New Rebuilds Look to Advance New Hardware

8. Jun 2021 | Douglas DeMaio | CC-BY-SA-3.0

New Rebuilds Look to Advance New Hardware

Developers of the openSUSE community are making advances toward even broader hardware support through the FrontRunner project.

FrontRunner is a rebuild of SUSE Linux Enterprise from sources in the Open Build Service (OBS) that provides community collaboration through openSUSE’s Step effort. FrontRunner rebuilds all sources in one project that include and stage changes to advance architecture enablement for future Leap releases.

“I am excited how FrontRunner opens up a new approach for openSUSE and SUSE to jointly enable new hardware architectures for openSUSE Leap,” said Dr. Gerald Pfeifer, chair of the openSUSE Board and Chief Technical Officer at SUSE.

openSUSE Leap inherits its base from SUSE Linux Enterprise.

“FrontRunner provides a staging area to feed back into SUSE Linux Enterprise, allowing for new levels of collaboration,” Pfeifer said.

Step, which was started in February, is designed to expand more architecture availability for future openSUSE Leap and SLE releases. FrontRunner rebuilds were established within the Step effort under the openSUSE:Step:Frontrunner namespace in OBS.

FrontRunner seeks to fix the rebuild failures in older releases and make advances enough to the point where community suggestions can be staged to further the development platform. This benefits things like older armv7 hardware so that it is not blocked on processes and is open to pioneer advances with other architectures.

“FrontRunner is about well tested changes that we want to merge in the next Service Pack,” said Milisav Radmanic, SLE Engineering Director. “Getting these new platform and architecture developments are a game changer.”

Step can already stage agreed-upon fixes for reproducibility and cross architecture builds. FrontRunner will provide precursor testing to match with implementation challenges and the project’s goals.

FrontRunner aims to build all sources in a single layer, which includes patches that are meant to land in a service pack. This could then make it into a Leap point release or maintenance update. With FrontRunner’s rebuild of SLE sources and Step as an intermediate building block, the builds are expected to enable community distributions like openSUSE Leap or other community derivatives.

Unlike openSUSE Leap, openSUSE Step and FrontRunner are not intended to be end user distributions. They serve to advance SLE and Leap.

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