The PowerPC architecture supports both 64-bit and 32-bit addressing. Early implementations implemented the 32-bit subset and supported only 32-bit applications. Since 1995, 64-bit processors have implemented the complete architecture, allowing full binary application compatibility with existing 32-bit applications and support for new 64-bit applications. The first 64-bit CPUs were used in the AS/400 (now iSeries) platform. Today, 64-bit PowerPC chips can be found in iSeries, pSeries, and JS20 blade systems from IBM as well as G5 Power Macintosh from Apple.See also this description of the history of the ppc64 Linux port.
The linuxppc-dev mailing list is where development conversation and most patches are posted (those patches are also tracked on the web). You can also find developers and users on IRC in #ppc64 on irc.freenode.net.
PPC64 systems have been supported for several years by the enterprise-class offerings from Red Hat and SUSE, but are beginning to see support from others as well. See the distribution list for details.
Most recent systems are well-supported. See the full hardware list for details.
Essential tools for IBM Servers:
- Microcode (firmware) downloads
- Service Tools, including hardware error detection, PCI hotplug, and more.
- Standalone Diagnostics CD