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Old 01-14-2008, 02:45 PM   #1
gargamel
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Slackware on x86_64 with 8GB RAM


Hi there,

as I have just received my new hardware, Intel Core 2 Duo based, with 8GB of RAM, I would like to know, what the best option to run Slackware on it, is.

Options seem to be
  • Original Slackware 32-bit, but with 64GB support in the kernel
  • SLAMD64

This is my first 64-bit hardware, so I don't have any experience with it. What would you recommend? And why?

Please note: I am aware that there's still a lack of 64-bit programs; for all the stuff I want to use there are 64-bit versions available, however, so that doesn't bother me. More important: Do security fixes appear timely for SLAMD64? Is this "unofficial" port maintained as well as the original?

I'm asking, because I found that the latest MySQL patch for Slackware 12.0 is not mentioned in the list of SLAMD64 security patches.

Thanks a lot in advance!

gargamel
 
Old 01-14-2008, 03:51 PM   #2
Alien_Hominid
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IMO, it depends on the purpose of the pc. Server/Workstation - Slack 32. Learning, developing 64bit apps, adventuring - Slamd.
 
Old 01-14-2008, 06:55 PM   #3
cathectic
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There is no guarantee on Slamd64 security patches - generally, Fred will try and push these as fast as possible, however, Slamd64 is not a full time job for him, so we can't promise that 'fix X will be available within Y days after Slackware releases it.'

As for what to recommend - I've always run Slamd64 on all my x86-64 boxes, so I'm somewhat biased on the point (however, I suppose for me it's a case of - well, I paid for a 64 bit processor, let's see what it can do).
 
Old 01-15-2008, 02:11 AM   #4
H_TeXMeX_H
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You can use either. However, there are certain issues that may give you problems in x64, such as flash player and some programs that have not or cannot be ported to x64. If you don't care about these, then go on and try it.

You can also try bluewhite64, it seems to release security updates considerably faster than slamd64 (if these are important to you).
 
Old 01-15-2008, 03:16 AM   #5
piete
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Using flash under x86_64 isn't a hardship if you use a 32-bit browser; and that's easily accomplished by installing the slackware (not slamd64) package of firefox (for example). The program list is identical unless you're stuck with binary-only versions, or a pretty old codebase.

Bear in mind, too, that the same slackbuild scripts can be used to build the missing pieces of your software, usually with only very minor modification (and in most cases, simply setting the ARCH is enough to cause the necessary changes). Also, src2pkg is good for this

Political issues aside: BW64 is mono-arch, so you will be unable to throw in 32-bit packages/binaries without extra work.
 
Old 01-15-2008, 09:31 AM   #6
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Or there's nswrapper to get flash working under Slamd64. There's a sticky on the slamd64 forum on how to do this.

Simon
 
Old 01-15-2008, 03:06 PM   #7
gargamel
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Thanks for your hints and tips, so far.

Regarding Bluewhite64: I've read something not overly nice about the history of that distribution, being based on Slamd64 roots, but not giving the credits to Fred Emmott, it seems.
More important to me (you mentioned it): Slamd64 is the only multilib port of Slackware, ie it can run 32 and 64 bit software.

Security fixes: Yes, I regard them highly important! I have, of course, every understanding that one man cannot do all the work. But as I've read the statement that Fred Emmott is looking for a job, I'd be interested to know, if the maintenance of Slamd64 is ensured, and if there are people ready to take over, should Fred not be available due to new occupation.

What I want to do with the new system: I want it to be my media centre, especially for everything that has to do with music. I want to use it for midi recording, archiving vinyl records and CDs, sound processing and so on.

Any further recommendations/tips/hints, are most welcome! Thanks!

gargamel
 
Old 01-15-2008, 09:41 PM   #8
gargamel
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One more question, regarding the Slackware 32-bit scenario:

What kernel configuration options would you recommend, so that I can make optimum use of my 8GB of RAM and the twin-core cpu?

Because, afaik, the stock kernels only support up to 4GB or RAM, and I need to have a kernel that supports up to 64GB. Right?

Sorry for asking such newbiish questions, but, as I said, I don't have any experience with 64-bit.

Thanks!

gargamel
 
Old 01-16-2008, 04:07 AM   #9
H_TeXMeX_H
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Yes, you will need to enable hugemem support for 64 GB RAM. Even if you had 4 GB of RAM you would still probably need 64 GB hugemem over 4 GB highmem to access all the memory.

When configuring the 'Processor type and features', here's what I would recommend:
Code:
Legend:[*] built-in  [ ] excluded  <M> module
  │ │[*] Tickless System (Dynamic Ticks)                              │ │  
  │ │[*] High Resolution Timer Support                                │ │  
  │ │[*] Symmetric multi-processing support                           │ │  
  │ │        Subarchitecture Type (PC-compatible)  --->                   │ │  
  │ │    [ ] Paravirtualization support (EXPERIMENTAL)                    │ │  
  │ │        Processor family (Core 2/newer Xeon)  --->                   │ │  
  │ │    [ ] Generic x86 support                                          │ │  
  │ │[*] HPET Timer Support                                           │ │  
  │ │    (2) Maximum number of CPUs (2-255)                               │ │  
  │ │    [ ] SMT (Hyperthreading) scheduler support (NEW)                 │ │  
  │ │[*] Multi-core scheduler support (NEW)                           │ │  
  │ │        Preemption Model (Voluntary Kernel Preemption (Desktop))  ---│ │  
  │ │[*] Preempt The Big Kernel Lock (NEW)                            │ │  
  │ │[*] Machine Check Exception                                      │ │  
  │ │    <M>   Check for non-fatal errors on AMD Athlon/Duron / Intel Pent│ │  
  │ │    [ ]   check for P4 thermal throttling interrupt. (NEW)           │ │  
  │ │    < > Toshiba Laptop support                                       │ │  
  │ │    < > Dell laptop support                                          │ │  
  │ │[*] Enable X86 board specific fixups for reboot                  │ │  
  │ │    <M> /dev/cpu/microcode - Intel IA32 CPU microcode support        │ │  
  │ │    <M> /dev/cpu/*/msr - Model-specific register support             │ │  
  │ │    <M> /dev/cpu/*/cpuid - CPU information support                   │ │  
  │ │        Firmware Drivers  --->                                       │ │  
  │ │        High Memory Support (64GB)  --->                             │ │  
  │ │        Memory model (Flat Memory)  --->                             │ │  
  │ │    --- 64 bit Memory and IO resources (EXPERIMENTAL)                │ │  
  │ │[*] Allocate 3rd-level pagetables from highmem                   │ │  
  │ │[*] Math emulation                                               │ │  
  │ │[*] MTRR (Memory Type Range Register) support                    │ │  
  │ │    [ ] Boot from EFI support                                        │ │  
  │ │[*] Enable kernel irq balancing (NEW)                            │ │  
  │ │[*] Enable seccomp to safely compute untrusted bytecode          │ │  
  │ │        Timer frequency (1000 HZ)  --->                              │ │  
  │ │    [ ] kexec system call                                            │ │  
  │ │    [ ] kernel crash dumps (EXPERIMENTAL)                            │ │  
  │ │    [ ] Build a relocatable kernel(EXPERIMENTAL)                     │ │  
  │ │    (0x100000) Alignment value to which kernel should be aligned     │ │  
  │ │    [ ] Support for hot-pluggable CPUs (EXPERIMENTAL) (NEW)          │ │  
  │ │    [ ] Compat VDSO support                                          │ │
This would be for Slackware 12.0 using kernel v2.6.21.5 or later. Remember also to fully enable support for your filesystem built-in.
 
Old 01-16-2008, 04:45 PM   #10
gargamel
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Thanks a lot, very useful!

While I was almost decided to use 32-bit Slackware, I found that I couldn't use my soundcard, then:

X-Fi 64bit BETA Linux drivers are now available. See http://opensource.creative.com. Hmm.

gargamel
 
  


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