PearPC 0.4 review

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PearPC is an architecture-independent PowerPC platform emulator capable of running most PowerPC operating systems. This release fi

License: GPL (GNU General Public License)
File size: 0K
Developer: Sebastian Biallas
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PearPC is an architecture-independent PowerPC platform emulator capable of running most PowerPC operating systems.

This release fixes an ugly partition mapping bug which prevented PearPC to boot OpenDarwin. But the fix might cause regressions: so if your image is no longer booting and you can compile pearpc yourself, please talk to the pearpc-devel mailing list.


-Get the Mandrake Installations CDs from a near mirror.
-Read the getting started document first.
-Join the club.
-Make sure you have configured with a big harddisk (3 GiB should do) and a CDROM with the Mandrake 9.1 PPC CD1 inserted. Select a 15 bit video mode. (ppc_start_resolution to 1, 4 or 7)
-Boot and you should get the yaboot menu.
-Press enter and wait.
-At some point, a graphical installer will show up.
-I won't partition your disk for you so you have to do it on your own
create 2 partitions: Apple bootstrap and a Linux onecontinue install.
It will ask you to insert another CD. Click "Change CD" and choose a different .iso or simply insert a different CD. Continue.
-Something bad may happen in the end of the install. Nevermind.

While the CPU emulation may be slow (1/500th or 1/15th, see above), the speed of emulated hardware is hardly impacted by the emulation; the emulated hard-drive and CDROM e.g. are very fast, especially with OS that support bus-mastering (Linux, Darwin, Mac OS X do).

Because the author has only access to a little-endian machine, PearPC will most likely only run on little-endian architectures. This shouldn't be hard to fix and the author would fix this himself if he such hardware. (You can donate some big-endian hardware to get this fixed!)

Equally, PearPC will probably only run on 32-bit architectures. This shouldn't be hard to fix either. (You can donate...)
A lot of unimplementated features are fatal (i.e. will abort PearPC).
Timings are very still a little bit inaccurate. Don't rely on benchmarks made in the client.

PearPC lacks a save/restore machine-state feature.
No Altivec support yet but being worked on.
No LBA48 (but LBA). Currently no support for hard disks greater than 128 GiB. Disks > 4GiB are not tested very well.

Mandrake Linux 9.1 for PPC installer: Runs well
Mandrake Linux 9.1 for PPC after installation: Hard to boot. Runs very well afterwards.
Darwin for PPC: Runs well
Mac OS X 10.3: Runs well with some caveats
OpenBSD for PPC: Crashes while booting (accesses PCI in an unsupported way)
NetBSD for PPC: Crashes while booting
AIX for PPC: Some people ask about that.

What's New in This Release:
CPU: stfiwx implemented
config: "ppc_start_fullscreen" for starting in fullscreen mode
POSIX: allow bridging of tun device
use FISTTP instruction on SSE3 aware processors
merged native_cd branch from Alexander Stockinger
endianess fixes
warn that the generic CPU is slow
better detection of HFS+ volumes
support for DVD-Drives
correctly check for NASM
Work-around for graphic errors in Mac OS X 10.1
POSIX/Linux: fall back to 1 GHz if /proc/cpuinfo doesn't provide cpu frequency
3c90x emulation fixed
some PROM fixed for yaboot
alteration of x86asm interface to be more programmer friendly
use transparent cursors instead of altering cursor visibility (hack for using PearPC with remote desktop)
DVD emulation implemented. Fixes problems with Tiger installation
Updated the read_effective_* commands to be faster !!! REGRESSED !!!
fixed lvalue casts (compiles now with gcc 4.x)
booting from disks with bootfile about 4 GiB limit fixed

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