x86_64 as Fedora's primary platform

Gregory Maxwell gmaxwell at gmail.com
Tue Sep 28 14:04:35 UTC 2010

On Tue, Sep 28, 2010 at 8:58 AM, mike cloaked <mike.cloaked at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Huh?  Sure they are.
> Some people use nightlies for example -
> Here there are no 64 bit versions that I am aware of?
> I do this when the stock version is somewhat behind even the stable
> release from mozilla.  eg in f12 the current thunderbird is 3.1.4 but
> the current f12 version is 3.0.7, and similar for firefox. Yet this is
> still a supported release - yes f13 is up to current stable releases
> from mozilla for both of these. However in the mozilla filestore for
> latest stable for thunderbird at:

Mozilla only builds x86_64 for trunk builds:

If you're not interested in the bleeding edge, why not run what Fedora provides?

...and if more people were using x86_64 Linux then perhaps Mozilla
would bother building the other branches for it.

> However in the future, say when f15 is still supported but f16 is
> current, it may well be that it is more work to run applications such
> as this that are more up to date than the Fedora packages either by
> messing with multilib library install or building the application for
> 64 bit from source.

The traditional way to get future packages is to pull them back from
later Fedora versions— though this doesn't always work, nor does
taking packages from a third party.

> There must be quite a few other examples where people will want to run
> specific codes that are not built for 64 bit?   To take the hassle out
> of dealing with issues like this I install 32 bit and life is a bit
> easier!

Not fedora packages, however. Third party, especially binary only
things... Sure.

But the way to move forward there is to get x86_64 the default— the
technical issues are solved, only market share will convince the
stragglers. And besides, "Fedora is a center for innovation in free
and open source software" and 1/3rd of Fedora users are already on it.

Nothing is bug free— but Fedora's 64 bit support is about as close as
anything available to me, and has been for some time.  Advising
caution 'until the bugs were worked out' might have been reasonable
long ago, but not anymore.

As far as I can tell the only big reason to lead with i686 is simply
because if x86_64 is promoted some people will download the wrong
version for their hardware and have trouble installing.  It's a real
concern, but I think that Fedora's commitment to innovation should
take priority, as it has taken priority over small usability issues
every time Fedora has updated some major piece of infrastructure to a
new version.

> However no doubt the best decision will emerge from the discussion?

No doubt.

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