Adélie Linux ported to Talos II big-endian

As reported by its chief maintainer A. Wilcox on Twitter, the Adélie Linux distribution has been ported to the Talos II.

This distro is particularly interesting because it explicitly runs big-endian (the POWER9 in the T2 is capable of either mode); many Linux distros, including the Fedora 28 distribution your humble author is typing this on, currently only support little-endian operation (ppc64le). It's definitely an open question how much longer big-endian operation will still be supported on future Power ISA chips, though the official word from Armonk is "IBM remains committed to transitioning the Linux on Power application ecosystem from big endian to little endian in an expeditious manner" (source), so the direction is clear for the Linux ecosystem. However, what this means for AIX and IBM i customers is less certain, because backwards compatibility is very important to those shops, and those operating systems remain big-endian currently. These legacy markets are important revenue sources for IBM. It is entirely possible that future OpenPOWER designs become strict little-endian and only IBM-built POWER servers would support big-endian operation; it seems very unlikely these operating systems, particularly IBM i, would support a little-endian mode.

You can download the T2 ISO of Adélie Linux, including a Live CD, from their distribution site.


  1. I'd like to point out that the OpenPOWER team specifically noted that going forward they want to support development on both endians:


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