Re: Upgrading i686 vs. x86_64. Just checking !

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On Sat, 2010-02-27 at 18:05 +0000, Marko Vojinovic wrote: 
> On Saturday 27 February 2010 05:24:32 pm bruce wrote:
> > On Sat, Feb 27, 2010 at 8:31 AM, William Case <[email protected]> wrote:
> > > I am using a *fc12.x86_64 machine.  I just now upgraded several packages
> > > with yum (yumex) and noticed several i686 packages being upgraded as
> > > well.  Is this normal?  Are some packages I have using i686 when I
> > > should have only *.86_64 on my machine?  Should I remove ALL i686
> > > packages or just leave them alone?  I am not overly concerned; just
> > > wondering.
> >
> > as far as i know.. there is no true, only x64 OS from the redhat
> > tree... although i think solaris has an actual tryu 64 bit OS...
> > 
> > the 64 bit OS linux from redhat (fedora/centos/rhel/etc.. ) comes with
> > a combination if i recall...
> No, this is not true in general. The presence of i686 packages on a x86_64 
> system depends on what you have installed, and is not mandatory.
> When F12 came out, I did a clean 64bit install, and had *zero* 32bit packages. 
> I only tainted this with 32bit dependencies for skype, since there is no 64bit 
> version of it (yet). Later on I tainted it again when installing dependencies    
> for Wolfram Mathematica package I use.
> If there weren't for closed source software which depends on 32bit libraries, 
> I'd be having a clean 64bit-only system.

It used to be the case that x86_64 ("multilib") installations installed
many i386 libraries by default.  More recent versions (since F10,
maybe?) only install i386 if needed by 32-bit executables.

> A similar situation is probably for centos/rhel as well (although I am not 
> sure).

I think RHEL5 came out before this change in policy, so it shouldn't be
surprising to find i386 libs on RHEL/CentOS multilib installs.  It
should be OK to remove them if they aren't needed to support particular
32-bit executables.

BTW, PPC64 installations *should* have 32-bit libs.  On PPC64, you want
32-bit userland binaries whenever possible (i.e., if you don't need
64-bit ints or pointers), because on PPC there are no additional 64-bit
registers to offset the loss in performance due to 64-bit memory

> > leave them alone!!!
> I agree. If you have 32bit packages on a (cleanly installed) 64bit system, 
> then they are there probably because something depends on them. Removing them 
> with yum might give you a hint what app needs them, and could break it if you 
> insist.
> If you have upgraded to F12 from F11 or so, there might be stale 32bit 
> packages which are not needed anymore (like ndiswrapper, or was it 
> nspluginwrapper, or...?). In that case it is probably safe to remove them.
> Yum is your friend. :-)
> Best, :-)
> Marko

                Matthew Saltzman

Clemson University Math Sciences
mjs AT clemson DOT edu
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