[SATLUG] Fedora is best for AMD64
linuxuser at soopurman.net
Tue Aug 30 17:16:54 CDT 2005
As of this post, I have come to a new conclusion about myself.
As it turns out, I am really the kind of guy who just picks the best
tool for the job at hand. I have further concluded that if the job
at hand is combining 32- and 64-bit libraries on an AMD64
workstation, then Fedora is the best tool I know.
My Rackspace server runs FreeBSD. I built a SuSE box for a
computer neophyte last week. My parents are an iBook/iMac couple.
And my own sticking point has been that I truly believed there could
be nothing better than almighty Debian and her many awesome
derivatives (this message brought to you by IA32-Ubuntu). But for
the past 8 months I've been distro-hopping on my shiny new
spring-board made of 64-bit wide silicon, never quite landing in just
the right pool of application compatibility. Until now.
Allow me to share with you the key to unlocking access to every
library your Athlon64 will ever need. You won't find this anywhere
else because I only just figured it out myself. If you want the
short version then here it is: http://soopurman.net/combined.repo
(just read the comments at the top). If you're at all curious as to
how an apt-get nut could possibly learn to love yum, then read on.
Here is the basic problem: Opteron is too brilliant. It is such
a simple and powerful idea. One processor can seamlessly execute two
different instruction sets, because they have much more in common
with each other than there are differences between them. But this
innovation has been so subtly introduced, that traditional package
management infrastructure wasn't really ready for it.
A little bit more of the problem: you can't link 64-bit
libraries into 32-bit application code. This isn't AMD's fault. But
if you want to run any 32-bit code (and at some point, you will) then
you need a full set of 32-bit libraries. But thats just it; as
effective as Debian's apt-get family of technology is at handling
packages, the packages are still only organized by name - not by name
and architecture. They're working on it, to be sure. And some day
maybe something called "multi-arch" might come to Debian's rescue,
but until then, YUM beat them to the punch.
YUM came from Yellow Dog, but no matter, because Yellow Dog is
just RedHat recompiled. It secretly aspires to be as good as
apt-get, but it isn't really. Except for this one secret: it is now
capable of organizing packages by both name AND architecture. And
thats really all you need. So you install Fedora and you setup YUM
to use double the software repositories as normal: one full set for
AMD64, as always, plus another regular collection just like an IA32
box might use. And the really cool thing is that YUM just says,
"okay, no big deal".
So, am I happy? Well, Fedora doesn't look nearly as pretty on
the outside as SuSE does. And it doesn't quite have the internal
beauty of design that Debian has. But I can stop distro-hopping now.
After this last jump off the silicon spring board I've finally
landed in a pool of compatibility. So now I can just keep
(Mike Roberts is a Support Fanatic at work at Rackspace and a Spurs
Fan at home in San Antonio)
mike at soopurman:~$ cat /etc/yum.repos.d/combined.repo
# This is a substitute for everything in /etc/yum.repos.d
# so you will need to either remove, back-up, comment-out,
# or disable everything in that directory, and then put this
# file there. Then you can use "yum install package.i386"
# and "yum install package.x86_64" as needed. These seem
# to be pretty good mirrors for me, but you might want to
# choose your own. Also, I've included the "livna" repos
# which are great for things like Nvidia drivers and video
# players with extra codecs, but first you have to install
# For example: I recommend you "yum remove firefox" and then
# "yum install firefox.i386" so you can then "yum install
# mplayerplug-in.i386" (and manually install Sun's J2RE,
# Macromedia Flash 7, and RealPlayer 10). - mike at soopurman.net
name=Fedora Extras $releasever - x86_64
name=Fedora Extras $releasever - i386
name=Fedora Core $releasever - x86_64 - Base
name=Fedora Core $releasever - i386 - Base
name=Fedora Core $releasever - x86_64 - Released Updates
name=Fedora Core $releasever - i386 - Released Updates
name=Livna for Fedora Core $releasever - x86_64 - Base
name=Livna for Fedora Core $releasever - i386 - Base
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