Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?


  Search this Thread
Old 03-26-2007, 05:22 AM   #1
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 21

Rep: Reputation: 0
AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2. i386 or x86_64?

Hi everyone

I have a very silly question but I really need to know the answer

I'm not sure which one is the architecture of my processor. I suppose this information is very serious and maybe I already did it all wrong from the very begining when I installed SUSE 10.0!

Through YaST - Hardware - Hardware Information I see that the computer has two processors:

AMD Athlon(tm) 64 X2 Dual Core Processor 3800+

whos architecture is: i386

The problem is that I always had the impression their architecture is x86-64.

I checked the AMD website and the wikipedia(!) and if I'm not wrong the processors' architecture is AMD64 wich is equivalent to x86-64

It gets worse. I can't find my linux dvd or iso. At least I remember that every time I had to make a choice of arcitecture I chose x86-64

In case it's usefull my kernel is: 2.6.13-15.15-smp

I hope you enjoyed this post
Old 03-26-2007, 05:44 AM   #2
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: UK
Distribution: (X)Ubuntu 10.04/10.10, Debian 5, CentOS 5
Posts: 900

Rep: Reputation: 32
An Athlon X2 will run both 64-bit or 32-bit versions of Linux. If you're not sure which you installed, try the command 'uname -a'. At the end of the information it prints should be something similar to either i686 or x86_64. Whichever it says is the version you've installed.
Old 03-26-2007, 06:29 AM   #3
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 21

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thank you very much for replying Gethyn

I did type 'uname -a' and this is what I got:

Linux linux 2.6.13-15.15-smp #1 SMP Mon Feb 26 14:11:33 UTC 2007 i686 athlon i386 GNU/Linux

So again I have a dilema: i383 or i686?

And from now on every time I have to chose architecture (for the installation of a program) I will have to chose that number, and not x86-64?
Old 03-26-2007, 07:18 AM   #4
LQ Newbie
Registered: Apr 2005
Posts: 16

Rep: Reputation: 0
looks like an x86 32bit to me

on my x86-64 install (Gentoo), uname -a gives:
Linux david 2.6.20-gentoo-r3 #5 SMP PREEMPT Fri Mar 23 13:55:16 CET 2007 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU         T5500  @ 1.66GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux
better use 'uname -m':
Old 03-26-2007, 08:48 AM   #5
Registered: May 2006
Location: Gz,China
Distribution: RH,FB
Posts: 198
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 32
Originally Posted by Gethyn
An Athlon X2 will run both 64-bit or 32-bit versions of Linux.
So, is there any difference please?
Old 03-26-2007, 09:11 AM   #6
Senior Member
Registered: Oct 2003
Location: New York City
Distribution: Debian Sid 2.6.32
Posts: 2,100

Rep: Reputation: 49
There are many differences, mostly due to memory space. The 64 bit architecture can handle larger amounts of data faster, but it does have drawbacks currently, like a lack of functioning flash for your web browser.

You installed for the i386 (which includes i686) architecture, so you will be unable to install packages for 86_64 architecture. Your processor is capable of using it, but your OS at present isn't.

The choice of using i386 or 86_64 is up to you. 86_64 is the way everything will be in a few years, but some people feel it isn't ready for desktop usage yet. 86_64 will get better and better as time goes on, and there are tricks to get around the issue with flash, like installing your browser in a 32 bit chroot, or other install tricks to get the browser to think it is running in a 32 bit mode.

Old 03-27-2007, 05:51 AM   #7
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2006
Posts: 21

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thank you all for your information

I still have one question only. What kind of rpms should I be using to install programs? For example I need to install a statistical packet called R-Project. My distribution is SUSE 10.0 so there are rpm files for i586 and x86-64. I guess, from what JimBass said, that x86-64 is out of the question but what about i586? and in general what about all of i[3456]86 binaries?

Here's what I got from uname in a less obscure way this time:

uname -m [print the machine hardware name]
uname -i [print the hardware platform]
Old 03-27-2007, 06:55 AM   #8
LQ Addict
Registered: Jul 2002
Location: East Centra Illinois, USA
Distribution: Debian stable
Posts: 5,905

Rep: Reputation: 353Reputation: 353Reputation: 353Reputation: 353
uname -m tells you that the cpu is capable of i686 performance (top of the scale for x86 family cpus).

uname -i tells you that the SuSE installation uses packages optimized for i386 (backward compatible to older machines with Intel 80-386 and compatible cpus).

To get the fullest use of your cpu, you would have to recompile every package for i686.

So, when it comes to package selection, the higher the x86 number, the better it can use the capabilities of your cpu; i.e., i586 is better than i386.

R-project doesn't offer source rpms any longer. But, you can get the rpm spec file from the download site in the SPECS folder, and get the source tarball from the download page.

Put the tarball in /usr/src/packages/SOURCES, and the spec file in /usr/src/packages/SPECS. Edit the spec file. Look for this:
%build -n R-%{version}
%ifos Linux
%ifarch i586

Change it to this:
%build -n R-%{version}
%ifos Linux
%ifarch i686

Then use rpmbuild to make your own binary rpm optimized for your machine.

Last edited by bigrigdriver; 03-27-2007 at 06:57 AM.


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
Fedora x86_64 not booting after installation on AMD 64 Athlon Presario r3140us Laptop rupak Fedora - Installation 13 10-20-2007 05:01 PM
CentOS 4.4 x86_64 on AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200+ mikey Linux - Hardware 8 01-30-2007 03:24 PM
i386 or x86_64? rssguy Linux - Newbie 2 04-20-2005 07:42 AM
i386, i586, i686, athlon!?? FreakboY Linux - Newbie 6 04-27-2003 02:39 PM
using i386 on AMD Athlon XP 1800+ bqh Linux - General 15 04-08-2003 06:49 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:09 AM.

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