Porting to Linux on Power: 5 tips that could turn a good port into a great port

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Porting to Linux on Power: 5 tips that could turn a good port into a great port 

Mon October 10, 2022 10:01 AM

When considering a port of an application from Linux on x86 to Linux on Power, it has been said that "Linux is Linux", and the vast majority of code will just need to be recompiled and relinked. That is indeed true for the vast majority of code. However, it is unfortunately very easy to write code that compiles, links, and runs fine on x86 that doesn't work on Power processors. The usual culprits are:

  • Code that has been heavily optimized for x86
  • Code that was never expected to run on non-x86 platforms (and thus written without consideration for portability)
  • Code that has ever run only on x86 (and thus into which x86 "bias" has crept, unintentionally)

Problems arise due to any combination of these contexts. In such cases, it is immensely valuable to know the significant and subtle differences between Linux on x86 and Linux on Power, approaches for mitigation, and tools that can help to identify and mitigate issues.

Read this article to learn more about the significant and subtle differences that can break the build or hurt performance.


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