Home > Linux > IBM Advances Linux for Power Chips IBM Advances Linux for Power Chips Eugenia Loli 2003-07-15 Linux 18 Comments IBM has put more muscle behind its effort to improve Linux for its Power family of processors, adding dozens of programmers to Big Blue’s Linux Technology Center with plans to hire more. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 18 Comments 2003-07-15 1:51 am It also shows that the company can’t rely as much on the broader open-source programming community to support its own chip line. Ever see the price of one of those Power4 boxes? No open source college geek can afford that. Or even a modestly well off geek. 2003-07-15 1:54 am enter ppc970 ibm boxes and blades… 2003-07-15 2:33 am I would really like a G5 laptop. Anyone know when/if they will be available? I’d also really like descent 3d drivers for Linux/PPC(64), so I wouldn’t be limited to OS X for graphics applications. 2003-07-15 2:48 am Apple has not released any information about either a powerbook or XServe running the G5 … 2003-07-15 3:07 am “IBM has put more muscle behind its effort to improve Linux for its Power family of processors, adding dozens of programmers to Big Blue’s Linux Technology Center with plans to hire more.” Yay! Jobs! 2003-07-15 3:20 am I read an article that stated because of the heat produced by the G5 chip, it probably will not be availble in a notebook. 2003-07-15 3:42 am Here is the text on an e-mail I sent in response to what I believe to have been an inflammatory remark: <begin> Mr Shankland, For future reference please keep in mind the costs associated with such hardware. IBM workstations and servers utilizing the advanced POWER4+ processor are far from being a basic commodity. http://www-132.ibm.com/content/home/store_IBMPublicUSA/en_US/eServe… http://www-132.ibm.com/content/home/store_IBMPublicUSA/en_US/eServe… “The move, announced to employees last week, illustrates the still-increasing importance of the operating system (Linux) to IBM. It also shows that the company can’t rely as much on the broader open-source programming community to support its own chip line.” For what it’s worth….many developers are interested in seeing Linux and GNU utilities succeed on a myriad of hardware platforms. Portability is a key criterion of software being viable in a world of such dynamic hardware platforms. As has been the case in the past, the costs associated in acquiring sample systems on which to develop kernel and system specific software have been a barrier to developers. It is not for a lack in interest. It is for a lack of capital. IBM makes great hardware. It comes at a great cost compared to existing commodity hardware platforms. An inexpensive SMP X86 workstation or server can be had for a fraction of the costs of these POWER-ful systems. For IBM, the mission is profitability. It is a corporate entity. Those in control of that entity have a responsibility to remain profitable. It would be nice for IBM to donate POWER4+ servers and workstations to kernel developers. However, IBM is not in the business of being “nice”. Refinement of Linux will occur in house at Big Blue. Not for a distrust in the community of developers, but due to sheer economic conditions. Jordan M Freeman Yes, you do not have to agree with me. <end> How can it be the sole responsibility of the Linux Developer community to ensure that a very exspensive proprietary hardware platform is utilized to the fullest of its potential? Few kernel developers are independently wealthy, and far too many have other financial obligations as opposed to buying IBMs’ “Stealth Black Schwag Gear.TM” 2003-07-15 3:56 am Damn. At those prices, who are they kidding? Reminds me of Sun (overcharge until we’re obsolete) prices. You can put together a single or dual opteron machine at much lower cost. 2003-07-15 5:38 am IBM’s machines running off the power4 tend to be expensive because there is really no desktop systems running power4 in single or smp configurations. Would a desktop leverage against a Apple? Perhaps. Why talk about the G5 in this thread? beyond comparing engineering, there is no comparison. 2003-07-15 5:39 am Those machines are brand new workstation class boxes. They will be expensive. 2003-07-15 6:30 am Apple has not released any information about either a powerbook or XServe running the G5 … Who needs Apple? IBM used to make powerpc laptops. http://www.ibmlink.ibm.com/usalets&parms=H_196-248 2003-07-15 8:49 am And you complain about Powrbook prices? ouch http://www2.ibmlink.ibm.com/cgi-bin/master?xh=QyvPm70JpTo66Y2USenGn… 2003-07-15 2:03 pm > I read an article that stated because of the heat > produced by the G5 chip, it probably will not be > availble in a notebook. The G5 will be available in a notebook. It’s just a matter of when. You have to remember that we won’t be running G4’s in 2020, hence, the G5 will have to supersede the G4 in the iMac and the iBook, PowerBook at some point. 2003-07-15 2:40 pm The big question is : Is IBM planning a line of relatively inexpensive ( i.e. prices not much more than IBM’s equivalent IA32 boxes) workstations, desktops and notebooks – based on Linux on the PPC 970. If they did this it could be an inspired route to dominating the tansition from 32 to 64 bit desktop computing beating out the Itanic and Opteron based 64 bit options. This would also solve the problem of developers for Linux on the PPC being able to afford kit. Of course no one knows unless they are in an insiders position in IBM. And we are not likely to know yet, unless one of them drops us a hint on this thread. But then again how would we know is true. 2003-07-15 2:44 pm When the G5 gets transitioned to the .9 np (later this year… around November) the G5 can go into a powerbook with significntly less heat than even the G4. 2003-07-15 3:13 pm They are expensive but before reading this article I didn’t know they existed. I’d rather buy from IBM than Intel, but I’ll wait for another year before I try out 64-bit platforms. 2003-07-15 5:59 pm Is IBM planning a line of relatively inexpensive ( i.e. prices not much more than IBM’s equivalent IA32 boxes) workstations, desktops and notebooks – based on Linux on the PPC 970. If they did this it could be an inspired route to dominating the tansition from 32 to 64 bit desktop computing beating out the Itanic and Opteron based 64 bit options. This would also solve the problem of developers for Linux on the PPC being able to afford kit. That would be nice, but I think IBM will just leave the evolution of commodity PPC boxes to 3rd parties, i.e. Apple, Pagasos and Amiga. That should work. Motherboards are (slowly) becoming available, and it shouldn’t be much longer before “white box” PPC machines start appearing in the market. But I wish it would happen a little quicker than it has been. Perhaps IBM will start providing some “incentives” to the 3rd party manufacturers. 2003-07-16 12:59 pm Perhaps not a good track record but it was designed primarily to run AIX and not a platform like Linux. As chemicalscum suggested, they have an opportunity. The average Office user mightn’t buy one in preference to an x86 laptop. I might, if it were priced competitively.