Concerns about AMD64 port
I recently decided it was time to retire the Alpha I have been using as
my desktop workstation since about 1997 and get a new machine. I
decided on an Athlon 64 after reading some reports on linuxhardware.org
that show its 32-bit performance to be excellent and 64-bit performance
to be just phenomenal. And of course Linux runs on the thing.
But after reading about the Debian AMD64 port, I have some serious
concerns. As a disclaimer, I'm perfectly willing to accept that I'm
missing some vital bit of knowledge here, but I can't see it at the
On the AMD64 Ports page, it says "a pure 64bit port seems to be
academical and of little use." I am totally shocked by that statement.
The information I've seen suggests that the AMD64 is faster by no small
margin when running 64-bit apps than 32-bit apps (on Linux). Debian has
run on 64-bit-only platforms for years (my Alpha is a prime example) and
is a solid performer there, with the vast majority of packages working
on 64-bit platforms unmodified at this point.
The only reason I can see for even bothering to support 32-bit
applications at all is for binary-only proprietary software. And that
is not such a concern; it takes all of about 10 minutes to set up a
32-bit chroot with debootstrap to run those things in.
So it seems to me that the great benefit to many people of having a
native 64-bit userland has been sacrificed for the questionable benefit
of being able to run proprietary software without making a chroot. I am
still a little shocked about that.
Can someone explain what is going on here?