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Re: x86-64 on i386 (was Re: Promoting i386 version over x86_64?)



On Wed, 16 Dec 2009, Matthew Garrett wrote:

The problem here is that you appear to be massively underestimating the amount of work that would be required to actually support this configuration.

Support is a multi-valued thing as well as a process. Not every i has to be dotted for something to be of use. E.g. there are secondary arches to act as staging grounds. I would not except everything to be magically perfect tomorrow, however there may be low-hanging fruit (like yum having separate notions of default native word-size for userspace and kernel, see below).

We'd need to audit every ioctl entry point, every file in proc and every sysfs attribute.

Or just let people file bugs as they find things..

We'd need to port every application that uses vm86 over to using x86emu.

Or let people using such apps continue to use a 32bit kernel (such kernel would have to continue to be supported, obv).

We'd need to add, test and support a 32-to-64 bit cross building toolchain.

GCC has a -m64 flag that may or may not help somewhat there (though, it got b0rken, though possibly just in combination with profiling).

yum would need some amount of work that Seth has implied is significant.

That's may be the easiest bit. It updates packages just fine, except it doesn't know I want it to install 64bit kernels, after I forced it to think the machine was 32bit.

That's a lot of work for marginal benefits, and nobody seems interested in stepping up to do that work.

I.e. money meet mouth, mouth likewise, you mean? :)

I'll try poke at it later in 2010. I'm more a C programmer than a python programmer, so I'd rather look at stuff like things like the SG_IO interface (which Peter Jones pointed me at in private) than at yum, but I'll see.

regards,
--
Paul Jakma	paul jakma org	Key ID: 64A2FF6A
Fortune:
One of the disadvantages of having children is that they eventually get old
enough to give you presents they make at school.
		-- Robert Byrne


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