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Void Linux for PowerPC/Power ISA (unofficial)

Void Linux ppc is a staging fork of the Void Linux distribution intended for the PowerPC/Power architecture. It supports 64-bit and 32-bit hardware, with 64-bit supporting both little and big endian modes, while aiming to be legacy-free, using the ELFv2 ABI for both. It supports both glibc and musl.

We have an explicit goal of upstreaming as many changes as possible - the project therefore retains a fairly small number of patches, most changes are merged into Void itself or upstream software projects as soon as they're ready.

Please see the documentation for up-to-date status information, installation instructions, FAQ and other resources.

Hardware support

Most distributions now support only 64-bit little endian hardware. Void-ppc aims to change this and work on a wide variety of hardware.

The little endian builds require POWER8 or newer, but the big endian flavors start with 970/G5 (64-bit, AltiVec is required), while the 32-bit builds are completely generic.

C library support

Just like Void itself, both glibc and musl are supported, resulting in 6 different flavors of the system.

As an oddity, Void-ppc uses the modern ELFv2 ABI on both little endian and big endian 64-bit builds. This is a requirement with the musl libc, but there is currently no other distribution using ELFv2 for glibc as well.

Package support

Void-ppc has a goal of as complete repository coverage as possible for all targets, not leaving anything behind.

Currently, our coverage is <95% for ppc64le, >90% for ppc64, and <90% ppc32 (of unique software packages). All buildable packages are built, and we even ship some software others don't (e.g. Qt5 WebEngine).

January 16, 2020

Repositories now complete (and a new primary mirror)

The binary repositories have now reached completeness, i.e. everything not explicitly marked so is now built.

That doesn’t mean we ship every single piece of potentially buildable software (notably Texlive is still missing and will need refactoring the templates to build it from source), but generally it’s in a similar state to other distributions and sometimes better (e.g. we ship qt5-webengine at least on some targets).

For current statistics, always refer to the Packages link in the menu.

Current TODO items include spinning a new set of ISO images (but before that, fix known installer issues, enable serial console access in live and some other things) and extending the documentation and FAQ.

Also, I’ve been granted commit access in upstream Void in December. That means the flow of upstream changes is now a lot quicker and smoother, and allows me to keep the repos in sync as much as possible. While it is not possible to mainline the whole project at this point other than source code (unfortunately Void right now cannot take in any more builders, native or cross, and I would ideally like to keep the builds native), having the source upstreamed is a big help and void-ppc will provide staging and binary repos indefinitely.

Speaking of that, our community member zdykstra has recently donated a new primary hosting mirror, which means we now have a much greater storage space as well as much faster network connectivity. The server is hosted in Chicago, IL. There’s also a number of other mirrors to choose from.

September 19, 2019

New website

The basic old site was far from ideal, so here’s a new one based on the official website.

It’s powered by Jekyll and runs on the GitHub Sites infra.

Nothing much else to say for now; new documentation is also being worked on, and will feature a FAQ and all sorts of other info, replacing the one in the GitHub repo.

And don’t forget to join us on IRC, #voidlinux-ppc on freenode.