I run Mandrakelinux 10.1 AMD64 here on a dual-Opteron K8W Tyan board, and
it runs awesome. I also ran Mandrake 10.0 AMD64 which was also pretty
good, but had some pitfalls with its 64bits applications : Mozilla didn't
have flash and other plugins, but also Konqueror 64bit didn't have flash,
or realplayer fucntionality.
Inside 10.1 AMD64 a new approach is started. The apps which should work
to pass a Desktop functionality test, but fail in 64bits mode, are just
replaced with their 32bit counterparts from the 10.1 i586 DVD. Actually
its a handy idea to have a 10.1 i586 DVD standby. Something fails? Try to
install the i586 edition of that. As far i can see its amongst others
OpenOffice, and Mplayer :
[jackson:stock]:(~)$ file /usr/lib/openoffice/program/soffice.bin
/usr/lib/openoffice/program/soffice.bin: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel
80386, version 1 (SYSV), for GNU/Linux 2.2.5, dynamically linked (uses
shared libs), stripped
[jackson:stock]:(~)$ file /usr/lib64/openoffice/program/soffice.bin
/usr/lib64/openoffice/program/soffice.bin: cannot open
[jackson:stock]:(~)$ file /usr/bin/mplayer
/usr/bin/mplayer: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1
(SYSV), for GNU/Linux 2.2.5, dynamically linked (uses shared libs),
I assume there are some more key applications which are "just" the i586
edition. Then again there's still some bugs inside too : like gnucash :
ERROR: In procedure dynamic-link:
ERROR: file: "libgw-wct", message: "/usr/lib64/libgw-wct.a: invalid ELF
For more AMD64 issues keep an eye on
Again moving from 32bit to a 100% 64bit clean Server or even Workstation
OS overnight is _not_ easy. Its also one of the reasons why Micrososft
dodged Itanium2 from their platform list, for now. AMD64 is the better
platform cause one can always drop-in the "old" 32bit edition of your
All in all i'm pretty impressed with Mandrake 10.1 amd64 (official
edition) because after all, i have 64bit Opteron power under my keyboard,
pretty awesome when doing things like generating pdf documentation from
inside OpenOffice, creating DVD iso's or editing multimedia formats.
And here comes the main Mandrake advantage over other distro's like SuSE
9.2 : every application you need for linux needs is out there in SRPM/RPM
format. Check .e.g. rpm.pbone.net. Even the most exotic add-on software
will build clean on your Mandrake system. From the SuSE camp i sometimes
hear other sounds.
Download your favorate package-1.23-1mdk.src.rpm , and a rpm --rebuild of
that will run your stuff in no time. Well thats for i586, it seems 64bit
QT/KDE compiling on AMD64 needs a couple extra switches. But never did i
experience performance or functionality problems after a succesfull
compilation on a Mandrake system. Mandrake is here the clear winner of
all linux distros out there.
Robert M. Stockmann
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