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AMD64 Surpasses i386 As Debian's Most Popular Architecture 216

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the big-versus-little-endians dept.
An anonymous reader writes with a quick note about the changing tides of computer architecture. From the article: "Bill Allombert announced [yesterday] via the Debian-devel mailing list that the X86_64 version of Debian has now surpassed all of the other supported architectures by a narrow margin. The most surprising part of this announcement however, and accompanying info-graphics provided on the Debian Popularity Contest page, is that this was not already true."
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AMD64 Surpasses i386 As Debian's Most Popular Architecture

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  • Not surprising... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jaymz666 (34050) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @09:28AM (#41234423)

    considering lots of people use older machines to install Linux on to breathe life into them, to act as servers, etc.

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @09:43AM (#41234587)

    I actually choose Debian for servers, the biggest and fastest servers I can get my hand on. Debian isn't a desktop distribution, you got Ubuntu for that. But for a server you want a small and fast OS, You don't care much about X the server should be able to run by itself for weeks at a time and casual maintenance.

  • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Lumpy (12016) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @10:03AM (#41234887) Homepage

    "Who owns a system that still cannot run 64bit software?"

    I have plenty of them. Two routers that are still 32 bit only. I have several embedded PC104 industrial computers that are running robotics that are 32 bit only.

    you know, those of us doing REAL work with computers. We need the older 32 bit Linux OS builds.

  • Re:About time. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Rockoon (1252108) on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @11:00AM (#41235609)
    You do know that no 64-bit OS can run 16-bit applications without a virtual machine emulation on AMD64, right?

    Once the processor is in 64-bit mode it cannot get back to 16-bit mode without a processor reset. Not even Linux can thunk from 64-bit back to 16-bit, because the processor architecture makes that impossible.

    Your suggestion that "windows flopped" due to this is horse shit.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday September 05, 2012 @11:06AM (#41235679)


    This is actually an example of Linus being right to push for drivers to be source code which lives in his kernel repository, not binaries you get on a CD with the product.

    When Linux went 64-bit, Linux developers went through the drivers and replaced stuff that said "Yeah, I can just use any hardware address, I have 32-bit DMA" with code saying "Is this address suitable for 32-bit DMA? If not, I will use a bounce buffer like shitty ISA drivers used to". They ripped out any code that crammed hardware addresses into a 32-bit integer, and so on.

    Then when new drivers were submitted they rejected ones that showed no sign the author had done the same work.

    So for end users the effect was that most drivers just worked, and of course because it's Free Software any which somehow didn't could be fixed quickly. Whereas over in Windows land it's ten years since 64-bit went widespread and they're still having this problem.

The reason that every major university maintains a department of mathematics is that it's cheaper than institutionalizing all those people.