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Re: [PATCH] Remove HFS support

From: Robbie Harwood
Subject: Re: [PATCH] Remove HFS support
Date: Tue, 30 Aug 2022 12:37:39 -0400

Daniel Axtens <> writes:

>>> Have you checked that you can't boot them with HFS+? Because HFS+
>>> came in 1998, which was (AFAICT) pretty early on in the G3
>>> lifecycle. So I'd be really surprised if the firmware didn't support
>>> booting from HFS+. I'd be very keen to hear.
>> I have not tested that due to lack of time. The problem is that some
>> early firmware versions might have issues with HFS+ that we haven't
>> verified yet.
> Any approach that says 'we must wait for test results for very old
> macs' puts the grub community in a bind. I'm not aware of anyone else
> stepping up to contribute test results on old macs, and I can't go
> across to an apple store and buy one. So in order to test this, the
> entire grub upstream stalls on (AFAICT) you personally.
> This not the first time we find ourselves in this situation either.
> For example, RH is carrying the 'powerpc-ieee1275: support larger
> core.elf images' series out of tree because they need it to boot on
> modern Power boxes. It broke on your machine in a way no-one else has
> reproduced, and I last emailled you asking for more information to
> debug the failure in May.

As the person currently responsible for the Red Hat tree: I am also not
happy about this state of affairs.

If a use case is to be supported, someone needs to actually do the leg
work to support it.  Bug reports are all well and good, but if no one's
actually able to fix them, they're just making a pile that's in the way.
What I mean is this: right now the project has people (you) *testing*
power macs, but no one actually *fixing* power macs, and unless someone
starts fixing problems that materialize, it's at odds with reality to
call it a supported platform.  (And to be clear here, problems that
materialize includes other people's patches, and debugging/sending fixes
to them as would be expected from a subject matter expert.)

As you point out downthread, I could go out and spend money on a vintage
mac almost as old as I am to attempt to debug the problem myself.  (This
money would have to be my own, because Red Hat, RHEL, and Fedora are all
uninterested in supporting power macs.)  I would then have to learn the
ins and outs of a platform that the manufacturer has not supported for
about fifteen years.[1]  We're talking about at least a month of my time,
probably more, and that assumes it even reproduces on my machine - which
there's no guarantee of.  (If I did all that, and it didn't, what

It's time I don't have, and quite frankly it's more important to me to
have grub support currently shipping hardware.  Or I could just take the
POWER patches from Daniel and IBM folks downstream, and keep a platform
that customers care about working.  This takes very little of my time in
comparison, but fails to heal the current divergence.

Be well,

1: Having grown up with these beige boxes, I did previously owned an
   iBook G3 on which I did run Linux - but have not in this decade (as
   it is far from a capable computing platform in the modern era), nor
   would I have been able to debug it at the time.  I do still use the
   AEK & AEK II as daily drivers, though.

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