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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 package coverage varies between 88% and 96% of unique packages depending on target (with 64-bit little endian having the best support) and we even ship some software others don't (e.g. Qt5 WebEngine).

August 25, 2021

New ISO images

Since the April 2020 images were getting stale, there is now a new batch. There’s nothing much to talk about when it comes to functionality, as the ISOs are just a way to bootstrap a new system and you get all the updates you need through a rolling release channel, but there are some things that are noteworthy:

  • OpenSSL is now used instead of LibreSSL
  • Rootfs tarballs will no longer have broken lib64 symlinks
  • A new version of GRUB (2.06)
  • Linux 5.13 kernel is default, with 4.4 backup on big endian

The hardware requirements remain the same. Likewise, the same set of images is shipped as before, i.e. ppc64le, ppc64, ppc, all for glibc and musl, with console and graphical xfce flavors.

May 20, 2021

IRC migration

After the recent events regarding freenode IRC ownership, we are moving IRC networks.

We have settled for the OFTC network (https://oftc.net), with the same name as before (i.e. #voidlinux-ppc). Since OFTC is a long time host for the Debian project without any incidents and the Alpine Linux project has also migrated there, we consider this a stable new home for the distribution.

The upstream Void project has not yet reached a consensus, but you should be expecting some news on that front very soon as well.

See you there!