1999 Linux Symposium

linux on ia-64


Linux on IA-64

The port of Linux to the IA-64 architecture, co-designed by HP and Intel, started over 2 years ago at HPLabs with the initial toolchain and kernel work. In spring of 1999, the IA-64 Linux project (formerly Trillian project) was formed with the goal of creating a single, complete and fully optimized port of Linux to IA-64 with the intent to release it to the Open Source Community. This cooperative effort includes companies like Caldera, IBM, Intel, SGI, Redhat/Cygnus, SuSe, TurboLinux, VA Linux Systems. Since last February the source code for the kernel, libraries, compiler, bootloader as well as most of the architecture specifications have been released to the public making it possible to disclose more information about the effort.

We start with a quick overview of the IA-64 architecture. Then we move to the kernel and describe some internals including virtual memory, system calls, interrupts and IA-32 emulation code. Next, we cover the user level with a quick update on compilers, C, math libraries, X11, Java as well as standard Linux distributions.

In the last part, we describe the newly released IA-64 SDK for Linux IA-32. This collection of software includes the HP IA-64 instruction set simulator which makes it possible to run user level Linux/ia64 applications as well as the Linux/ia64 kernel on a regular Linux/ia32 system. Also bundled with the simulator is a development environment called NUE (Native User Environment) which allows easy porting and development of applications by creating the illusion of running on the real hardware.

Stephane Eranian Ph.D.

Stephane is employed at HP Labs where he has been working on the Linux port to IA-64 since 1998. His research interests include high-performance Internet systems and operating systems design. Before joining HP, he was working on his Ph.D. at Chorus Systems in France.

He holds a D.E.A. (B.Sc degree) in Operating systems from Universite PARIS 6 and a Doctorate (Ph.D. degree) in Computer Science from Universite PARIS 7, France.

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