LinuxQuestions.org
Review your favorite Linux distribution.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Distributions > Slackware
User Name
Password
Slackware This Forum is for the discussion of Slackware Linux.

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 06-24-2008, 03:25 PM   #1
samac
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Westray, Orkney
Distribution: Slackware64-14.1 (multi-lib) KDE 4.11.4
Posts: 1,422

Rep: Reputation: 137Reputation: 137
Moving to 64bit OS, some observations


This thread is merely my thoughts on some 64 bit operating systems that I have tried over the past few days.

It is not meant to be an exhaustive study just an exhausting read.

I am a long term Linux addict and have been using exclusively as a desktop and a SOHO business system for at least 10 years. I am not a programmer or so interested in the internals that I can debug a kernel module, but I know enough to make the system work if it is broken.

As Slackware doesn't have an official 64 bit version I decided to play the field a bit.


Try one. FreeBSD release 7.0

This one was quite good. It installed well, and I had just about figured out ports. I then tried to install the nvidia drivers. PROBLEM nvidia do not produce 64 bit BSD drivers. Not BSD's fault but not good enough for me.


Try two. Arch-core-2007.08

Again installed well, and pacman was figured out. Time to use it to install KDE. Pacman is supposed to load all dependencies, right? WRONG. KDE was downloaded, but it decided that it did not need xorg to run. So time for pacman to download and install xorg. This time it was right, it would work and no one would need to be nailed to anything. WRONG it "dependencied" itself to death.


Try three. Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

The most popular distribution in the universe, this had to work right. Well it did, but I absolutely hate the way it holds your hand. Anyway I thought' "lets give it a go".

The install was good and then a helpful little "gremlin" told me that my screen would look better if I downloaded a proprietary file, but my system would be at more risk if I did. So I used the helpful little gremlin to download the nvidia driver. All was going well, I was liking what I was seeing. (I checked my temperature and pulse, I must be sickening for something). The lovely gremlin then told me that there were 203 updates available (to a new release!). I was about to stretch my bandwidth then thought better test the nvidia driver. Glad I saved the bandwidth.

If an OS cannot install one of the most used drivers without c**king it up, then it is no good for me.


Try four. Gentoo minimal install disk

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

All this did was install a small live system, which you could use to install your new system. Yes I know that Gentoo is a hands on system, but even toothpicks come with instructions (just ask Wonko the Sane).

I eventually found the instructions in the bottom of ....

...on the internet.

Unfortunately you need the instructions to be able to start the network to get to the internet.

Pathetic and laughable.


Try five. Bluewhite64 12.1

I know there are strong feelings about this distro, but slamd64 ain't up to date yet.

This is basically Slackware, so it installed like a dream and ran first time, no problems so far.

Unfortunately the distributor has managed to get some links wrong, which means that the nvidia drivers don't compile.

I installed using the huge.s kernel but vmlinuz etc. linked to the test.s kernel. An easy fix and then all was well.


CONCLUSION

I know what I am doing, but for a NEWBIE we are looking at 5 out of 5 showstoppers, and potential converts to "the light", slipping back to the darkness and Vista64.

I think the only thing we, as Slackers, can do is say "Come on Pat and your team, PLEASE release an official 64 bit version." and probably more important "Please Mrs Pat (Andrea)(official kernel compiler) sacrifice even more of your time with your husband for the benefit of the wider world."


samac
 
Old 06-24-2008, 03:40 PM   #2
SCerovec
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2006
Location: Cp6uja
Distribution: Slackware and Porteus
Posts: 648

Rep: Reputation: 45
my two cents:
1. I agree there are showstoppers re: 64bit computing.
2. You didn't try openBSD (the most portable) ;-P
3. You didn't try Debian (the most maintained OS there is)
4. You are wrong re:Slackware64 -
its not up to Pat - it's up to us:

We shall all pack a $10 ... $100 buck {v|n}ote and spam Slackware company with pre-paid 64bit support requests.
...IMHO...
the sooner the better

so said Mrs. can take above Mr. to, say, summer-holidays (and vice versa) after 64bit release ;-) just for couple of weeks until first bug-fixes arrive (just an idea?). :-P


I'll go "check in" <-- literally ;-)

5. I'm still waiting official 64bit from slackware to run it.

The question:
where do we send the check to? :-)
 
Old 06-24-2008, 05:00 PM   #3
T3slider
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Distribution: Slackware64-14.0
Posts: 2,243

Rep: Reputation: 616Reputation: 616Reputation: 616Reputation: 616Reputation: 616Reputation: 616
Maintaining one distribution of Slackware is a lot of work. I just don't think Pat would have the time to maintain two. There is a lot of work in switching to a 64-bit distro, and difficult questions like 'should 32-bit compatibility be maintained' need to be answered. JUST compiling a kernel isn't *that* much work. However, compiling everything from scratch to support x86, and making sure it all works properly with no large bugs or security holes etc., is a LOT of work. Beyond that, the 32-bit Slackware works fine on 64-bit processors. If you want to use Official Slackware, stick with 32-bit. If you want 64-bit, use something else (perhaps Bluewhite64 or slamd64). There are TONS of problems running a 64-bit OS that need to be addressed, and it would take an awful lot of additional manpower. Just getting Flash to work is an issue (as is OOo). Also, like it or not, if an official 64-bit port was produced, it would necessarily be a bit different than the 32-bit version, and would be literally like maintaining two different distros. Different problems must be fixed for each (although some problems may overlap).

Also, spamming Pat with 64-bit requests, whether donations are made or not, is NOT the way to do things. He knows people want a 64-bit OS -- he just isn't doing it, at least not now. Spamming will just increase the amount of time it takes to read and/or respond to e-mails, decreasing the amount of work that gets done.
 
Old 06-24-2008, 05:27 PM   #4
amani
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: Kolkata, India
Distribution: 64-bit GNU/Linux, Kubuntu64, Fedora QA, Slackware,
Posts: 2,758

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by samac View Post
I then tried to install the nvidia drivers. PROBLEM nvidia

samac
It seems that is your main problem and you give up too easily. You should have at least tried to use envy to manage the nvidia drivers on *buntu. It is better to follow the packaging system in those. Apparently you did not. Otherwise,the closed source nvidia drivers work fine on bluewhite64, most linux and bsd too. You have the option to use the open source 'nv' too.

All of my computers (except 2) are 64-bit AMD-CPU systems. I have both ATI and Nvidia systems,... but I have no problems running 64-bit Linux or BSD on them.

Best

A. Mani
 
Old 06-24-2008, 05:35 PM   #5
AceofSpades19
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2007
Location: Chilliwack,BC.Canada
Distribution: Slackware64 -current
Posts: 2,079

Rep: Reputation: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by samac View Post

Try four. Gentoo minimal install disk

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

All this did was install a small live system, which you could use to install your new system. Yes I know that Gentoo is a hands on system, but even toothpicks come with instructions (just ask Wonko the Sane).

I eventually found the instructions in the bottom of ....

...on the internet.

Unfortunately you need the instructions to be able to start the network to get to the internet.

Pathetic and laughable.
I'm not usually one to defend Gentoo, but there is very good documentation on the gentoo site, did you even try looking there?, also its called the MINIMAL installation disk for a reason, its MINIMAL. Gentoo is a distribution that you build from source yourself, not quite as intensive as LFS though.
 
Old 06-24-2008, 05:37 PM   #6
SCerovec
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2006
Location: Cp6uja
Distribution: Slackware and Porteus
Posts: 648

Rep: Reputation: 45
well, I do apologize, spamming _is_ a bad thing to do anytime.
@all: no one to spam no one!

The idea was to support 64bit computing with payment notes, rather with unpaid demands. it is work, and it is usefull work.

And, there is no way to get a 64 only Slackware (yet). If anyone failed to notice, Slackware comes with most binary support for legacy applications (most of them binary) and greatest care is taken to remain so. I appreciate it a lot.

What I had in mind is, since 2.4 is gone for a while now, IMHO there could be place for a 64 kernel (besides the 32bit one as "-up" and -smp). There _is_ place for both.

I can't name any other team I trust to decide what portions of the OS should be parallel 32 and 64 except Slackware's. And I know why. Again, YMMV.

And IMHO it would be two parallel cores (a+lib+d+k) not two parallel distros. There is little gain in having KDE 64bit, but java-VM and other VM... different story. And a threaded 64bit b2zip... I'm paying the CPU, why not use it?

But what a usual Slacker would need is a stable core with maintained security.

The critical applications could be re-compiled from sources (just like a non-smp kernel is now). At least while 32 to 64 transition time.

IMHO

At least an unofficial spinoff but more like a port not a derivative distro? And w/o breaking the compatibility+speed.
 
Old 06-24-2008, 05:58 PM   #7
billymayday
Guru
 
Registered: Mar 2006
Location: Sydney, Australia
Distribution: Fedora, CentOS, OpenSuse, Slack, Gentoo, Debian, Arch, PCBSD
Posts: 6,678

Rep: Reputation: 122Reputation: 122
FWIW I've managed to get CentOS, Fedora, Gentoo, OpenSuse, Ubuntu all to run 64 bit with nvidia drivers with not too many problems (almost any distro is going to have plenty of updates post release).
 
Old 06-24-2008, 06:09 PM   #8
samac
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Westray, Orkney
Distribution: Slackware64-14.1 (multi-lib) KDE 4.11.4
Posts: 1,422

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 137Reputation: 137
AceofSpades19

Maybe I didn't explain myself clearly, I found and read the instructions (after the fact), but I would have expected them to be on the CD. After all how would we be able to use toothpicks if we bought a pack and then found that the instructions were only available at the dentist's surgery.

Amani

Did I give up too easily? Ubuntu said it would do the work, it did it poorly. If I do work poorly, I don't get paid. If an OS does things poorly it gets canned.

T3slider

Agreed it takes a great deal of time to create an OS from scratch, but thanks to the GPL, most of it is already done. This existing work could be
used as the base of the OS, with appropriate changes to the accreditations.


It may be my age, or the fact that I am usually grumpy and always cynical, but an "almost works" attitude may be good enough for some operating systems, but it is not good enough for Linux and it is not good enough for me.

That is why I am using Slackware 12.1 (32 bit) on my new hardware and testing the others. Slackware works, it works well, and it works all the time.

samac
 
Old 06-24-2008, 06:24 PM   #9
AceofSpades19
Senior Member
 
Registered: Feb 2007
Location: Chilliwack,BC.Canada
Distribution: Slackware64 -current
Posts: 2,079

Rep: Reputation: 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by samac View Post
AceofSpades19

Maybe I didn't explain myself clearly, I found and read the instructions (after the fact), but I would have expected them to be on the CD. After all how would we be able to use toothpicks if we bought a pack and then found that the instructions were only available at the dentist's surgery.
Maybe you missed some stuff that I wrote in caps, did you not notice that it was a MINIMAL cd? If you got a pack of toothpicks with the words MINIMAL on them, would you expect them to come with the kitchen sink?, the gentoo livecd comes with the docs and with gnome and such
 
Old 06-24-2008, 07:18 PM   #10
rickh
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2004
Location: Albuquerque, NM USA
Distribution: Debian-Lenny/Sid 32/64 Desktop: Generic AMD64-EVGA 680i Laptop: Generic Intel SIS-AC97
Posts: 4,250

Rep: Reputation: 59
Quote:
That is why I am using Slackware 12.1 (32 bit) on my new hardware and testing the others. Slackware works, it works well, and it works all the time.
So does Debian ... or probably any distro that you take the time to learn and configure correctly. Ubuntu is no better or worse in that respect than any other newbie-oriented distro.

Your thread, tho, highlights clearly Slackware's problem. The complete direction and maintenance of a mainstream distribution is too much work for any one person. The lack of an official 64-bit branch is unconscionable. 32-bit hardware is a thing of the past. In 2-3 years 32-bit OSes will be fast fading from the scene as well. If Pat is still whaling away at it by then, Slackware 13 will have to be 64-bit only. ... And, it's not an easy transition.

If I was you (determined to stick with 5year old technology), I'd be installing whichever 64-bit Slackware variant you think Pat will finally choose to merge into the primary release. Do you think he'll be able to give up his role as benevolent dictator, or will it end up in a helluva fight?
 
Old 06-24-2008, 08:21 PM   #11
pinniped
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2008
Location: planet earth
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 1,732

Rep: Reputation: 50
"I know what I am doing, but for a NEWBIE we are looking at 5 out of 5 showstoppers, and potential converts to "the light", slipping back to the darkness and Vista64."

I installed an early "unsupported" AMD64 port of Debian and it was a huge hassle because so many things went wrong. I don't know how many people are actually installing and checking out 64-bit systems, but I wouldn't be surprised if they don't get checked as often or if the people installing are like me and can get it to work even if the installer is an almost complete failure. Still, I have to admit, a newbie trying that Debian install that I did three years ago would get the impression that GNU/Linux simply didn't work. That was the first and only install I ever did which I thought was more unfriendly than a WinDuhs install.
 
Old 06-24-2008, 08:39 PM   #12
T3slider
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2007
Distribution: Slackware64-14.0
Posts: 2,243

Rep: Reputation: 616Reputation: 616Reputation: 616Reputation: 616Reputation: 616Reputation: 616
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickh
So does Debian ... or probably any distro that you take the time to learn and configure correctly. Ubuntu is no better or worse in that respect than any other newbie-oriented distro.

Your thread, tho, highlights clearly Slackware's problem. The complete direction and maintenance of a mainstream distribution is too much work for any one person. The lack of an official 64-bit branch is unconscionable. 32-bit hardware is a thing of the past. In 2-3 years 32-bit OSes will be fast fading from the scene as well. If Pat is still whaling away at it by then, Slackware 13 will have to be 64-bit only. ... And, it's not an easy transition.
This outlines the problem with many Linux users who maintain a superiority complex. The simple fact is that any modern, consumer-level 64-bit processor can use a 32-bit OS, and unless you have more than 4 GB of RAM, you won't gain *that much* through using a 64-bit OS (though I will not deny that there are some gains). Pat has been pumping out Slackware releases longer than any other body or organization, so I think your "If Pat is still whaling away at it by then" comment is unfounded. Also, since Pat knows Slackware Linux inside out, unlike many of the Debian developers who only know their particular branch, and since Slackware is enormously simpler than Debian (I'm not necessarily saying it's better -- but you cannot deny that it is simpler), the move to a 64-bit architecture will not be *as difficult* as some other distros. That being said, yes, it is a lot of work. But Pat does not work alone, as you very strongly (and incorrectly) imply.
Quote:
Originally Posted by rickh
If I was you (determined to stick with 5year old technology), I'd be installing whichever 64-bit Slackware variant you think Pat will finally choose to merge into the primary release.
Thanks for your opinion. My 32-bit Slackware works very well on my AMD athlon X2, and both cores get used. There are both benefits and drawbacks to using a 64-bit OS, and people seem to think you gain more than you do. The distro-bashing fanboyism in the Linux community is truly one of the reasons why everything is so fragmented and why Linux adoption to the desktop is lagging. Slackware really is a nice distro, whether you choose to believe that or not. So is Debian. So is Ubuntu. So is OpenSUSE, Gentoo, Fedora core, etc. They each have advantages and disadvantages, and you cannot rank them in order of best to worst since you do not represent everyone, but only represent yourself. Every thread mentioning multiple distros gets turned into a fanboy flame war, and it is truly saddening.
 
Old 06-25-2008, 07:58 AM   #13
weibullguy
ReliaFree Maintainer
 
Registered: Aug 2004
Location: Kalamazoo, Michigan
Distribution: Slackware-current, Cross Linux from Scratch, Gentoo
Posts: 2,703
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 219Reputation: 219Reputation: 219
Quote:
Originally Posted by T3slider View Post
There are TONS of problems running a 64-bit OS that need to be addressed, and it would take an awful lot of additional manpower. Just getting Flash to work is an issue (as is OOo).
Like what? I've been using a 64-bit distro for over two years without many more problems than a 32-bit distro. Copying the Flash library to the browser's plugin directory is all that needs to be done to get Flash to work. OOo builds, installs, and runs fine as a 64-bit app.

I'd agree that there is quite a bit of effort required to provide binaries to the user's of a distro. It takes time to build all that software as 64-bit, but in my experience most packages build by doing no more than passing the -m64 switch to the compiler. Rarely do I need to futz around with the source code to get a package to build as 64-bit. The most common thing I need to do is fix hard-coded paths (i.e., changing lib to lib64).

The real key, IMHO, to a pleasurable 64-bit experience is using a standards-compliant distro. That way you can still use 32-bit binaries and libraries if you need or want (e.g., Firefox with all the fancy 3rd party plugins, Acroread, RealPlayer, etc.). A "pure" 64-bit distro isn't standards compliant and, I agree, you can have problems because things aren't always where they're expected to be.

@OP, I gave Slamd64 12.1 a whirl 'cause it's multilib and I wanted to see if my CLFS build scripts would work. It installed without problem and worked very well. I'm not a Slackware fan, but Slamd64 "looked" like what I remember Slackware "looking" like.

I thought the approach they took with their multilib toolchain was a tad convoluted, but every package built without error as 64-bit using my CLFS build scripts and ran fine. Because their 32-bit toolchain is different from a 32-bit CLFS toolchain, my build scripts didn't work without some futzing. Of course, slackbuilds work perfectly well to produce 32-bit apps on Slamd64.
 
Old 06-25-2008, 09:40 AM   #14
hitest
Senior Member
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Location: Prince Rupert, B.C., Canada
Distribution: Slackware, OpenBSD
Posts: 4,141

Rep: Reputation: 523Reputation: 523Reputation: 523Reputation: 523Reputation: 523Reputation: 523
Smile

Quote:
Originally Posted by rickh View Post
Your thread, tho, highlights clearly Slackware's problem. The complete direction and maintenance of a mainstream distribution is too much work for any one person.
Sigh........your comment illustrates your lack of understanding about Slackware. Patrick does have final veto authority over what goes into Slackware, that is true. But, there are many Slackware developers ( for example: rworkman, Alien Bob) who help to create each new edition of Slackware. Slackware has shown itself to be rock-solid since 1993.
Try Slackware, rickh, then you can post an informed opinion.
 
Old 06-26-2008, 04:00 PM   #15
justwantin
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Melbourne, Australia
Distribution: Slackware, Slackware ARM, Salix and Porteus
Posts: 551

Rep: Reputation: 43
AFAIC, I'd wager that Pat has probably put allot of thought into this topic allready and I would guess that being that Slack is not targeted towards the bleeding edge and trendsetters that Pat won't consider the extra effort for a 64 bit at the expense of foregoing effort on 32 bit worthwhile. The rule will have to be morphing from 80-20 to 20-80.

Quote:
32-bit hardware is a thing of the past. In 2-3 years 32-bit OSes will be fast fading from the scene as well.
Perhaps one might better say that 32 bit hardware and systems are no longer being produced.

To buy into the argument that 32 bit is out of date or a thing of the past is to agree with engineered obsolescence. Exactly what the hardware manufacturers some proprietary system merchants want you to think.

How much actual difference in day to day performance and whether th average punter would even appreciate it is still debateable no matter what system they use. And no matter what some might say the is a lack of applications (for all systems) programmed for and capable of taking advantage of 64 bit.

What is wagging what?

I have 2 X 32 bit and 2 X 64 bit boxes but I'd say globally the split would be different with 32 bit the overwhelming majority in industry as well as personal use.

I'm often in and out of of factories, warehouses etc, all still using old boxes and most petrol stations and news agents I see are still using dos-like curses at the checkout. Win2k and XP vintage hardware is going to be around for a long time and if all it takes is a cooling fan dust off there will still be people wanting to run on win98 vintage if they can or have no other choice.

Probably allot of the personal users on 64 bit systems can't afford new hardware or would prefer if they had a choice to spend their money on something other than a box that runs 64 bit if they even understood what that implies and if they could really expect/appreciate a significant increase in speed/performance.

Yeah 64 bit might be great but it is still in techo and early adopter lands compared to the rest of the world. I'd venture a guess that folks on a list like this (including me) are much more aware and interested then the majority out there and I'd also put money on the majority of linux installs going on that older hardware, the boxs that are hand me downs, donated to charity, given away at work, etc. etc. No need for 64 bit on those systems.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
observations by a user with minimal needs newbiesforever Linux - General 7 05-18-2006 12:40 PM
/etc/issue observations Woodsman Slackware 4 11-05-2005 10:52 AM
observations of 9.3 irish rebel Suse/Novell 6 06-20-2005 01:28 PM
Gnome 2.8 Observations and Problems utanja Debian 2 11-23-2004 05:56 PM
Some Caldera OpenLinux observations... RonRussell Linux - Distributions 4 04-24-2003 12:56 PM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:57 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration