future of sparc64 (was: Making C++11 a hard requirement for FreeBSD)

Mark Linimon linimon at lonesome.com
Sat Oct 7 17:41:40 UTC 2017

On Thu, Oct 05, 2017 at 07:12:28PM -0500, A. Wilcox wrote:
> That doesn't change the fact that sparc64 still exists, and with Oracle
> laying off Solaris as well, FreeBSD becomes a "way out" for people
> heavily invested (DC full of sparc64 gear, or such).

I have thought for some time that we've been a "way out" for Solaris
sites wanting to keep ZFS and not deal with licensing issues, and have
worked to keep sparc64 alive.  (AFAIK FreeBSD is the only open source
sparc64/zfs solution?)

But here's the current problem.

All gccs > 4.9 fail to build.  Looking at the logs AFAICT the failure
is a floating-point exception as soon as the first built binary is run
during the internal testing.

Neither Marcel nor Gerald nor I have any insight on how to fix this.
Gerald does state that those gccs build on other OSes, so this is almost
certainly a FreBSD problem.

The default ports compiler has recently moved to gcc5 and then again
to gcc6.  The only reason gcc49 still exists in the Ports Collection is
specifically for sparc64 ports.

Recent llvms do not build.  I have no insight into that failure, either.

So, the long and short is, even with using gcc4.2.1 as an external
compiler, over time, fewer and fewer ports build as they adapt to the
newer compilers.

This is something I don't have the cycles to fix.  Unless someone else
can step up and fix the compilers, we're close to the end of feasibility.

In the meantime, I'll keep running package builds with gcc4.9 as long as
it produces some kind of useful results.

I'll be happy to discuss the build status of individual ports, but let's
have that on sparc64@ rather than arch@, please.


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