I can find no packages for the PowerPC architecture

MarkG108

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Hello. I have an iBook G4 that I recently installed FreeBSD on. It works quite well. However, there are no packages that I can find for this architecture. There are only ports, which take a long time to compile. I notice on the FreeBSD site that the PowerPC architecture is described as "tier two", which states,
The FreeBSD/ppc port is still a Tier 2 platform. That means it is not being fully supported by our security officer, release engineers and toolchain maintainers. However, it is supported by portmgr (package building).
The last statement, that it is supported by portmgr (package building) [emphasis intentionally added], is quite interesting to me. Does this mean that there are packages available somewhere for this architecture? And if not, does it mean that there should be packages available somewhere, and I can expect this sometime in the near future? If so, that would be great.
 
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MarkG108

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To clarify why I'm interested, recently a friend came across a bunch of old Apple computers/laptops that a company was just going to dump in landfill. He offered to take them to try and put them to good use (and I'm assisting). Most of them are still quite usable, but need a modern OS, and FreeBSD would be a great candidate if there were packages available. So, I hope that FreeBSD takes its commitment to Tier Two status for powerpc seriously.
 

shkhln

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It's a dead platform. Contrary to popular opinion, FreeBSD is not a museum OS.
 
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MarkG108

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Stopping hardware from going to landfill and making good use of it is an honorable use of software. I don't buy into the philosophy of planned obsolescence.
 

shkhln

Daemon

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Does not matter. PPC is on life support and it won't get better. Be glad it hasn't been dropped (yet).
 

shkhln

Daemon

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I apologize for the harsh tone. People asking for better support for 10+ years old hardware is my personal pet peeve. That's not how OS development works. This hardware failed to attract enough developer attention to get proper support when it was actually being sold. Why would there be more manpower available to it now?
 

ralphbsz

Son of Beastie

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Try NetBSD, they have a reputation for supporting a wide array of hardware platforms. Or compile the packages yourself.
 
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MarkG108

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I haven't been able to get the NetBSD install disk to work. It won't boot up. The OpenBSD install disk also had issues.

I find a lot of the install disks for PowerPC, whether BSD or Linux, don't work, unfortunately. So, kudos to the FreeBSD team for getting that working so well.
 

msplsh

Well-Known Member

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I like running stuff on esoteric hardware because it exposes assumptions. It could also be viewed as a colossal waste of time for exposing assumptions nobody cares about...


I can understand ppc32 having no packages, as no in-production general purpose computers exist for it. ppc64 at least has new chips and very expensive machines for it.
 

mark_j

Aspiring Daemon

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As I think I've mentioned previously, even macppc (PPC 32 bit) is a Tier 2 on NetBSD. That's not the same meaning as with FreeBSD, but it means it's not their focus.

However, they do maintain a pretty good set of compiled packages.

Yes, the install of NetBSD onto a PowerPC Mac is not just as straight forward as popping in a CD and clicking the mouse. You MUST follow the install instructions to the letter:
Specifically about Open Firmware. If you follow that it will install without problems [tm].

If you intend to go the NetBSD path, which I recommend, then join the mailing list port-macppc.
 

Fremen2001

New Member


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I believe ppc platform is not dead yet, OpenPOWER is an example and there are still many ppc32 controllers out there, in fact the only open platform are ppc and risc v with arm being more and more relevant, the one lagging behind is x86-64 but this is not the place for such debate. I believe on a more constructive approach regarding "old platform", we should do the possible to preserve them as they are part of our history. So, if anyone need help I still have one G5 and three G4 I could use to "buildworld" and CONTRIBUTE to FreeBSD instead of telling people their platform is dead. Btw I'm right now working on porting golang on ppc64.
Happy hacking

Fremen
 

mark_j

Aspiring Daemon

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It is dead as concerns FreeBSD, but speaking only as the old 32 bit platform. NetBSD is still by far a better choice.
 

bobpegram

New Member


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I downloaded the Free BSD 13.0 RC5 ISo file TODAY! THERE IS AN APPARENTLY INSTALLABLE DVD FOR FREE BSD FOR THE POWERPC ARCHITECTURE. Somebody is lying!
 

mark_j

Aspiring Daemon

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That's the OS, not packages. This thread died a long time ago.
 

bobpegram

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That's the OS, not packages. This thread died a long time ago.
What good is the OS without any packages??? Why is the OS even offered if it is not usable? Is this run by people who want to torture others? Is there any other place to download enough parts of the OS to make it usable (with a graphical interface)? (honest question) I was going to make it look like the Mac OS and donate it to the Salvation Army with a lot of notes included inside for the buyer.

By the way, I first tried Free BSD 12.2, but it didn't work either. I assumed that since it was older and designated 'stable' the packages would still be available. After all, if they already exist why not let them remain available?

I also spent hours trying to make it work!
 

mark_j

Aspiring Daemon

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See message #14 where I recommend using NetBSD. It has good package support for the older Macs.

I don't know why FreeBSD offers a 32 bit version. Perhaps the packages are hidden somewhere I couldn't find? It is still usable, it's just that, skills prevailing, you would have to build all the packages yourself that you needed. Achievable, but very time consuming. In this case, either use NetBSD if you want to stick to BSD-ish OS or Linux (I'm sure they still support PowerPC32).
 

SirDice

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Why is the OS even offered if it is not usable?
Why do you think third party applications are part of the OS?
I assumed that since it was older and designated 'stable' the packages would still be available.
I suggest you read up on what Tier 2 actually means.

 
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