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Re: pure64, multiarch etc (was: "Trivial Question" - 32bit vs. 64bit vs. 32/64bit)

On Thu, May 27, 2004 at 04:15:22PM +0200, Mattias Wadenstein wrote:
> On Thu, 27 May 2004, John Goerzen wrote:
> [snip answer to some question]
> > Biarch/multiarch refers to an experimental extension to Debian that
> > permits a userland that has mixed 32- and 64-bit code.  With biarch, it
> > would be possible to install those programs right alongside each other
> > and not really notice a difference.
> >
> > However, this support requires a massive change in the way we think
> > about packages in Debian, and about libraries in general.  Therefore,
> > the biarch tree is nowhere near as close to being complete as pure64
> > because porting is a more difficult task.
> >
> > I think that most of us expect that pure64 will be the first to enter
> > ftp.debian.org, but once our technology improves, that tree will
> > naturally evolve into supporting something like biarch.
> Well, they way I see it is that amd64 will be a debian arch and multiarch
> never will be. The current multi-arch approach is just changes to the
> source packages and splitting out common packages etc. The changes will
> not just be for amd64 but for all architectures that can live under the
> same kernel/system. That will be pretty orthogonal to the amd64 port and
> happen during a longer time frame, starting with the base libraries.

   I agree. The current multiarch work has the potential to be much
more than merely an i386/amd64 thing, and indeed is targeted as such.
It would be (considerably?) easier to develop a system capable of
doing the i386/amd64 split, but the main multiarch proposals
potentially cover _all_ systems capable of running code for more than
one architecture on the same box. There are at least three other types
of machine that I'm aware of (Sparc64, MIPS, and IA64) that could use
the multiarch system.

   I believe that once we iron out the bugs in multiarch, it should be
possible to migrate to a multi-arch system from either i386 _or_
pure64, although there may be more issues involved with moving up from
i386. (Such as identifying from a completely i386 userspace that the
machine is amd64 and hence i386/amd64 multiarch capable. There may
also be difficulties installing the first 64-bit kernel.)


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