Open Source POWER Availability Tool

The Open Source POWER Availability Tool (OSPAT) is a search engine that was designed to help you find open source packages that are available on the IBM POWER architecture. The results provide the package name and version and the Linux distribution that supports the package.

Launch OSPATAsk a question in the forum

Frequently asked questions


What is OSPAT?

OSPAT is a search engine that analyzes open source repositories to look for packages that are requested by the user and returns information if those packages are supported on the POWER8 (and follow-on) architecture.


How do I access OSPAT?

Follow this link to launch OSPAT.


Can I use any search engine to search for available packages?

Yes, however, the specialty of OSPAT is that it only returns POWER package results, it does not return x86 packages in the search results. Thus, the user doesn't have to drill deep into the search results to find the POWER packages. Also, the search results display the results across multiple distributions, helping POWER users determine whether certain packages have equivalency across multiple distributions.


Why are there links returned on the results page?

The links are provided as a convenience. Most links lead to the POWER package for the searched-for package.


Why don't the links lead to the source code?

Typical developers, who need POWER package source code, know where the repositories and links to those source packages reside. The intent of OSPAT is to provide a quick reference to users, sellers, and marketing about the availability of a package that runs on Linux on POWER.


If a package doesn't end with the "ppc64el" or "ppc64le" postfix is it still a POWER supported package?

Yes, OSPAT considers packages that are labeled architecture independent as packages that run on Linux on POWER. An example would be a package that is written in shell script or Java.


I get too many results that contain part of my search term and the package I was searching for wasn't listed on the first page. How can I narrow my search results?

By default, all distributions are unselected, which means all of them are searched. This is likely the reason you got so many results. You can narrow your search by selecting only the distributions you care about.


The initial search results seem to be rather broad. Why do I need to filter further?

Some people only know the partial name or need to guess the name of the package they are looking for. Thus, the initial search is done with fewer restrictions and return a broader set of results.


Can anyone use this tool?

Yes. Access to OSPAT is open to everyone.


I don't see a repository that is critical to my work listed as a search option. Is OSPAT limited to the listed distributions?

Yes. The primary goal of OSPAT is to first focus on the packages explicitly supported on the most popular Linux distributions, however, there are plans for additional repositories to be added in future releases.


Why do the links in the results for some distributions not lead directly to the packages while others do?

Some of the distributions provide free base installations of their version of Linux. However, some distributions only offer fixes and premium packages under a service agreement. OSPAT is a search engine that confirms package availability but it's up to the user to have a pre-existing service agreement with the distribution in order to access the desired packages.


What is the level of support for OSPAT?

OSPAT is offered free, "as is", to any user under the standard Terms and Conditions of IBM developerWorks. There is no ticket or email support offered. However, users can engage with OSPAT development or others in the monitored OSPAT forum.


I know that a certain package is available for Linux on POWER on a specific distribution, but I don't see it in the results. Why?

OSPAT does a scheduled scan of the various distributions to build a temporary database. At the time of your search, OSPAT might not have picked up the package yet. A scan of each distribution is performed once a week. If the package is still not found in OSPAT, users can notify OSPAT development by submitting a question in the OSPAT discussion forum.


Is there a roadmap available that outlines future OSPAT capabilities?

Currently, this information is not available to the general public.


I need OSPAT to search a specific repository for it to be useful to me. How do I get this request to OSPAT development?

Suggestions are read and considered from input submitted in the OSPAT discussion forum. However, you will not receive confirmation that we've added the requested database until the new option is made available to all.


OSPAT provides little endian (LE) package search results. Will it search for big endian (BE) packages as well?

No, LE is the growing trend in Linux operating system (OS) support for POWER. Thus, the OSPAT search engine was built with LE in mind.


I searched for a package that I know exists, but the search returned no results. Why?

Sometimes, the tool searches for the exact phrase you entered and nothing else. Try using an asterisk (*) wildcard around your search word to expand the chances of finding the package you're searching for. If that doesn't work see question #13 for another possible answer.

Downloadable resources

ArticleTitle=Open Source POWER Availability Tool