LINUX DISTRIBUTION Opensuse said that its ARM development is being limited by a lack of resources to build software despite having launched its Open Build Service (OBS).
Last month the Opensuse project announced the release of Opensuse 12.3, which brought ARM support to the same level as x86 and AMD64. While the project is working on bringing ARMv7 and more importantly ARMv8 support to its Linux distribution, Jos Poortvliet, community manager at Opensuse, said that the project's ARM development has been limited by the lack of build resources.
Opensuse announced a collaboration with Samsung to create the OBS, which it was hoped would speed up the development lifecycle. However Poortvliet said, "ARM development is limited by available build resources required for compiling each iteration of new software and while the OBS helps by bringing a lot of build power in one place, the use of QEMU meant that build resources were shared with native x86_64 builds, which turned out to be a performance limitation.
"With fast and dedicated ARM hardware we can reserve build power for ARM builds and make use of the more efficient KVM virtualisation."
However in better news, Poortvliet said that the project had managed to deploy KVM - the Linux kernel based virtual machine - on ARM hardware. He added that parent firm Suse has assigned more resources to building ARM software on OBS and forecast that all packages would be built in two weeks.
While Canonical and Red Hat have been vocal about their ARM developments, Suse and its Opensuse project have been quietly going about their business, though given Poortvliet's comments regarding a lack of resources, perhaps they have been going about it too quietly.
Although ARM vendors are not expected to converge on the server market until next year, even ARM thinks that most servers using its chips will run open source software.
Unless Suse manages to get its act together, it might find that Canonical and Red Hat have already carved out a significant chunk of the market. µ
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