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Debian Upgrades Linux

Debian Wheezy To Have Multi-Architecture Support 135

Posted by timothy
from the install-whereever dept.
dkd903 writes "Debian has announced they are introducing support for multiarch in Debian Wheezy. Multiarch support means a Debian system will be able to install and run applications built for a different target system."
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Debian Wheezy To Have Multi-Architecture Support

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  • by lnunes (1897628) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @03:50PM (#36913560)
    Read about it here: http://wiki.debian.org/Multiarch [debian.org]
  • where is TFA? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday July 28, 2011 @03:51PM (#36913574)

    I guess the best way to prevent people from reading TFA is to not post a proper link...

    Anyway, here is the Debian announcement. [debian.org]

  • by tanderson92 (1636327) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @04:34PM (#36914076)

    Wait isn't that what Gentoo was doing since well, forever?

    Not really, Gentoo has native multilib support, not native multiarch support. And as I understand it, Debian's multiarch support is much more integrated than Gentoo's crossdev efforts at multiarch.

  • by KiloByte (825081) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @06:41PM (#36915338)

    Uhm no, this is not bi-arch crap that keeps dragging us down -- as in, 32 bit libs on a 64 bit system. This is about having any library and any header co-installable with its versions from other architectures. Just think how much easier this makes cross-building things...

  • More information. (Score:5, Informative)

    by mmj638 (905944) on Thursday July 28, 2011 @08:13PM (#36916396)

    The summary is terrible. And not just the invalid link.

    Here's a more informative link [debian.org] than the one posted by lnunes.

    Multiarch is not gonna let you run ARM binaries on an Intel chip or anything like that - nor will it let you run Windows code on Debian. What it will do, however, is let you run x86 compiled binaries on an x64 system. It will also allow for things like mixing armhf and armel code on modern ARM, but for the most part, running 32-bit x86 code on 64-bit x64 (amd64) systems will be the benefit most of us will get.

    How will we benefit? You'll be able to run binary-only x86 code on your x64 system. This means Adobe Flash and Skype. Any open source code is fine, because it can be compiled for your own architecture - but for binary-only proprietary software, it may not be available for your architecture.

    "But this is already possible" you may be thinking. It is, but it's a nasty kludge at the moment. These packages, when installed on 64-bit systems, depend on 32-bit versions of several system libraries, which are separate packages. There's a series of kludges to make them work, and it's not very flexible.

    The heart of multiarch support is a re-designed file system layout which accounts for the architecture of any binaries. So instead of putting some binary libraries in /lib/, it puts it in /lib/amd64/ or /lib/i386/. This is the first step for allowing the same package to be installed for different architectures. Then, dpkg will have to be modified to track packages from more than one architecture on the one system.

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