Frohe Ostern!

Stephen Marenka wrote to the debian-68k list lately:

So you may have noticed the following in your buildd logs for python-
depending packages.

| dpkg: regarding …/python-docutils_0.5-3_all.deb containing python-docutils:
| package uses Breaks; not supported in this dpkg
| dpkg: error processing /srv/chroot/sid/var/cache/apt/archives/python-docutils_0.
| +5-3_all.deb (–unpack):
| unsupported dependency problem – not installing python-docutils

That’s right, our old etch-m68k dpkg doesn’t support Breaks.

The options I can think of are.

Option 1: backport dpkg to etch-m68k
Yuck. etch-m68k is old and likely insecure. Who knows what
back-porting dpkg would look like.

Option 2: lenny-lite
Build lenny with base, build-essential, and buildd-required
packages. I can probably do this one myself if there’s
interest. I’ll probably include anything required for d-i

Option 3: lenny
Go ahead and try to do a lenny release. I think we have
nearly all the binary packages, but how to shove them into
an archive intelligently? I’m willing to help if anyone
knows how and can direct or is otherwise willing to lead.

Option 4: throw in the towel
Say it’s time to retire m68k on debian. We have an ancient
glibc with borked threads. gcc-4.3 is fairly broken. A
number of packages need some bugs fixed, others need some
porting. Not so many helpers these days. Funny thing is with
aranym we have plenty of horsepower (although we need to fix
the fpu emulation) and with d-ports our buildds won’t get
locked out of wanna-build. Kernel’s probably in the best
shape it’s been in a long time.



Stephen R. Marenka If life’s not fun, you’re not doing it right!

Yes, it’s true… the Vancouver proposal seems to be a true success in killing the m68k port. Stephens mail is just a written example of what I’ve been thinking about for several weeks as well: does it still make sense to run my Amigas after being kicked out by Debian?

Luckily there were some new users appearing on the list asking for how to install Debian on their m68k machines, which shows that there’s still interest in the port and need for a Debian on m68k. This makes me more confident in still supporting the m68k port for me by running several buildds 24/7. But as Stephens mail shows the m68k port is in trouble. It would be nice if there were more porters helping in actually porting software or fixing bugs. There are some open issues like NPTL support and such. See the list archive or the Debian wiki for more information.

Despite all the bad luck with being kicked off by Debian, the port did made some progress in the past: we’re not bound by real m68k hardware anymore. Thanks to Aranym every interested developer can now contribute by running the emulator on his/her fast i386 machine. There are crosscompilers available as well.

But there’s still work to do. For example to Coldfire inclusion seems to got stuck somehow. And I don’t think that it makes much sense to try to build all of Debian >>6000 packages for m68k, but to concentrate on maybe below 2000 packages. So if you want to help to m68k port staying alive, please join us at debian-68k mailing list! 🙂


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