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amd64 as default architecture

From:  Ben Hutchings <ben-AT-decadent.org.uk>
To:  Debian kernel maintainers <debian-kernel-AT-lists.debian.org>, debian-devel-AT-lists.debian.org
Subject:  amd64 as default architecture
Date:  Sun, 20 May 2012 03:16:15 +0100
Message-ID:  <1337480175.4107.271.camel@deadeye>
Archive-link:  Article

Most new PCs have an Intel or AMD 64-bit processor, and
popcon.debian.org shows amd64 numbers almost matching i386.

For some time we have also provided the amd64 kernel for i386, identical
in all but the package metadata.  This has not always been perfectly
compatible with i386 userland, but split 32/64-bit installations are
increasingly used and I think most bugs have been flushed out by now.
Thanks to multi-arch you can now add amd64 as a secondary architecture
and install the kernel package from amd64, and if your system is running
such a kernel then it can also support userland packages from amd64.

So in wheezy I would like to see:
1. Default architecture (top of the list for installation media/manual)
being amd64 ('64-bit PC').
2. Users of the amd64 kernel flavour on i386 encouraged to add amd64 as
a secondary architecture (debconf note?).

Then in wheezy+1:
3. amd64 kernel flavour for i386 dropped.
4. Kernel and common libraries for amd64 included in i386 installation
media; kernel included on low-number disc.
5. Installer for i386 prefers amd64 kernel on any capable machine
(that's a one-line change!) and adds amd64 as secondary architecture if
this is selected.

Eventually (wheezy+2? +3?) we would stop building a kernel package for
i386.

Does anyone see a problem with the above, in particular points 1 and 2?

(Also, much of the above applies to s390x vs s390.  And please let's
have ppc64 and sparc64 soon!)

Ben.

-- 
Ben Hutchings
All extremists should be taken out and shot.


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