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Re: Executable format ?

On Mon, Jan 22, 2001 at 08:47:34PM +1000, Q89029292 wrote:
> On Mon, 22 Jan 2001, Ragga Muffin wrote:
> > Can someone clarify me how the Debian Sparc tree can support
> > both sun4c and sun4m architectures ?
> > AFAIK, in SunOS binaries are not interchangeable between 4c and 4m...
> Fair dinkum, I didn't know that, with linux I swapped a disk between a
> Classic and an IPX and it just worked.

Generally the SPARC chips are upward compatible.
(Sun4c->Sun4m->Sun4u *)  It is possible to compile a program using
extension available to Sun4m machines that won't work on a Sun4c
machine, but I don't think I have seen anyone do this - nor would you
gain that much benefit..  This holds true for the Sun4u (UltraSPARC),
but this does happen sometimes as you can get a bigger benefit using
the Ultra extensions.  

> N.B. linux seems to run SunOS binaries well too.

This is done though a system call emulation layer.

> Are you sure its the SunOS binaries or is it kernel level code
> optimisations that are different? I've never seen any vendors offering two
> differing types of binaries for SunOS are you sure?

Correct, userland binaries are not usually optimised for specific
chips (afaik none of the distributions do it)


* Technically this is more a SPARC architecture thing (SPARC v7, 8,
8+, 9) rather than a system architecture Sun4c Sun4m Sun4u.

Jim Mintha                                       Email: jim@ic.uva.nl
System Administrator                              Work: +31 20 525-4919
Informatiseringscentrum                      	  Home: +31 20 662-3892
University of Amsterdam               Debian GNU/Linux: jmintha@debian.org
_There are always Possibilities_                 http://jim.ultralinux.org

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