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Re: Need to force arch for server install...



On Sun, 2004-11-14 at 18:32 -0700, Kim Lux wrote:
> Thanks, John.  Great reply.  I didn't know the change could be made
> after the fact.  Lesson: never underestimate Linux !
> 
> What if I forced everything to i386 to start with ?  Would it then run
> on every x86 machine ?
> 
> We use removable hard drives for a lot of things are it would be great
> if they ran on *everything*.  Would an i386 kernel do that ?  Would I
> have to change glibc as well ?

kernel, glibc and openssl are the only (as far as I know) packages that
are supplied in i686-optimized form.  However, to create a "runs on
everything" installation I would perform the install on one of the
actual low-end machines.  That would ensure no config files have a
hidden "Hey, we're running on an i686" flag set.

Using this install on newer machines should work without incident.
However, the install will not be able to use nptl or any memory
copying/clearing tricks that rely on post-i386 processor instructions.

Since you mentioned switching to a PII machine, you may want to consider
simply keeping the default i686 architecture.  Unless my memory has
failed, all x86 Intel-brand chips PII and higher are fully compatible
with the i686 instruction set.  So are all AMD Duron, Athlon, Athlon64
and Sempron.  Only some x86-compatible cpus from VIA/Cyrix, etc are not
fully compatible with i686 instructions.  Unless you use the lesser-
known cpus there is no reason to create an i386-only installation.

Kevin Freeman


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