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#1 2016-05-29 19:17:27

Horizon_Brave
Operating System: Linux-Nettrix
Registered: 2015-10-18
Posts: 1,473

The Case for Multi-Arch Kernel

Hi everyone, So in doing some looking into the different instruction sets that Debian supports. I (of course) have a few questions.

First, Debian supports the following cpu architectures.

   

64-bit PC (amd64)
    32-bit PC (i386)
    EABI ARM (armel)
    PowerPC
    Hard Float ABI ARM (armhf)
    MIPS (little endian)
    MIPS (big endian)
    IBM System z
    64-bit ARM (AArch64)
    POWER Processors 

Is the term cpu architecture and cpu instruction one in the same?

There is also apparently a way to support not just one of these, but multiple different instruction sets of the above CPU's.  This is done by using :

dpkg --add-architecture <arch>

You need the dpkg dpkg 1.16.2  version and higher. (we're currently on 1.17.26,  so we're good)


and then updating the repo.

So my main question I suppose is what's the disadvantage of this? It seems like including all cpu architectures could only help and solve mismatching cpu issues. (Someone downloading and intalling the wrong image for their cpu architecture)  Or the wrong software package. Wouldn't just having multi-arch "turned on" and setup as a default be a good 'catch all' for people unaware of the different cpu instruction sets?

Thanks in advance!


"I have not failed, I have found 10,000 ways that will not work" -Edison

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#2 2016-05-29 20:19:38

Head_on_a_Stick
Member
From: London
Registered: 2015-09-29
Posts: 8,759
Website

Re: The Case for Multi-Arch Kernel

Horizon_Brave wrote:

Wouldn't just having multi-arch "turned on" and setup as a default be a good 'catch all' for people unaware of the different cpu instruction sets?

Not really, most people won't want to run 32-bit applications on their 64-bit systems (Steam being an obvious exception) so having both amd64 and i386 libraries on the same machine is a bit of a waste.

See https://wiki.debian.org/Multiarch

Last edited by Head_on_a_Stick (2016-05-29 20:29:26)


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