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BSD ports and multiarch

http://raw.no/debian/amd64-multiarch-3.txt contains a proposal for
multiarch support on Debian. The basic idea would be that libraries will
be installed in /lib/archstring and binaries installed as usual.
Multiple library packages could be installed simultaneously, but only
one of each binary package.

Why is this relevant? The obvious application to BSD ports is that it
allows the use of Linux binaries without having any BSD-specific
hacking. Linux-i386 (or whatever) libraries would go in /lib/linux-i386
and Linux binary packages could then be installed directly. This would
allow for a much simpler bootstrapping of a port. Base can be ported
without major effort. From that stage on, Linux packages could then be
installed as a stop-gap - over time, more awkward packages can be
transitioned to being BSD native.

There's something of a lag here. dpkg support for this functionality is
unlikely to make sarge, so will have to wait until sarge+1, and packages
requiring this functionality will have to wait until sarge+2 as a
result. There's some interest in at least providing a sufficiently large
number of packages to demonstrate proof of concept rather earlier than
that, though. How do people feel about this sort of thing?

Matthew Garrett | mjg59@srcf.ucam.org

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