Re: When will amd64 be allowed in sid?
John Goerzen wrote:
On Thu, May 06, 2004 at 10:15:33AM +0200, Michael Neuffer wrote:
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
One coudl still set up a 32-bit chroot in a "pure64" environment.
I believe that we should add 64-bit only port now, and then wait for
sarge+1 or sarge+2 to see if the users demand support for multiarch.
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.
True, but OTOH there are plenty of Debianiers happily using other
platforms such as Alpha, PowerPC, and Sparc for which little commercial
software is available on Linux. I am among them, having been an Alpha
user since 1998 or so.
They can continue to use i386 port without *any* problems.
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.
However, this is not a reason to keep pure64 out of the archive now.
When Debian is ready to support biarch, then we can always transition.
I don't think that transition will be complex.
Exactly. Most Debian installations that are for 64-bit, initially will
be server only. Soon after that, they will include more and more
desktops, but even then people will continue to rely on Debian packages.
Muti-arch support can then be introduced in sarge+1 or sarge+2 if really
needed but very soon most new applications will have amd64 and i386
versions. Later, i386 will not even be supported. I know that there are
reasons people might want multiarch, but isn't it just like adding a
"i686" port? After all, if someone needs 32-bit, they can run i386 arch,
if they can cope with 64-bit, then they run amd64.
i386 port is not going anywhere anytime soon. People wanting to use
programs for i386 on amd64 can setup,
* i386 chroot to run these programs. I'm sure that a debian script
will be introduced for this (even better than debootstrap :)
* they can install i386 on a different partition
But I doubt that it really be necessary. Most people will want 64-bit
simply to have 64-bit apps. They will demand them from non-free
suppliers. The i386 only apps will die faster than people think. Just
look at nVidia. They already support AMD64. Well, since Dec 11, 2002! 
 - http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux.html
 - http://www.nvidia.com/object/linux_amd64_display_archive.html