Home > Linux > Yellow Dog Linux sticks with PowerPC Yellow Dog Linux sticks with PowerPC Eugenia Loli 2005-06-07 Linux 33 Comments Yellow Dog Linux will remain a Linux development company with 100% focus on the Power Architecture (IBM, Freescale). They will not transition to support an x86/ia64 architecture. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 33 Comments 2005-06-07 5:52 am then more Power to them. (pun intended) 2005-06-07 6:19 am I’m not trying to say no one makes them any more, but now that Apple is planning to switch to X86 who is left that uses PPC processors in actual computers? I know of only one company that still makes PPC computers, it used to use morphos as the OS before ending up on bad terms with them but I can’t remember who they were any more (maybe genesi?), and their computers didn’t look as nice as Macs. 2005-06-07 6:28 am IBM does 2005-06-07 6:29 am Some people manage to be more stubborn the Stevie Wonder… 2005-06-07 6:37 am I am sure IBM incorporate their chips in servers. But which comapnies produce PPC desktops? 2005-06-07 6:52 am http://www-132.ibm.com/content/home/store_IBMPublicUSA/en_US/eServe… Not exactly a desktop but oh well :-P. 2005-06-07 7:17 am It seems Linux will become the de facto PPC software platform over time. 2005-06-07 7:52 am With Apple ditching the PowerPC architecture, there is even less reason now for companies to support PPC Linux. Thus, it’ll be a long time before there’ll be a workable Java and Flash plugin on PPC Linux. You can also forget about ATI and nVidia drivers or Broadcom releasing anything other than vapour. 2005-06-07 8:16 am bye bye yellowdog. 2005-06-07 9:30 am Yellowdog supporting x86 would be recreating redhat. yellowdog is just redhat recompiled for ppc. 2005-06-07 9:38 am Why would a GNU/Linux distribution vendor focusing on PowerPC (which is, and has been, more than just about Apple’s products) automatically and without further ado merely ape Apple and go straight over to x86, just like all the mainstream distribution vendors? Next up, OSNews demands comment about whether Ubuntu will drop PowerPC in the next release – something which might be interesting to hear about, but really not the Earth-stopping news that the Apple-obsessed think it is. It’s more interesting to ask what the roadmap is for all those aging soon-to-be-legacy Macs. Will they all be running GNU/Linux or one of the free BSDs in the future? Apple probably doesn’t have a position on that since, contrary to the imagination of the cheerleaders (and especially those who thought Intel would be manufacturing PowerPC CPUs – presumably inhaling strong substances at the time), it’s all about getting shiny new products out of the door and keeping that revenue stream up. Ask anyone with an old Apple product, or for that matter, anyone who had NeXT hardware. 2005-06-07 10:30 am Amiga, GENESI, IBM are the names that appear in my mind but sure there are more 2005-06-07 11:46 am Amiga only makes software now… I have not see any new amiga hardware. rumors yes, hardware no (vaporware yes) Genesis does exist but with an instal base being very small….that says it all 2005-06-07 11:59 am Undoubtedly the Yellow Dog Linux project has been hurt by this. Their primary selling point seems to be “Bought a Mac? Want to run Linux? Yellow Dog Linux!”. However, PPC Macs will be around for a long time to come. People are quite prepared to throw away that $1000 PC they bought just a couple of years ago into the trash, but a Mac is quite different – they live on for years. There’ll be Macs around for many years to come, and therefore users for Yellow Dog (and Ubuntu) on the desktop PPC platform. We’ll have to wait a few years to see how this really affects their business. If (or when) the the interest in PPC Linux starts to die down, will they be able to justify sticking around in this market? 2005-06-07 12:04 pm >Amiga, GENESI, IBM are the names that appear in my mind but sure there are more Mai+Bplan: how many boards a year ? let’s be nice: 5000 ? 10 000 ? Who would produce a CPU for so little boards ? IBM produces PPC desktop PCs ? That’s new to me… Leo. 2005-06-07 12:07 pm At the begining of Apple they where an ODM ( Original design manufacturer ), Now Apple just like Yellow Dog as become an OEM ( Original Equipment Manufacturer.) they use somebody elses hardware and add value ( software , service , financing , design etc … ), If I where Mandriva Management , Yellow Dog Management , Ubuntu Management , Gentoo Management , etc , I would get everyone in the same room and discuss the value of grouping togheter for support on the PPC platform and Offer to PPC ODM to become OEM for them and to make 1 really big groupped PPC lab to work on the driver device for everyone. The time to act is now otherwise the ODM manufacturer will think that no one whants to support these platform and switch to making something else. For those who think its a bad idea as the hardware is perceived by them as obsolete , its not the case at all , PPC ODM are working hard on there next generation CPU , IBM is still investng Billion IN R&D and Motorola does too , its just late to deliver and Apple is fed up on waiting. Also it would be a ggod time to ask those ODM for OPEN spec and Open Hardware. Its not like with software where everyone can decide to build a CPU fab the next day and start making CPU … This could be the first really big step in the start of the Open Hardware war , Remember on the software side at the beginning there whas nothing at all. Now Look how GNU/Linux as built it for everyone. ODM : original design manufacturer OEM : An OEM is a company that builds systems (often related to electronics, e.g. computers) using components bought in bulk from other manufacturers. 2005-06-07 12:30 pm I’m pretty sure IBM did make PowerPC desktops under the RS/6000 line. They also had laptops, the Thinkpad Power Series 820, 830 and 850, which ran AIX. The RS/6000s from that period of time I believe were all PowerPC Reference Platform (PReP) machines. A couple of select models were to support OS/2 PowerPC Edition (Workplace OS, A Mach-based rewrite of the OS/2 kernel). Motorola had it’s own systems, like the PowerStack RISC PC. They disappeared once Microsoft dropped support for PowerPC for their NT operating system. Besides the ones mentioned in previous posts, no other company manufactures PowerPC/POWER desktops. Companies like Bull do design and sell servers though. Maybe we can see a change with the Power.org companies coming up with another reference design so that desktops can be derived from it, so who knows? If that happens then we would need other companies willing to sell the thing, shops selling parts, etc. It wouldn’t have worked years ago when proprietary operating systems were the norm but when you systems like Linux and *BSD running on anything these days, why not? It would be nice competition for Intel/AMD. 2005-06-07 12:37 pm Give the fact that I just hosed our XServe clusters to put Tiger on it and that it appears that OSX has relatively poor performace for thread creation, I for one am going to pursue a relationship with a linuxPPC provider that I can use to deploy on my research clusters and laboratory servers. I imagine that others will as well. As a result, I suspect that ydl will e in for an increase in customers in the near future. 2005-06-07 12:55 pm might of just had a niche open up for them…. interesting at least! 2005-06-07 1:38 pm Yellowdog has always been a nice player, I think a great move for them would be to contract someone to put together systems. Even when apple moves to x86, the majority of embedded development occurs on powerpc. I know many companies who’s development systems are G4 macs. Hell I’m using a G5 right now. 2005-06-07 1:59 pm I think you made a nice point here. I guess IBM could deliver some specs on CPU and boards, and I am confident that linux on PPC will grow quite fast in the next years, substituting OSX on actual Macs. I run Debian on my iBook myself, and start OSX just once in a while to check if it’s still there. But they are almost 10GB wasted. Personal likes, ok? The bad part will always be the graphics: involving one of the “minors” (matrox?) in an “open spec” or at least fully supported card could be a nice breakthrough, but that would take a lot of money, probably not worth it since in the end IBM needs linux for servers, not desktops (please note that I don’t give nothing on games, but it would be nice to use the latest and greatest eyecandy on linux-PPC too) 2005-06-07 3:02 pm Some little hidden info is included in the referenced email: “Things are already in motion to enable a world of greater Power Architecture diversity” I think that IBM will go full speed with their Cell workstations idea and simply let go Apple because they do not wanted someone pulling them back 2005-06-07 3:15 pm Now there is absolutely no reason to use YDL. Maybe now it will go away… 2005-06-07 3:39 pm I remember that about 5 years ago, you could buy a “boxer” PPC computer or a “briq” server from Terrasoft. This might be the time for them to get back into that business. PPC, with its lower temps does have a place the server world. If YDL can find a price point for dual G4/G5/Cell low-midrange servers that’s less than what IBM wants for a heavy duty Power system, this could work. OTOH, I’ve tried YDL and really wasn’t that impressed. Then again, they had problems because they had to reverse engineer Apple’s proprietary sound and sleep systems with mixed results. If they could pull a “we make the whole widget” approach and guarantee problem free hardware/software integration then they might have a future. 2005-06-07 3:45 pm People are quite prepared to throw away that $1000 PC they bought just a couple of years ago into the trash, but a Mac is quite different – they live on for years. Not really. One of the reasons Apple upgrades or changes the model of their hardware often is to force the image concious Mac audience to remain in vogue. So I am sure we will see alot of cheaply priced powerpc’s on ebay in the next several months. 2005-06-07 3:59 pm YDL is a great company, with a great product. I hope they stick it out. as for Apple they will wake up and realize their foolish move, PPC is the future (RISC), x86 (CISC) is the past, i.e. dead (it just needs to be buried). C’mmon Apple wake the ‘f’ up, go back to PPC. 2005-06-07 4:34 pm IT’s in the OS/design not the chip that makes a mac. Zealots are so lame! 2005-06-07 6:36 pm So I am sure we will see alot of cheaply priced powerpc’s on ebay in the next several months. That’s the point. When people need to upgrade they’re far more willing to sell the box on ebay than throw it out, and there’s a lot of people willing to buy an old Mac. Which is why PPC Macs will be around for many years to come. 2005-06-07 6:41 pm Personally, I believe that the OS design AND the hardware behind it being elegant in its design and implementation to be what makes a better computer (Amiga, Mac, etc…) vs the idea of pushing the legacy of x86 components faster and faster. Though there is something to be said for just cranking the clockspeeds along with more tech slapped on the silicon to gain the performance, the same can be said for stepping back and designing something from the ground up to be efficient and do more with what some would consider to be less (but I just think of as different). 2005-06-07 7:25 pm Well I guess I better cancel my YDL subscription quick. The yellow dog has no choice it cant compete with UBUNTU, FEDORA, SUSE, Debian, Mandrake, etc etc etc on X86. As soon as Apple abandons PPC there is no platform for Yellow. People say apple is expensive – check out the price of other PPC kit and it looks CHEAP. 2005-06-07 9:25 pm I hope you aren’t concluding that threading performance is bad because the LMBench results of the recent review were bad. If you are, you’ll need to know that LMBench benchmarks fork() and exec() which deal with _process_ creation, not thread creation. It is still a mystery as to why Apache and MySQL performed so poorly in Johan’s article. 2005-06-08 7:12 am IBM’s cell workstations won’t be competing with Wintel boxes, so they will probably be priced for universities and government sites, ie expensive. The fact that IBM will be pumping out Cells by the truckload for PS3s is irrelevant, IBM will have a nice cash cow that they will want to milk for all it’s worth. 2005-06-08 10:03 am Amiga (AmigaOne) motherboards do exist but in very small quantities. They are not really a stock item. However, if you wanted a couple of hundred for some industrial use, they would be made for you. The Pegasos board from Genesi is I believe more readily available. Both of these products are aimed at industrial/embedded markets.