Home > Linux > Linux Boots on Early POWER5 Hardware Linux Boots on Early POWER5 Hardware Eugenia Loli 2003-05-25 Linux 15 Comments This is one of the original boot logs for Linux on a POWER5 IBM microprocessor. Linux was ported to POWER5 at an IBM Lab in Austin Texas. The port was done with pre-production hardware. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 15 Comments 2003-05-25 2:48 am I forwarded this one to my mum and a few aunts. I wonder what they will make of it. 2003-05-25 3:39 am ? 2003-05-25 5:18 am Read the subject..and yes i’m reffering to an earlier story..and Yes I’m being sarcastic about the osx benchmark 2003-05-25 5:35 am woo, boot logs are fun! wheee :^D 2003-05-25 5:51 am I think that after the (partial) boot the system did freeze… [I wonder if they had a reset button] 2003-05-25 6:41 am However, I would love to see IBM make available to the public the ability to buy system boards and CPU’s. IMHO, it would be please me if IBM developed a Power5 Standard and allowed companies to produce “Power5 compatible” motherboards and components, and thus, have a true competitor to the Wintel monster. Linux 2.6 + Mono + GNOME 2.8/3.0 + Evolution 2.0 + Mozilla 1.6 + OpenOffice.org would be a perfect combo competitor to what is available now. What will make the situation easier is by establishing a standard for component makers, those who fully comply then are listed by IBM as a partner. This will allow three things to happen, firstly it would allow competition, secondly, allow greater flexuibility to the user and assemblers and thirdly, developing Linux for the platform will be easier as there will be a establised target platform where by the programmer doesn’t have to second guess what hardware combination the user has. 2003-05-25 7:23 am Ahem, the Power5 is *not* a desktop chip. Take a look at the specs on it, and think again. At best, you might use it in a very high end workstation. But the Power4 machines they sell now, if you take a look, don’t have prices listed on the website. Why? They cost $30k. All that said, IBM does sell its powerpc desktop chips to other makers. The two problems with that are: Right now, the fastest IBM ppc chip is the 750/760, aka G3. Those only go up to around 1ghz. They’re not performance slouches, but can really only be compared against things like the Transmeta Crusoe, and the low-power Via chips. People make boards with these chips, but not in enough volume to make them cheap. The PPC970 will change that, but that’s not out yet. And you still have the problem of volume to get the prices down. BTW, there are things better than Linux to run on a PPC. 🙂 I recommend NetBSD. 2003-05-25 11:47 am As it seems Apple will be using versions of these chips in the future I’m curious to see if these means a new line of apple products (not X-Serve but something bigger probably using Power4 or Power5 not downgraded versions of them) and if that will mean a Red Hat Linux and Suse linux for the PowerPC-Apple products…Yes I know there is a Suse version for PowerPC that can run on an iBook but these versions are always behind the x86 versions and of course nobody uses them on servers… 2003-05-25 12:15 pm Ahem, the Power5 is *not* a desktop chip. Take a look at the specs on it, and think again. At best, you might use it in a very high end workstation. But the Power4 machines they sell now, if you take a look, don’t have prices listed on the website. Why? They cost $30k. POWER4 ain’t cheap thats for sure. Howwever IBM have already said there will be a “consumer” version of the POWER5. POWER5 is meant to be 4X faster than a POWER4 (which just took the lead in SPEC marks BTW) so it should be interesting… 2003-05-25 3:27 pm I don’t think the system froze, not much hardware was recognised, but the boot completed. They are just running busybox from a ram disk, which gives them prelinked versions of all the normal Linux commands in a single binary. So it looks like they don’t have hard disk access yet, and you can’t do all that much with busybox, but I bet it ran really fast. 2003-05-25 6:18 pm Those guys have a cool-a$$ job! 2003-05-26 1:27 am Ahem, the Power5 is *not* a desktop chip. Take a look at the specs on it, and think again. At best, you might use it in a very high end workstation. But the Power4 machines they sell now, if you take a look, don’t have prices listed on the website. Why? They cost $30k. I didn’t mean a desktop computer. Heck, we have people STILL complaining about paying US$500 for computers. What I would like to see however is it being sold for around the same price as an Opteron 242 Socket 940 32/64bit (Servers) Retail Box & Fan which retails for AUS$1,618, which isn’t too bad in the grand scheme of things. ( http://www.cougar.com.au/index2.cfm?ID=33&PART=9961&RequestTimeout=… ) If a company can assemble a Power5 Workstation for around AUS$4000-AUS$5000 running Linux plus a few other titles, I’d be more than happy to pay for it. 2003-05-26 4:41 am Notice the CHRP. That is supposed to mean you can run either mac or win or lin on it. 2003-05-26 8:36 am Notice the CHRP. That is supposed to mean you can run either mac or win or lin on it. Uh, not anymore – there hasn’t been a PPC Windows since NT4 (SP3 I think). The nearest thing you’ll get to having Windows on a Power5 is emulating an x86 in BOCHS. 2003-05-27 5:00 am If IBM is really commited to it’s new 9×0 line, expect a single core PowerPC 980 chip a few months after the intoduction of the POWER5 (rumored around April/May 2004). The POWER5 will have 2 new main features compared to the POWER4+: – SMT (Simultaneous MultiThreading) and new caches (more associative) – FastPath, hardware assist to do some high level tasks (TCP/IP processing, table walks…).