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Re: When will amd64 be allowed in sid?

On Thu, May 06, 2004 at 10:15:33AM +0200, Michael Neuffer wrote:
> I agree, and I think we should try to get all issues resolved
> as quickly as possible that currently keep the AMD64 port(s)
> from beeing added as ports and added to the Debian infrastructure
> (ftp server, autobuilders etc).
> We actually have TWO AMD64 ports:
>    bi-arch ie. can run 64 and 32 bit binaries
>    pure    ie. only runs 64 bit binaries
> The pure 64bit port is the easy one, that is ready to be added to
> the ftp server.
> The bi-arch is the tricky (but even more important) one, because 
> for this one some of the Debian infrastructure (apt, dpkg etc.) 
> and probably most of the packages must be amended to properly 
> support bi-arch ports where we have two different versions 
> (64/32bit) of the same libraries and sometimes also binaries 
> installed, which for example causes problems with files that 
> would be shared by both packages for example in /usr/share and /etc.
> The thing is there is unfortunately a lot of legacy & commercial 
> software around that people want/have to use that are not available
> in source and thus can not be ported to a native AMD64 port.
> For the next couple of years (hopefully not more then 10) we will 
> definitely need the biarch AMD64 until all of the applications
> that people need will have migrated and the 32bit apps that people 
> use will wither.
> For all that are now starting to yell, just think about how long 
> it took M$ to get rid of all the 16bit legacy software.
> It will hopefully take the Linux comunity not as long as it 
> took Microsoft, but it is (still) the yardstick we're measured 
> against. 

Most code that can't be immediately recompiled for amd64 is commercial
binary only software which also in most cases is statically compiled, so
in general you only need a 32bit libc (afaik). For the open source
programs that aren't 64bit clean they can be fixed as they are found,
hopefully without too many problems. Most open source apps are already
64bit clean since they are in Debian already on alpha/ia64/etc... IMHO
full biarch is of little real use on AMD64, but could be quite useful
on other archs such as mips/powerpc/sparc.


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