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64-bit Debian

Discussion in 'Linux / Unix Discussion' started by ffreeloader, May 10, 2008.

  1. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I had to move my system from Sid back to Etch so I would have the same environment, as far as package versions go, as the servers at work do. Plus, one of the python upgrades about two weeks ago broke all my Plone installations here on my lab.

    No biggie I thought. Just back everything up and wipe out Sid and install Etch.... Famous last words, thanks to nVidia and ATI. Neither of their drivers that support a 64-bit kernel support a 32-bit userland. I don't have the money right now to buy yet another video card so I installed the amd64 release of Etch and held my breath as to what all was not going to work anymore.

    Skype, Flash, Kompozer, and a few other apps are must-haves for me as I use them a lot. None of them have 64-bit releases. I also didn't know what I'd run into with things like Zope and Plone either.

    I'm pretty amazed at what I've been able to do just by installing the ia32-libs packages and then using dpkg -i --force-architecture packagename to install software. So far everything works, even flash. For flash I had to install a package called nspluginwrapper, but now flash works just like it did in a 32-bit userland.

    I just download the 32-bit packages and if I need anything dpkg tells me what dependencies I need so I just install them with apt-get, go back to dpkg to install the downloaded 32-bit package and away it goes.

    As far as Zope and Plone go if you use what's called the Plone Unified Installer it will compile everything to be compatible with the 64-bit environment. The next worry for me was about the databases in Zope/Plone. Could I use a ZODB created in a 32-bit environment and have it readable in a 64-bit environment? The answer is yes.

    Other than spending a full day fighting with nVidia's and ATI's lousy drivers trying to get them working in a dual-architecture environment this move to a 64-bit OS has been pretty painless. The only other snafu I ran into was when I burnt a copy of my home folder to a dvd. It burnt and verified that it was correct so I didn't check further. When I went to restore my home directory all my email for the last 5 years was gone, as well as a whole slew of other stuff. All the first level directories existed, but about 80% of the directories were only that 1 level deep so anything stored at subdirectory level 1 or more was gone.

    My heart about jumped into my throat when I started to try restoring stuff. Fortunately what I had done was remove the old IDE drives and put SATA drives in their places, so I just installed the old IDE drives one at a time and copied from them to the new drives. It was a close call. If I hadn't bought new drives and simply removed the old ones I'd have been up a creek without a paddle.

    One of the strengths of open source is its flexibility because geeks are always trying to do things that shouldn't work, and the open source community has come up with tools that make it possible to do a lot of non-standard processes.

    I really like the 64-bit environment. It seems faster and lighter than the 32-bit environment running on a 64-bit kernel. Part of that may be the new hard drives as SATA is faster than IDE, but the same thing feels true on my laptop where I have run both environments
     
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  2. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    Fedora 9.......4 days......

    Yes, I'm excited!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  3. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Cool. I've been thinking about trying CentOS, but I'm so busy learning just the the stuff I need for work that it's on a burner far, far away from any kind of immediate priority.....

    Did you join the LUG you're advertising? If so, good on ya. I go to the closest LUG meetings when I can, but the closest LUG is 100 miles away. With the price of gas now I doubt I'll be going very often anymore....
     
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  4. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    I didn't have to do anything special on my 64-bit Mandriva Powerpack 2008.1 installation. nVidia drivers, Flash plugin, Adobe reader, even VirtualBox and the Firebird database... all work straight out-of-the-box. Kind of boring really compared to the hours (or days) it takes to get a similar environment set up with other distros. :rolleyes:
     
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  5. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    That's a 64-bit userland though, not a complete 32-bit userland with 64-bit kernel. The Etch i386 release doesn't even have the ia32-libs packages installed.

    As to Adobe reader and Firebird they are readily available and I have them too. I just use the Debian netinstall cd of 150 megs rather than the DVD or the set of CDs for installation. That allows me to do a completely customized install that's up-to-date from the time it's installed rather than a bunch of things I don't want and have to remove, and then have a bunch of updating to afterwards. And, the Debian amd64 release, as it comes from Debian, is pure 64-bit. There is nothing on it that is 32-bit.

    I like Debian's approach of giving the user standard install with only GPL'ed software and then letting the user be the one who decides how to modify, and what to add, to the installation rather than an all-in-one install.

    I'm running the kernel from Lenny, a few of the ia32-libs from Lenny, and some desktop software from backports.org.
     
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  6. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    I like Mandriva's approach of including what I need whether it's GPL'ed or not. First boot and everything "just works" like it's supposed to. That's what Linux needs to be a viable desktop alternative to Windows.

    For the true geeks and core-services-only servers Debian or Fedora work just fine, I'm sure.
     
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  7. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I'll disagree with you on the inclusion of proprietary software inside Linux. If many people hadn't taken principled stands, and not backed down on them, then open source would have never reached the level it has. It would not now be viable competitor in many fields.

    Just accepting proprietary software inside Linux means that the companies who produce hardware would never have to accommodate the open source at all. I don't use proprietary software unless pretty much forced to. It's like with my two video cards. Both of them are new enough that the only drivers available are the proprietary ones. Even the vesa drivers won't work. If the open source drivers would have been available for those two cards my life would have been much easier.

    The only time I've used the proprietary drivers before this was when I wanted to play with Compiz to see what it's all about. I tried it, got tired of it, and removed the proprietary drivers along with it.
     
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  8. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    I did join the local LUG here. The meeting place is about 15 minutes from here.
     
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  9. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    How big is it? What's average attendance?
     
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  10. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    15 on a bad night, 50+ on a good night.
     
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  11. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    That's a pretty good-sized LUG. The one in Spokane is a stagnated group that is the same bunch that's been getting together for years. It's turned into nothing but a gab session once a week for them.

    Don't get me wrong, I've learned a few things from them, but they have their meetings in a pizza joint and it's really loud in there. If there is a soft-spoken person sitting a few chairs away from you it's impossible to hear them over the TVs and the rest of the chatter. There are multiple conversations going on at all times just between the members themselves. There is no real structure or organization to the meetings at all. A few noobs show up every once in a while but after seeing they aren't going to learn anything in that atmosphere they're gone never to return.
     
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  12. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    Here's where we meet:

    http://www.immedion.com/

    The admins there graciously let us use their board room once a month. Last month Google came in to talk shop.
     
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  13. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    FYI, latest Linux Journal mag has the 2008 reader's choice awards and Ubuntu was the winner, which is perhaps not terribly surprising. What you might find surprising is Mandriva took the number two spot, beating out Fedora. :biggrin

    And for the record, if you're a GPL zealot who likes doing everything the hard way, Mandriva still offers their "free edition" without all the proprietary stuff. http://www.mandriva.com/en/community/free-software

    Personally, I'd rather just pay for the PowerPack (and did)... but to each his/her own.
     
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  14. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    To quote you directly........"but to each his/her own."

    Which, IMHO, defeats the purpose of using Linux. :D
     
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  15. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    As the saying goes, "free as in freedom" not as in bottled anesthetics. :ohmy

    In any case, for ~US$69 I got the latest version of PowerPack and the right to download the next version too. And I can install it on as many machines as I like. It's still a "steal" compared in Windows.
     
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  16. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    That's right "free as in freedom" is the Linux way. If people hadn't stood up for that principle you wouldn't have any Linux. You wouldn't have any GPL'ed software. You like to reap the benefits of their dedication but refer to them dismissively as "zealots".... :rolleyes:
     
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  17. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    Fedora 9 installed.

    <cough cough>
    Hmmm....I don't feel well....maybe I need to call in sick tomorrow and "rest". :twisted:
     
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  18. Crito

    Crito Banned

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    I'll gladly accept and appreciate software anyone wants to distribute freely. You can simply place your code in the public domain without a copyright. Zealots would reject such a gift merely because it doesn't conform to the GPL's copyleft dogma, however. The hacker ethic isn't enough for them, they have to advance their political agenda too. And that's why Linux isn't #1 as it should be.
     
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  19. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    Patience young padawan.
     
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