Showing posts from December, 2019

Updates to Alpine Linux and SUSE

Alpine Linux has been updated to 3.11.0. One of the musl-based releases, 3.11 updates to Linux 5.4.5, musl libc 1.1.24, gcc 9.2.0, LLVM 9.0.0 and Busybox 1.31.1. The release also features "initial GNOME and KDE support": remember, one of its selling points is its size, achieved partially by not shipping with any desktop environment, though I imagine quite a few use Xfce. The release also adds Vulkan support, and Rust on all supported architectures except s390x. Multiple install options are available for ppc64le.

Also recently updated is SUSE Linux Enterprise 12 Service Pack 5. POWER9 has been supported on SUSE since 12 SP3, and should boot on a vanilla PowerNV system like the Raptor family (if you are running SUSE or its free tier, openSUSE LEAP on Raptor hardware, post in the comments). SUSE Linux Enterprise is available (both 12 SP5 and 15 SP1) with a 60-day free trial.

Firefox 71 on POWER

Firefox 71 is out, not a major system upgrade, but some nice milestones such as improved developer tools, support for Media Session and native MP3 decoding. It pretty much works as is on Power ISA and I've noticed no new issues with it so far. (UPDATE: See comments. Apparently the extensions I'm using are unaffected by bug 1601424. However, this looks like a general Linux issue on all architectures.) The configurations I am using are unchanged from Firefox 67.

This is the last of the 6-week sprints, moving to a 4-week cadence for Firefox 72. As a result I will be doing smoke test builds about every 10-14 days to ensure early regressions on Power are intercepted. Unfortunately I have not had time to do much more work on the JIT because of the holidays, family responsibilities and $DAYJOB. I won't be offended at all if someone beats me to the punch especially as I'm starting to see WebAssembly becoming a hard dependency even for some add-ons (without the JIT there is no support for wasm).

AMD Navi support coming to OpenPOWER

Most of us (including yours truly) are using Polaris or Vega AMD GPUs, and the BTO WX7100 option Raptor offers is Polaris, but Raptor has issued kernel patches to enable the latest Navi GPUs on OpenPOWER. This issue was traced back to code essentially locking Navi support to x86, and the new patches have been confirmed working on Void Linux's Power ISA port and Fedora 31. To make the most of these changes, you should also upgrade to at least Mesa 19.3 and LLVM 9.0.1 when these become finalized to avoid various other cross-platform issues with Navi. Still, more hardware support is good support, and the changes are straightforward enough that they should get accepted into the kernel relatively soon.