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Debian to Run on AMD64 198

dark-br writes to tell us TechWorld is reporting that the next Debian release will be able to run native on AMD64 processors for the first time. From the article: "The GNU/Linux 4.0 operating system, also known as "Etch," is planned for release in December, the group said. It will also have new security features, including encryption and digital signatures to ensure that downloaded packages are validated."
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Debian to Run on AMD64

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  • Re:Great! (Score:2, Insightful)

    by MoxFulder (159829) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @01:29AM (#15781911) Homepage
    My thoughts exactly... when I read this I thought... uh, Debian doesn't do amd64 already? Then why have I been running it on Ubuntu for months? Oh well, guess Debian isn't all that relevant on the desktop these days, though still my default choice for a server.
  • by Depili (749436) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @01:41AM (#15781944)

    The slashdot summary is almost the whole article text from a ad-ridden page.

    And nothing screams "hey, we want your traffic for free!" more than the submit to digg and submit to slashdot links bellow the small article...

  • by bubbl07 (777082) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @01:42AM (#15781948) Homepage
    Although it's great that Debian's finally on the x86_64 bandwagon, it's a bit delayed. They've lost a lot of share to other distros that have been able to adapt to 64-bit computing such as SuSE, RedHat, Ubuntu, Gentoo, etc. Coming from an era in which Debian was one of the top three distros, it'd be a pretty impressive testament to the Debian community if they can resurrect it to near its former glory.
  • Re:Great! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by jamesh (87723) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @01:43AM (#15781949)
    Exactly. The whole idea of different distributions is that they address different market segments. People who complain that other distributions aren't more like their favourite distribution are completely missing the point.
  • Great Scott! (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cloricus (691063) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @01:45AM (#15781958)
    Debian is relevant for the stability and completeness image of Linux among other things.

    You Ubuntu (I say this typing on a Ubuntu box :/) users should remember that especially considering you're last few releases have been out right painful in some regards for example 5.10 released with gcc that didn't match active kernel and 6.06 releasing with an alpha graphical installer as default to name two huge ones off the top of my head.

    Besides all desktop users don't want bleeding edge ... personally I think they are mad (I use sid) ... though they like the choice to do so and that is what Linux is all about. Also Debian has had x64 for awhile just not officially supported outside of testing which most Debian desktop users use as standard. (*If this post seems flamish I apologies, it's a bit hard to tell as my eyes are seeing red after a long fight with a BlackBerry server.)
  • by OverlordQ (264228) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @01:54AM (#15781997) Journal
    Guess where Ubuntu got their 64-bit stuff from? Oh yea, Debian Unstable. This announcement is simply saying that the 64-bit stuff is moving into the stable tree. This isn't a "Debian now supports 64-bit!", it's a "Debian has supported pure 64-bit for quite a long time and now we're saying its ready for the stable branch"
  • by Schraegstrichpunkt (931443) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @02:12AM (#15782040) Homepage
    They've lost a lot of share to other distros that have been able to adapt to 64-bit computing such as SuSE, RedHat, Ubuntu, Gentoo, etc.

    Got any data to back up that claim? amd64 support barely missed the sarge release; People were using it then, not to mention that Debian has had support for "64-bit computing" for ages (e.g. alpha, ia64), just not the amd64 architecture.

  • by hritcu (871613) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @02:17AM (#15782054) Homepage
    Parent will burn some Karma, so I'll join.

    What he says is totally true. I have the pleasure to be a student in a university that uses Debian Obsolete ... ar Stable. The packages are all so old (3 or 4 years at least) that many of them are no longer usable. And I'm not talking about ... vim ... for vim it does not make a difference. I'm talking about thinks like OpenOffice 1.1.3 ... that does not even support ODF so I cannot even open my documents made years ago. The same thing holds for a lot of programs (things like browsers, instant messagers, gnuplot, many kde programs, etc.). So what I (and lots of my collegues) do is to install the new versions from source in my home directory. And because all libraries are very old ... ar. stable my home directory has about 3GB now. I would even use a Live DVD of some decent distribution if I was allowed to do so.

    So Debian planning to catch up a little is great news. However, many of you don't realize how far behind they are.
  • by Zyprexia (988133) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @04:17AM (#15782344)
    Well, I think that you forget Debian in mostly installed on production (server) environments. Because Debian don't provide cutting-egde packages they ARE stable. On a production environment I don't want to update for example from MySQL 4.1 to 5.0. Any idea what problems and bugs such an upgrade could cause?

    Ofcourse you can run Debian on your desktop, but I'm not sure whether that is the main target of an Debian distribution. Many spin-offs of Debian fillful that task.

    Another benefit of not running the lastest versions is most bugs are already solved. Debian chooses a version of package for it release and stays there. Only security updates are provided.

    BTW: If you really want to run some cutting-edge software on Debian Sarge, you might want to check out the http://backports.org/ [backports.org] website that provide more recent versions of software build for the Sarge distribution.
  • by Tyln Sylverwind (991098) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @05:53AM (#15782579) Homepage Journal
    First off, no shares were harmed in the process this advent.

    Debian has always been able to run on these 32-bit compatible AMD processors. Even the primary benefit of being able to use a 64-bit kernel was already there. Hell, Debian Stable has even been able to run 64-bit applications with the installation of appropriate 64-bit library packages!

    The announcement is that Debian Stable will now be able to fully operate in the native 64-bit architecture, meaning that no 32-bit code will be used. This is great news for progress into the 64-bit era, but means very little in terms of business application.

    Second, always remember that most distributions par-up to Debian Unstable; They have the same number of "experimental" features, and about the same packaging stability. Debian Unsable has had an x86_64 branch for quite some time now. So no, Debian was hardly behind on this wagon.
  • by tacocat (527354) <tallison1@twmi[ ].com ['.rr' in gap]> on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @06:34AM (#15782656)

    I was waiting for someone to use the same old tag... Oh... Debians so fucking old.. Why would anyone use something so old??? Dude... get with it. Being old doesn't mean you're wrinkly and saggy. Being old means you have wisdom and experience.

    Back in the heady days of Linux Kernal 2.0 every version of the kernel (or anything else for that matter) had significant advances in capabilities and hardware support. If you purchased a digital camera that didn't work today, wait maybe a month and it will be. That was my experience with a Kodak DC220 camera. It took something like 4 to 6 weeks for the support needed to crystalize. Any one can come up with more examples. I have many myself. The point is that there was a respectable probability that your recent hardware purchase would not work out of the box but would either by compiling the latest binaries of the kernel and 12 libraries or waiting a month.

    Speed things up to 2006. The type of support advancement that is required to support newer hardware is much slower today than it was then. Today there is a better than average chance anything you buy will work out of the box with linux. The need to keep up on the cutting edge of software is not nearly as strong as it was 6 years ago.

    You might argue that not having SATA support in the default kernel is significant but it's hard to find a computer that doesn't support EIDE hard drives. It's also reasonably sane to build a RAID system with a boot EIDE and a RAID STAT data set instead of trying to put everything on one RAID system.

    I recently spent a day installing Debian for an AMD64 machine that was fricking HUGE. It completely fell on it's ass when it came time to support the video card. It turns out that the video card problem wasn't the fault of Debian but NVidia. No drivers available for AMD64 for that newer card completely roasted the installation. I accidentally picked up the 32-bit version of the card and also affected teh NVidia drivers for the network connections. So when I toasted the video, I also toasted all the network connectivity.

    In the past year, I have had MORE problems with proprietary drivers of this nature (NVidia video in particular) in their inconsistent support. But it's the price I pay for choosing their product. Some of this is Debian licensing, some of it is definitly not.

    While it can be argued that Debian is slower on it's releases, this commitment to a December 2006 release is pretty fast compared to past cycles. And those who use Debian choose a system stability over system candy. You have no idea how fun it is when a routine security patch and upgrade happens to upgrade a whole bunch of really important stuff like DNS/DHCP on your SuSE box and you realize you've just crashed your entire home network. Add to that the wife and kids are all working on term papers due within the next week. Your life isn't worth much then.

    I'll take stability every time.

  • Old "news" (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mxs (42717) on Wednesday July 26, 2006 @09:36AM (#15783491)
    The "will support" part is outdated. I have been running debian on amd64 for months. Even sarge has amd64 support.

    http://www.debian.org/ports/amd64/ [debian.org]

    The only difference is, really, that amd64 is on the official main mirrors for etch (and by that, I mean it has been for months).

    It runs great.

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