OpenBSD officially available for ppc64

OpenBSD 6.8 is now available and with it the first official release of the big-endian ppc64 port (which they call powerpc64). The port is specifically advertised for PowerNV machines (i.e., bare metal) with POWER9, which naturally includes the Raptor family but should also support IBM PowerNV systems as well. POWER8 support is described as "included but untested."

The installation directions are still not fully complete, though Petitboot should be able to start the installer from pretty much any standard medium, and the installer experience should be stock from there. What's more, it looks like a good selection of pre-built packages is available, though some large applications are still missing like Firefox (WebKit is apparently available). The missing packages seems to be similar to what is missing for their 32-bit powerpc flavour, so this is not unexpected.

With OpenBSD's release and FreeBSD's well-regarded history, this leaves only NetBSD — ironically the BSD with the most emphasis on portability, and my personal preference — as the last major cross-platform BSD yet to arrive on OpenPOWER. Given OpenBSD and NetBSD's genetic history, however, this release makes future NetBSD support for OpenPOWER much more likely.