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Re: multiarch/bi-arch status (ETA) question

Goswin von Brederlow wrote:
> Adam Stiles writes:
> > Most current "64 bit" Linux distributions are not pure 64-bit but
> > contain both 32 and 64 bit libraries.  In other words, they are
> > multi-arch.

Not multiarch but biarch.  Not quite the same thing.

> No. They have ia32-libs preinstalled.
> Multi-arch means the packaging system knows about the various archs
> the system can run. Afaik no linux distribution can install the i386
> packages on amd64. They all have special 32bit amd64 packages for
> stuff that needs it.

That is not correct.  On Red Hat for example if you have a 32-bit i686
rpm from a 32-bit system unmodified for amd64 you can install it on
their amd64 system.  RH allows you to install either 32-bit x86 or
64-bit amd64 rpm packages on the same system.  You can mix and match
them within the limits of the dependencies being fulfilled.  See my
previous post for details of how that is accomplished.

> > This does not change the fact that it is a bodge.

It is a bodge.  Notably a useful one.  Most users don't see it at the
technical level.  All they see is that they can install both legacy
32-bit and new 64-bit software on the same machine.  They don't see
the horrendous problem that allowing duplicated packages and
overlapping packages cause.


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