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Re: Advice in switching from Mandriva 64 to Debian 64

Hi Helge.

On Thu, 3 Nov 2005, Helge Hafting wrote:

3) compare the passwd, shadow, group and gshadow files in the 64 and 32 bit sides, make sure to make them as nearly equal as you can.

Or make them hardlinks, if they are on the same filesystem.  That way,
you won't need to maintain these files.  It saves some stress when
some package installs yet another daemon user.

Actually, after setting up everything, I bind mount these files in the chroot.
Bind mounting works for files as well as for directories and full filesystems,
and it works even if the chroot cage is not in the same filesystem (which
they are not, in my case).

5) install the same packages in the 32 bit chroot, e.g. with dpkg --set-selections <my64bitselects (run this in the chroot)

Ouch - much waste of diskspace.  I see no need to make a comlete mirror.

It is indeed subtle: when you run something in the chroot, it will only see
the cage, and not the full system. This means that if something is run automatically, say based on some configuration file, such as file association
to the application in your desktop, the system will look for that application
inside the cage, and some things may not work properly due to this. A practical example: you are using the 32 bit browser in the chroot cage, click on a file and decide to automatically open the downloaded file: if the 32 bit version of the application you need for this is not available, it
will not work and the user will get an obscure (for him/her) error message.
If you install on the 32 bit side everything you have on the 64 bit side, you will indeed waste some space, but everything will just work. And given the current price of hard disk space these days, I am prepared to waste a handful of Gb for this peace of mind...

Install the complete 64-bit system.
Install the 32-bit base system using debootstrap or cdebootstrap.
Then install those 32-bit packages that are necessary.
In this case - the webbrowser with a complete set of plugins, wine
and openoffice.

OpenOffice will soon become unnecessary, as OOo 2.0 is supposed to compile
and work natively in 64 bits.

Thanks to the nice packaging systems, every other package these
apps depend on wil also be pulled in.  It'll be a lot, but nowhere near
a mirror of the 64-bit installation.  (A mirror may even be
impossible, if you have network server software like sshd or
apache installed.)

It will not get started anyway, since you will not usually boot the 32 bit
system. And, trust me, it _is_ possible: I am writing this email from such a
system, using a 64 bit pine, browsing the web with a 32 bit chrooted galeon
and chatting with friends with a 32 bit skype executed directly from the 64
bit environment... However, as I said above, it's actually just a matter of
choices: you can surely install a much slimmer 32 bit side, selecting just
what you will need to run and throwing away the rest, but if you want
everything to "just work" you will need anyway to examine the whole list of
64 bit packages and make sure almost all executables are available in 32
bits. This _is_ possible and _is_ more efficient in term of disk space, but
requires much more time than I am prepared to devote to it.



Giacomo Mulas <gmulas@ca.astro.it>

Str. 54, Loc. Poggio dei Pini * 09012 Capoterra (CA)

Tel. (OAC): +39 070 71180 248     Fax : +39 070 71180 222
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"When the storms are raging around you, stay right where you are"
                         (Freddy Mercury)

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