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    Debian AMD64 Port Ready
    Submitted by robot101 on Sunday, June 13, 2004 – 18:12
    AMDChris Cheney announced that Debian’s AMD64 (or x86-64, or ia32e…) port is ready to be added to unstable, and that 97% of all packages in Debian have been successfully compiled for this architecture. Native compilation of packages on this architecture allows better performance through the use of the extra registers on the AMD64 processors which are not available when it is emulating the 32-bit x86 (or ia32) processor.
    Category: News

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    Subject: ready at last.
    Author: bluesmurf
    Date: Tuesday, 2004/06/22 – 18:11

    Does that mean I have to buy an AMD 64 now ?
    Darn. Pocket, can you stand it?

    Great work everyone. Well. not everyone, the guys and gals who worked on the port, I guess.

    The debian comunity is outstanding.

    Have fun and happy coding.


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    Subject: Ok, but…
    Author: spiritraveller
    Date: Tuesday, 2004/06/22 – 00:37
    What about AMD K7? AMD64 has only been out for less than a year if I’m correct.

    K7/Athlon has been out for several years, and still no port.

    No, really… it’s no answer that Athlon users can run the 386 distro…

    So can AMD64 users.

    As an Athlon user, I feel that I’ve been made to sit in the back of the bus.

    Of course, I am only kidding… but it would be nice to have a 686 port of Debian so that 90% of modern PCs could benefit from the new technology that Intel and AMD have put in their processors over the past, what? 12 years? My cpu history isn’t very well refined, but you get what I’m saying.

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    Subject: The packages where specifical
    Author: andrel
    Date: Tuesday, 2004/06/22 – 02:27
    The packages where specifically compiling towards the K7 gives a proveable performance win (ATLAS and FFTW come to mind) already have K7-optimized packages in the archive.
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    Subject: Ok AMD64 is ready…but when in Mirrors?
    Author: XaRz
    Date: Friday, 2004/06/18 – 12:24
    I joined in the debian-amd64 mailing list from a few months ago and first I want to thank you all debian-amd64 porting team: They have done a good and amazing work. My litle question is : When those packages will be available in the debian’s ftp mirrors? Which is the procedure for accept those packages into debian oficial architecture list?

    Thanks in advance.

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    Subject: Re: Ok AMD64 is ready…but when in Mirrors?
    Author: gebner
    Date: Sunday, 2004/06/20 – 11:55
    The ftp-masters aren’t really welcoming the port, replying with “Let’s wait until sarge is out”, though they’re becoming more friendly now.
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    Subject: Many thanks to the porting te
    Author: kinema
    Date: Friday, 2004/06/18 – 08:44
    Many thanks to the porting team. I had told my girlfriend that I would put off buying a new box until AMD relased the 939 pin processors and the Debian port was complete. Who knew that they would both happen so soon.


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    Subject: Why “AMD64” with IA-32e available
    Author: josh
    Date: Monday, 2004/06/14 – 00:34
    While I understand that it is difficult to change the architecture name once many packages have been built, it seems wrong to use “AMD64” for an architecture with implementations from both Intel (IA-32e) and AMD (AMD64). The neutral architecture name “x86-64” seems a vastly better choice.
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    Subject: There was actually considerab
    Author: yhetti
    Date: Sunday, 2004/06/27 – 03:02
    There was actually considerable debate about this subject on the mailing list. As I recall, there are two problems. First, x86_64 and x86_64 both break the Debian package management rules (dpkg, specifically).

    Secondly, a number of people felt that credit should be given to AMD for designing the system first. The technical reasons were the ones listed, but I personally feel that #2 was the real reason. It was a unanimous vote by the developers.

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    Subject: Linus wishes he had used AMD64
    Author: hazelsct
    Date: Tuesday, 2004/06/15 – 03:09
    Remember when IA-32e was announced, and gave no mention at all of (let alone credit to) AMD? At that point, Linus said (paraphrase), “Those idiots, makes me wish we had used `AMD64′ as the architecture name in the kernel!”

    So here’s Debian doing it the way Linus wished he had. 🙂

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    Subject: Do you think AMD would do any different?
    Author: josh
    Date: Saturday, 2004/06/19 – 17:07
    If Intel had come out with IA-32e first (or if AMD copied IA-64), do you think AMD would actually credit Intel? That’s business, you never mention your competitor, let alone credit them with something you are doing.

    Many people in the Free Software community just seems to hate Intel and love AMD, for some reason.

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    Subject: Why is Intel disliked?
    Author: b-tk
    Date: Saturday, 2004/06/19 – 22:53
    Many people in the Free Software community just seems to hate Intel and love AMD, for some reason.

    I also have noticed this, and have been curious about it for years. I admit that for my part I do not feel this antipathy toward Intel. No company is perfect, but I like Intel. Perhaps I am just undereducated in the matter. Is there a history behind the anti-Intel feeling that I should know?

    The only concrete reason I have ever been able to discern is a dislike some harbor for the original i386 machine instruction set. This is an okay reason, I guess. I think that I like the i386 machine instruction set, but again perhaps I am undereducated in the matter. Even if so, disliking the instruction set seems a pretty thin reason to hold the mighty Intel in low esteem.

    What I like about Intel is that

    • Intel produces reliable chipsets that work predictably with Intel processors;
    • Intel publishes fairly good technical docs for most of its parts and systems (the 845G/865G 3-D graphics subsystem being a notable exception);
    • Intel parts interoperate with non-Intel parts remarkably well (the Rambus parts being somewhat an exception);
    • Intel’s prices generally seem fair, and I feel that I get what I pay for when I buy Intel parts;
    • it seems to me that a remarkably high fraction of Intel technical decisions over the years have been driven by hardware engineers who care both about the technology and company profits, not just by MBA suits who care only about company profits and about playing the cutthroat megacorporate game; and
    • it may not count for much, but Intel’s CEO and investor relations folks do not go around making cute sarcastic remarks about AMD (I wish that I could say the same about AMD in return).

    Contrast Intel’s attitude toward publishing technical docs, for example, against the attitudes of nVidia and the PCI SIG. Contrast Intel’s rationality, even-temperedness, and willingness to cooperate appropriately with the Debian Project, for example, against those of the heroic but irritating Richard M. Stallman. Is Intel not generally a pretty good actor?

    I seek information not argument. I do not deny that valid reasons to dislike Intel exist; I merely admit that I do not know the reasons. Please advise.

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    Subject: BSA member
    Author: KjetilK
    Date: Tuesday, 2004/07/06 – 15:57
    Intel is a BSA member. That membership forms the basis for my boycot list…
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    Subject: Why is Intel disliked?
    Author: dmmcintyr
    Date: Sunday, 2004/06/20 – 18:03
    >Is there a history behind the anti-Intel feeling that I should know?

    I’ve been an AMD fan since way back. Better, faster, cheaper. Competition is good. I’ve always looked at AMD as a sort of spunky underdog, like Linux itself. 90% of the world thinks you’re going to fail, but you do it anyway, do it better, and do it cheaper too.

    I’ve never cared for Intel’s attitude. They have traditionally delivered inferior performance at higher prices, and they seem to expect people to buy purely based on aggressive marketing of the idea that they are the best because they say they are, and can afford lots of (ridiculous, embarrassing) prime time TV advertising to prove it.

    But in the final analysis, I haven’t really had good results out of recent AMD boxes. My Athlons (none of them 64-bit, incidentally) have all died premature deaths, and I’ve replaced them with Intels. I can’t complain about Intel’s track record with Linux. They’re an evil giant, but my own personal experience has been that their overmarketed, underperforming, overpriced stuff is a lot more reliable than the competition.

    So, to my chagrin, I have an “Intel Inside” sticker on my computer now, and will probably keep buying Intels until they start dropping like flies too. If my old friends could only see me now.

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    Subject: Re: Why is Intel disliked?
    Author: Ed Cogburn
    Date: Monday, 2004/08/09 – 23:47
    > I haven’t really had good results out of recent AMD boxes.

    This is just bad luck (or maybe I’ve had extraordinarily good luck?), because I’ve been using AMD chips since their 286 clone and currently have an Athlon64, and have never had one break on me. Did you build your own boxes? I’ve built my own, always picking the best MB for the AMD chip, so maybe that explains why I’ve never had a problem?

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    Subject: AMD underdog; Intel monopolist
    Author: undefined
    Date: Monday, 2004/06/21 – 18:55
    historically intel has been viewed as a monopolist, and amd as an underdog. no consumer in a free-market likes a monopoly, and everybody (for some reason) likes an underdog (somebody who is not receiving the good fortune they deserve).

    once upon a time…

    when intel released the pentium, the best amd could do is release a higher-clocked 486. then there came the penium pro, 2, & 3, and the best amd could offer consumers was the k6, -2, & -3. the k6 processor was always weak in floating-point, behind in clock speed, and deservedly cheaper than intel’s offering. a budget system typically contained an amd processor, to which intel released the celeron. the celeron was the new popular budget processor, though an amd k6-2 or -3 was the better buy (price-performance ratio), but only by virtue of the intel brand.

    up until this point in history amd was deservedly seen as second-rate. intel set the standard and amd followed. intel started doing monopolistic practices like patenting their cpu interface, but nobody really cared because the enthusiasts weren’t buying budget system nor upgrading/replacing intel cpus with amd cpus.

    the cpu market started to stagnate about this time. the usual cpu 50 MHz speed bump has started to slow down and when released wasn’t making that big of an impact. the pentium 3 didn’t seem to be that radically different than the pentium 2 (only added sse instructions).

    then amd released the athlon. it was cheaper and fast enough to challenge the pentium 3. soon a speed race began. and all of a sudden intel started ramping up the pentium 3. people began to wonder if intel had been sitting on these speed increases to milk the most from consumers.

    both intel and amd consumers loved amd. intel consumers were getting a faster and cheaper intel processor. amd consumers were getting a cheaper intel-compatible processor that rivaled (and surpassed in some regards) the intel processor.

    amd was the underdog that was going to change the consumer cpu industry. and it did. it offered a cheaper, faster processor than intel. the only thing amd couldn’t offer was the intel reputation (which secured business buyers and oems).

    then the pentium 3 begin to slow down in speed increases around 1 GHz. then the penium 4 was released with its high clock-rate. the enthusiasts saw the high clockspeed, the deep pipeline, and the pain caused by the processor stalling during branch mispredictions and cache misses. intel began marketing clock speed, and the ethusiasts started making a connection between the new (fragile) design and intel’s new marketing push and cried “foul”. (the intel design was later justified by hyperthreading, but most enthusiasts misread hyperthreading as an attempt to cover-up the bad architecture instead of the architecture allowing for hyperthreading.)

    intel was now seen as trying to protect its “monopoly” with marketing, shifting from technical excellence to marketing tricks, depending on its reputation instead of product performance. amd was really seen as the underdog now. intel really came into a bad light, and amd a good one, when the intel marketing machine switched into high gear.

    intel produced the ia64 and amd later revealed the amd64. both processors introduced a new instructions set and processor architecture, though amd’s was just evolutionary while intel’s was revolutionary. the amd64 (opteron, amd64) appealed to the enthusiast as it is cheaper and more practical than intel’s comparable offerings. amd is now no longer the underdog technologically, but instead just in general business (marketing, reputation).

    in conclusion…

    i think the problem is that some of intel’s designs have been too technologically risky (pentium 4 and ia64), and enthusiasts haven’t given intel the credit they deserve for these designs and have misinterpreted the designs as strictly business moves (ie “a 64-bit intel processor that isn’t backwards compatible and costs a fortune; they must be trying to milk consumers” and/or “the pentium 4 only has a deep pipeline to ramp-up the clock speed so they can market it purely based on numbers to the dumb masses”).

    the pairing of intel chipsets with intel processors produce a solid computer. my 440bx and pentium 2 computer is rock solid from a hardware perspective. but my most recent computer is an athlon with a sis chipset, which has proven to be just as stable. amd chipsets are merely reference implementation and the amd-compatible chipsets have had some problems (mostly via), so while amd processors challenge intel well, the total package of cpu and chipset doesn’t always, with amd-compatible chipsets hurting amd’s reputation some (people only see the processor, not the chipset).

    my next computer will probably be a 64-bit amd because amd offers the better price/performance ratio and the performance is on par with intel. the chipset issue doesn’t bother me because i can do enough research ahead of time to buy a known good chipset (oems and early adopters doesn’t have that privilege).

    but should amd become the market leader and start acting against consumers’ wishes (being perceived to leverage their market position against consumers), amd will take the place of intel as the object of enthusiast wrath (much like red hat became hated when they were perceived as using their market position and brand name to focus on business and by consequence ditch enthusiasts and general consumers).

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    Subject: More like…
    Author: robot101
    Date: Monday, 2004/06/14 – 23:55
    The existence of this port predates Intel announcing IA32e.

    Robster is a monkey
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    Subject: AMD64 is O.K.
    Author: berberic
    Date: Monday, 2004/06/14 – 10:27
    This 64-bit extension has been developed by AMD, so it seems O.K. to give them credit for this.
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    Subject: How to upgrade?
    Author: Psiren
    Date: Sunday, 2004/06/13 – 20:02
    Once this makes its way into unstable, does anyone have any advice on the best way to upgrade to it. Since I’m already runnig i386 unstable on my Athlon64, this won’t be an upgrade so much as an architecture change. Does dpkg even handle this? I would guess it wouldn’t, changing the architecture of your machine isn’t something you would normally do! 😉
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    Subject: Use debootstrap?
    Author: pharm
    Date: Sunday, 2004/06/13 – 22:33
    You could use debootstrap to install the amd64 port in a chroot, and then switch over to it perhaps.
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    Subject: Or use DFS for base system in
    Author: kopszak
    Date: Monday, 2004/06/14 – 16:50
    Or use DFS for base system install and then apt-get the rest (read debian-amd64 list archive for info how to do it).
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