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cpuobsessed 11-08-2007 06:02 PM

Cross-compile Slackware
My wife's iMac just died recently. The hard drive went bad, so I replaced the the broken 20Gb with a small 4Gb that I had. It is a new world mac with a 400Mhz PPC and 384Mb RAM. I have a copy of Slackware 11 that I am running on an Athlon 1900+ with 512 Mb and a CD-Burner. Is there a way to create a PPC version using a cross compiler? I really would like to install Slack on the PPC and use it as server or sandbox.

Peacedog 11-08-2007 06:30 PM

Hi cpuobsessed, Welcome to lq. I think you may be looking for Slackintosh.
Good luck. ;-)

cpuobsessed 11-08-2007 06:57 PM

Normally I would agree and if I had the resource(dialup connection and not broadband) I would use it. But since I can't download it and already have a copy (all 6 CDs) of Slackware 11.0, I thought it would be a great project to cross-compile it by hand.

ledow 11-09-2007 06:51 AM

Great project, maybe, but you would have to be at least slightly insane.

Most things in Slackware won't be as simple as just a recompile to make them work on PPC... some of the packages may not even work AT ALL on PPC, some of them will require significant patching or upgrades in order to make them even compile on PPC, let alone run. Especially seeing as you are at least one Slackware version and therefore approximately one year of upgrades behind.

Whether a particular program will compile on PPC at all is down to the individual project - not Slackware. Quite a lot of projects won't have even coded a single line of PPC-specific code. Not everything is as simple as just recompile and run. Arch-specific peculiarities, especially in drivers, will cause you one hell of a headache.

And then you run into the next problem: Assuming that you wouldn't end up downloading less than the space of 2CD's in patching, upgrading and porting the Slackware software to be compilable on PPC, you would end up recompiling the entirety of Slackware. On even a 1900, that's gonna take one hell of a long time. The electricity you'll burn doing it would probably equal the cost of a Slackware CD from a local supplier or the price of downloading it.

Ask a friends with broadband to download the CD's to Slackintosh for you. It's a lot easier. Cross-compiling is not only extremely time-consuming but it's very, very, un-funny. That's why there are project that do nothing except for cross-compiling for you. Even there, the project mentioned is lagging behind -current because it just can't recompile the software in the time it takes for the Slackware team to download, upgrade, debug and release a package into -current.

What you're basically doing is creating a LFS distro for PPC... you're going to spend more time compiling than you'll ever end up using the system for. And there sits Slackintosh with a download just waiting that's fully-tested.

As the site itself says under the FAQ: "Java? This platform independent thing? Well.. Sun doesn't provide any binaries for PPC-Linux :-p" Kinda sums it up nicely.

cpuobsessed 11-10-2007 06:08 PM

All good points, I may just take that route. I'll even take another look at LFS. I already have Ubuntu 6.10 installed on the iMac so that would save me the trouble of having to install a bootloader.

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