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Re: GNU Mach on Alpha

From: Roland McGrath
Subject: Re: GNU Mach on Alpha
Date: Fri, 5 Apr 2002 16:11:53 -0500 (EST)

It's great that you are working on this.  Thanks!  Unfortunately, I don't
have any Alpha machines or know where I might come by any, so I don't
expect to be able to try it myself.

Please tell us all the details you can about exactly which version of the
CMU Alpha port code you got from where.  

As to the oskit-mach issue, I'd say you should just stick with what you are
doing with gnumach as it is for now.  Since what you are putting in to
start with is a complete Mach-native port with its own drivers, and the
OSKit has not been ported to Alpha, then you don't really have anything to
use the OSKit for anyway.  The oskit-branch changes include a lot of other
random cruft removal, but that ought to merge ok with the CMU Alpha code.
The makefiles in the oskit-branch presume you'll have oskit and have some
x86isms in them, so you'd have to diddle with that to get it to build.  I
will be happy to clean that stuff up myself when we merge the oskit-branch
into the gnumach mainline, which is not too far off.  

The oskit is a set of libraries that provide stuff you might want to use in
a kernel, and the direction we are moving is to use oskit libraries to do
everything that they are useful for when it can replace old CMU code.  The
oskit is not useful for anything on Alpha at the moment, so there is no
reason to particularly want to use it in Mach/Alpha.

It would be a fine thing for someone to do an Alpha port of OSKit, using
the latest *BSD and Linux code for hardware support.  If that got done,
then we would certainly want to use the oskit libraries instead of the old
CMU code for Alpha as much as we do for x86.  This is by far the best way
we have of making it easy to keep up to date with new hardware support
without having to maintain drivers ourselves.

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