0.1
because I don't have YDL.net Enhanced account and I desire g5-testdriver ??