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ppc64 is an identifier commonly used within the Linux and GCC open source software communities to refer to the target architecture for applications optimized for 64-bit PowerPC- and Power Architecture processors, frequently used when compiling source code.

ppc64le is a pure little endian mode introduced with the POWER8 - the Motorola/FreeScale e6500 chip seems to support this mode.
    ppc64le was implemented with the new POWER8 design to make it easier for x86 based users to compile software for use on ppc64,
and for ppc64 based machines to use x86 specific binaries (i.e. installing from a package, not compiling from source).  This mode is switchable at run-time.  PCI functions in little-endian mode exclusively, as does x86.  Therefore it is necessary to allow PowerPC chips to masquerade in either eindian state to share memory.

From Wikipedia: An interesting side effect of this implementation is that a program can store a 64-bit value (the longest operand format) to memory while in one endian mode, switch modes, and read back the same 64-bit value without seeing a change of byte order. This will not be the case if the motherboard is switched at the same time.

Both forms of endianness are common.  The Intel x86 processor represents a common little-endian architecture, and IBM mainframes are all big-endian.  Big-endian is the most common convention in networking (including IPv6), and little-endian is popular among microprocessors in part due to Intel's significant historical influence on microprocessor designs.  There are also some bi-endian processors which can operate either in little-endian or big-endian mode.

There is, as I see it little reason to worry about which mode our system will run in at this time, but this provides some insight into future choices.

Gnu/Linux Distros / POSIX / Open Source Reference
« on: December 28, 2014, 07:51:58 PM »
Current State of open source Linux operating systems:

CRUX PPC 3.0 - ppc64 via multilib toolchain

Debian 7.7.7 - Both "Stable" and "Testing" are built regularly, Testing iso (ppc64) rebuild weekly.
However, because most Debian packages are installed binary, this is not really a viable development

Fedora 20 - Has some major kernel bugs for PPC64 but overall stable.

FreeBSD 10.1 - ppc64 build available
netBSD - viable/mostly supported

Gentoo - ppc64, 32 and 64bit userlands (autobuild date 2014-Sep-08) - uclib experimental -
This is the most viable, as all software is compiled from source, extensive documentation exists also.

Ubuntu 14.04 - Apparently available, some kernel bugs based on specific hardware
See Debian.


ReactOS - Windows NT Clone is also said to be ported to PowerISA, but not confirmed.

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