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Re: What architecture are we?

Bruce Perens writes:
> From: "Brian C. White" <bcwhite@verisim.com>
> > It seems that some packages use the architecture "i386-linux" while others
> > use "i486-linux".  Can we have a policy on this?  Perl just switched from
> > one to another and is breaking things.
> This is very definitely a bug, probably in the perl package and not in
> some tool used to build it. Please file it now.
> The architecture of your platform is the one returned by
> 	dpkg --print-architecture
> If this is not sufficiently documented in the DPKG Programmer's Manual
> or the Debian Policy Manual, we need to add text.

There are two architectures at play here.

One is the one used by dpkg to identify which generic class of system
a package is for (e.g. i386, sparc, alpha, m68k, etc.).  The values
for this architecture are well defined and can easily be determined by
running 'dpkg --print-architecture'.

The other architecture is the one is used to identify the specific
type of cpu when configuring a package (e.g. i386-linux, i486-linux,
i586-linux, etc.).  The value for this architecture is either
specified manually or will default to the output from 'uname -m'.
Some packages behave differently depending on which cpu they are
configured for.  For example, gcc has different defaults for i386 than
for i[45]86.

I have always used i486-linux in my packages.  However, with 586
systems pretty much being the standard these days, we should probably
standardize on i586-linux, except in those cases where the resulting
package would not run at all on i[34]86 systems.  One such case would
be the Linux kernel which uses some Pentium-only instructions when
configured for i586.

David Engel                        Optical Data Systems, Inc.
david@ods.com                      1001 E. Arapaho Road
(972) 234-6400                     Richardson, TX  75081

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