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Porting x86 Linux applications to IBM POWER
Step 1: Learn about the POWER platform

Why port to Linux on IBM Power?

IBM® POWER® is optimized for performance. The POWER architecture is designed to be a high-performing, highly reliable platform, which is capable of handling large quantities of data more efficiently. It also enables high speed off-load capabilities with technologies such as CPU to GPU interconnect with NVIDIA NVLink.

You’ll find that Linux on the POWER platform is much like Linux on any other platform, with full support from the major enterprise and community Linux distributions.

Did you know…

  1. Linux distributions deliver release updates concurrently for both x86 and Power so Linux is Linux, no matter the architecture.
  2. Linux applications on the Power platform work like Linux applications on the x86 platform. The only difference is that they run with the Power instruction set; applications that benefit from additional processor threads, greater memory bandwidth, and larger caches should see increased performance.
  3. POWER uses the same byte order as x86 architectures so compiling tools and working on POWER is almost exactly like other setups. In fact, most open source packages will easily compile on the POWER platform since they will run on the major enterprise Linux distributions, such as: Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL), SUSE Linux Enterprise Server (SLES), and Ubuntu, and compile using GCC. In addition to the enterprise distributions, these community Linux distributions also support the Power architecture: Debian, Fedora, CentOS, and OpenSUSE.
  4. Managing, deploying and maintaining your application on POWER is the same as on all other Linux based systems because POWER uses the same management tools and services.
  5. Most standard packages are available directly from the major Linux distributions. In addition, there are thousands of community maintained ppc64le packages that run on Power. Find yours by using the Open Source POWER Availability Tool (OSPAT), which pulls ppc64le packages from the following repositories: RHEL, Ubuntu, SLES, Fedora, and CentOS.