AMD64 Linux documentation
czar at czarc.net
Thu Dec 11 21:07:14 UTC 2003
Is there any documentation available for the AMD64 version of Fedora Core (or
RHEL for that matter)? Yes, I have read the FAQ.
I am in the process of putting together a test system based on the AMD64
(actually an opteron since it is cheaper) and the motherboard will not arrive
until next week. So I thought I would try and do some research on AMD64 Linux
and how it is put together. I am especially interested in how it supports
both 32 bit and 64 bit applications and how the file system (and other stuff)
will be configured to handle both 32 bit and 64 bit applications. It might
also be nice to be able to have both 32 bit and 64 bit versions of some
applications installed at the same time (e.g., mozilla).
The only thing I could find for RHEL 3 is an Itanium and AMD64 Installation
Guide. But, as far as I can see, it only talks about the Itanium with no
mention of the AMD64/Opteron. The only thing I could find on debian is a
short HOWTO which basically comes down to ... install a 32 bit system and
then install a 64 bit kernel but do not install any 64 bit application
because they are not "stable". Since Red Hat is marketing (and delivering)
RHEL 3 for the AMD64/Opteron, I suspect they have worked out a lot of
stability problems (through a lot of blood, sweat and tears on their part).
I also took a quick look at both SUSE and Mandrake but the most I could find
was some pitches for selling their AMD64 version which will be available RSN.
I also did some browsing of the packages available in the preview version.
>From what I could see there are a couple of new directory trees such as
/lib64 and /usr/lib64 which hold the 64 bit versions of libraries with the 32
bit version going into /lib and /usr/lib. However, there are still conflicts
with between the 32 bit and 64 bit version of glibc (for example) --
/usr/share/doc, /usr/sbin/ sbin/ and /etc which would (not easily) allow
concurrent installation. I took a look at some of the packages in
taroon-amd64 and the same thing is true there.
I realize that this (Fedora Core for the AMD64) is a "work in progress" but I
am hoping for some information as to how these this will (are being) made to
work. One of the great attractions of the AMD64 (at least to me) is the
ability to run "old" 32 bit applications at the same time (on the same
system) I am running 64 bit applications. The AMD64 is very different from
the Itanium since I do not need to port and rebuild my 32 bit application ...
the only other hardware I am aware that has this dual mode (32 bit/64 bit)
capability is the Sun Sparc.
There is a little info (not much) on the amd64 mailing list but no real
discussion of how to resolve the package conflicts (other than using --force
which does not make sense to me).
OK, I am hoping that some of the folks at Red Hat (and perhaps others) have
given this some thought and have a strategy for this.
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