[linux-elitists] Re: Linux ports

Ben Woodard ben@zork.net
Wed Oct 22 15:39:11 PDT 2003

On Wed, 2003-10-22 at 14:10, Rick Moen wrote:
> Quoting Adam Sampson (azz@us-lot.org):
> > Well, "BSD" covers a whole family of operating systems, including a
> > load of proprietary OSs built to run on specialist bits of hardware,
> > so I'd imagine he's probably correct. NetBSD certainly covers more
> > architectures than Linux does; FreeBSD covers fewer. Both Linux and
> > NetBSD have platforms that only they support.
> The NetBSD people would point out that they support all of _their_
> platforms from a single source tree, whereas a lot of the Linux
> implementations were one-offs that may not remain tenable for long -- 
> if they still are.

This is quite an achievement. Red Hat's new enterprise linux supports 5
arches with a single source tree and it was a pretty substantial
undertaking. i386  ia64  ppc  s390  s390x  x86_64. 
The s390's and the ia64 were both pretty challenging because they were
so radically different. Fortunately, much of the work that they had to
go through to merge the differences was fed upstream and so 2.6 should
be much better.

Also I hear that they are going to try to do the same trick with the
fedora project.

How does debian deal with this. IIRC they prefer to stick as closely to
the stock kernel but yet they support many arch's. Do they do a lot of
if(arch==blah) then apply this patch else if(arch=boog)... or do they
work to make a single source tree? 

> It's good to have choices, anyway.  (Please don't bait the BSD people:
> They're our friends, whether they know it or not.  ;->  )

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