Snapd on powerpc (ppc) xenial

Brace yourself @mvo, you will like this.

So today I wanted to help out with the weird ppc bugs we’ve been seeing by installing xenial on an old powerpc box I had lying around.

I found some curious things:

  • snapd on pcc is utterly broken because there is no core snap
  • snapd on ppc has no version string?!?
  • the package in the archive is 2.27.5
zyga@mini:~$ snap version
snap    unknown
snapd   unknown
series  16
ubuntu  16.04
kernel  4.4.0-93-powerpc-smp

zyga@mini:~$ LANGUAGE=en apt-cache policy snapd
  Installed: 2.27.5
  Candidate: 2.27.5
  Version table:
 *** 2.27.5 500
        500 xenial-updates/main powerpc Packages
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     2.0.2 500
        500 xenial/main powerpc Packages

zyga@mini:~$ sudo snap install core
error: snap "core" not found

So while chasing elusive test failures we missed the elephant in the room. What shall we do with ppc then?

  • put it to rest, remove snapd from the archive on ppc
  • fix it, build the core snap, figure out what’s missing and just let it die with the next LTS

I re-built snapd package last night and found that despite this being in the build log:

*** Setting version to '2.27.5' from debian/changelog.

We end up with unknown in snap version, identical as shown above.

I suspect this is related to gccgo and the use of go generate.

sorry, but what is the reason that you suddenly want to support powerpc ? from the initial agreement we are building for 6 arches:

full images for: armhf, arm64, i386 and amd64
only core (and before ubuntu-core): s390x and ppc64el

powerpc, as an arch to go away after 16.04 was excluded from this from day one and agreed on with @sabdfl to not be supported.

we have never built tarballs, ubuntu-core or core for powerpc, has anything changed on that initial architecture list ?

Note that adding a new arch will also mean to build all supplemental packages for it to create a properly working core. This will be quite some work.

EDIT: I don’t want to support it :slight_smile:

If we don’t support it we should:

  • mark the package as not buildable on ppc in Ubuntu, Debian and elsewhere
  • ensure it is not blocking any SRUs

i thought the latter policy was in place since day one … for the former simply exclude powerpc from the target build arches :wink:

Hehe, well, we need to do some cleaning then. I think the package should not be in the archive for ppc and should not build / block builds for ppc. How can we do that?

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As first step, remove the architecture from the target arches in debian/control …

Second you need to talk to an archive admin to get the existing binaries removed i guess …

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@mvo can you ack this plan?