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FatELF: universal binaries for Linux

FatELF: universal binaries for Linux

Posted Oct 29, 2009 2:30 UTC (Thu) by joey (subscriber, #328)
Parent article: FatELF: universal binaries for Linux

> On the project's website, Ryan lists a lot of reasons why someone would
> use FatELF. Some of them are rather far-fetched, such as:

>> Distributions no longer need to have separate downloads for various
>> platforms. Given enough disc space, there's no reason you couldn't have
>> one DVD ISO file that installs an x86-64, x86, PowerPC, SPARC, and MIPS
>> system, doing the right thing at boot time. You can remove all the
>> confusing text from your website about "which installer is right for
>> me?"

Multi-arch CDs are not farfetched. Making something bootable on more than 3
or 4 arches is, due to boot sector clashes. (x86/x86-64/powerpc is doable;
so is alpha/hppa/ia64).

But to boot a single installer image that uses FatELF is farfetched because

a) It runs from memory, so fat executables waste memory.. which does matter
on at least some of the arches.

b) The installer boot process tends to be significantly different for
different arches. Often the first point of difference is how the ramdisk is
piggybacked onto the kernel (or otherwise loaded).


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