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Re: amd64 as default architecture

Ben Hutchings <ben@decadent.org.uk> writes:

> Most new PCs have an Intel or AMD 64-bit processor, and
> popcon.debian.org shows amd64 numbers almost matching i386.
> For some time we have also provided the amd64 kernel for i386, identical
> in all but the package metadata.  This has not always been perfectly
> compatible with i386 userland, but split 32/64-bit installations are
> increasingly used and I think most bugs have been flushed out by now.
> Thanks to multi-arch you can now add amd64 as a secondary architecture
> and install the kernel package from amd64, and if your system is running
> such a kernel then it can also support userland packages from amd64.
> So in wheezy I would like to see:
> 1. Default architecture (top of the list for installation media/manual)
> being amd64 ('64-bit PC').

Default image could be multiple archs. We had i386/amd64/ppc DVD images
in the past and that seems like the best default. It simply works (near
enough) everywhere. Doesn't work for all image types but where it does ...

> 2. Users of the amd64 kernel flavour on i386 encouraged to add amd64 as
> a secondary architecture (debconf note?).

2b. Have D-I ask wether to enable multiarch on amd64 on i386 if it
installed the amd64 kernel image but also i386 on amd64.

Slightly OT but I wanted to mention it for its similarity:

One thing that should be tested and then documented prominently as yay
or nay in the wheezy upgrade notes is wether one can cross-grade from
i386 to amd64 using multiarch. Wether one can install apt/dpkg:amd64 and
then migrate to a 64bit userspace.

> Then in wheezy+1:
> 3. amd64 kernel flavour for i386 dropped.
> 4. Kernel and common libraries for amd64 included in i386 installation
> media; kernel included on low-number disc.
> 5. Installer for i386 prefers amd64 kernel on any capable machine
> (that's a one-line change!) and adds amd64 as secondary architecture if
> this is selected.

D-I (libdebian-installer) must be multiarch aware for that then.
Otherwise it won't see the amd64 kernel in the first place.

> Eventually (wheezy+2? +3?) we would stop building a kernel package for
> i386.

As in drop the i386 arch?

> Does anyone see a problem with the above, in particular points 1 and 2?

No problem as such, just more ideas.

> (Also, much of the above applies to s390x vs s390.  And please let's
> have ppc64 and sparc64 soon!)
> Ben.


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