In the middle of year 2000 an effort was started at IBM in Rochester MN to create a new Linux port for ppc64. This new port would be a high performance, scalable version of the Linux kernel to run on 64-bit PowerPC processors.
The team of folks that started the port are Paul Albrecht, Peter Bergner, Mike Corrigan, David Engebretsen, Tom Gall, Todd Inglett, Pat McCarthy, and Don Reed. Before porting Linux to PPC 64 this team of experienced PPC system engineers have worked on such things as the iSeries, Java, Clustering, Compilers, and brought with them a wealth of experience.
Thanks go out to Daniel Frye the director of the IBM Linux Technology Center. Thanks for believing and all your support. Thanks to Kaena Freitas, John Scales, and Jeffrey Scheel for all their efforts and support. Last thanks to all the wives for their patience and support.
In January of 2001 the port of ppc64 was up and running and to a state where 32-bit applications couldn’t tell the difference between running on the ppc64 or the ppc32 Linux kernel.
In the past few months we’ve been filling in the holes and tracking down all those hard to find problems to yield a dependable, well performing system. In April of 2001, Paul Mackerras and Anton Blanchard joined the team.
ppc64 is now included in the main line linux kernel. It is supported by commercial distributions such as RedHat and SuSE. Community distros such as gentoo and debian will have something very soon.
With the availability of Apple Macintosh hardware based on the PowerPC 970, reasonable cost hardware with excellent performance is available to the masses.
We’re having fun!