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Author Topic: 64-bit VL  (Read 27248 times)
caitlyn
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« on: June 24, 2007, 10:44:13 am »

One question I've been asked by several people -- does VL have a 64-bit version?  Obviously the answer right now is "no", but... with 64-bit hardware becoming the norm is there any plan for a 64-bit VL 6?

-Cait
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Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

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bigpaws
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« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2007, 11:18:29 am »

There has been discussion of a 64 bit version. The problem with doing a
64 bit version is that there are still not enough 64 bit apps out there yet.

Most desktop users will not see much of an advantage since the use of
the kernel is usuall less than 10-20% of the system. The folks using more
than 30% will see a difference.

Bigpaws
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easuter
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« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2007, 11:53:32 am »

I don't know...and I'm not sure how many developers/packagers/testers actually have 64-bit hardware, since VL is aimed at older machines...

Thats not stopping someone with the time and the hardware from making a port if they wish Wink
« Last Edit: June 24, 2007, 11:55:45 am by easuter » Logged

The Headacher
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« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2007, 12:46:55 pm »

Another problem is that there is no 64 bit Slack to build from, just unofficial ports (Slamd64 and Bluewhite64).

The way things are at the moment, it's hard enough to release and test 2 main versions (Standard and Soho) without having to roll different packages + iso's for 64 bit users.

On the bright side, VL works just fine on 64 bit boxes.
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caitlyn
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« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2007, 02:31:49 pm »

I understand everything that has been said.  VL SOHO is KDE-based, so it is NOT thought of as being for older equipment.  30% is a big difference, BTW.  The folks I have talked to immediately decide against Vector if they have invested in 64-bit technology.  The one friend I talked to most recently put 64-bit Ubunutu on her machine instead.  My impression was that some significant apps are 64-bit.  This is a real issue. 

Once again it's a question of whether VL wants to be taken seriously as a major distro at a time when there is a lot of interest in it.  Without a 64-bit version that won't happen.

Are the unofficial 64-bit versions of Slackware unacceptable? I've heard good things about Slamd64.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1
easuter
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« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2007, 02:53:13 pm »

Quote from: caitlyn
VL SOHO is KDE-based, so it is NOT thought of as being for older equipment.

True, although VL SOHO is the fastest KDE distro I've used, so it still does have an inclination for lower spec machines.  Wink

Quote from: caitlyn
The folks I have talked to immediately decide against Vector if they have invested in 64-bit technology. 

I can understand their stand-point, but most users won't even feel the difference running a 32bit operating system on 64bit hardware.
VL Standard is already fast enough on my P3 workstation, and it simply flies on new(er) 32bit computers.

If you need your 64bit computer to take care of continual and heavy loads, then yes, using a system optimized for 64 bit is really the best option. My 0.02€ of course Wink
« Last Edit: June 24, 2007, 02:58:35 pm by easuter » Logged

uelsk8s
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« Reply #6 on: June 24, 2007, 03:22:22 pm »

The fact is that most operations on a 64bit OS are actually slower than a 32bit OS on the same hardware.
There are many benchmark results on the web that show this.

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Joe1962
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« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2007, 03:36:50 pm »

The real benefit from a 64 bit OS and apps is when you need to address over 4 GBs of RAM. Or crunch large numbers.
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Toe
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« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2007, 03:51:21 pm »

Are the unofficial 64-bit versions of Slackware unacceptable? I've heard good things about Slamd64.

I'd imagine they're just fine.  My impression is that it's mainly the lack of manpower that's the problem.

As far as developers having access to 64bit hardware, could a 'virtual donation' be made?  An idea I've been kicking around lately is getting rid of my 'linux box' and running Linux full-time under virtualization on my main Windows system, which has a dual-core A64 processor.  If there were a way for a dev without 64bit hardware to send a compilation batch to my system, I could donate some clock cycles.  Maybe even setup vnc or freenx account for testing?
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uelsk8s
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« Reply #9 on: June 24, 2007, 04:11:26 pm »

I dont think we have a problem with lack of 64bit hardware.
I personally have 3 64bit boxes.
VL is a desktop OS, and I personally dont see any benefit yet in switching to a 64bit system.
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bigpaws
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« Reply #10 on: June 24, 2007, 04:14:27 pm »

Quote
Are the unofficial 64-bit versions of Slackware unacceptable? I've heard good things about Slamd64.

One of the reasons that Slamd64 is not recognized is that the maintainers ability to keep it going.

Quote
The folks I have talked to immediately decide against Vector if they have invested in 64-bit technology.


What is that 64 bit has that the folks are not getting in 32 bit?

Quote
My impression was that some significant apps are 64-bit.  This is a real issue.

Please explain this in more detail. My clients are not able to use heavy apps (AutoDesk) in 64 bit to
get the most out of the floating point integers.

How about an explanation to backup persuing a 64 bit distribution. Vector is for the Desktop. There
are justifiable reasons to go for 64 bit. Running math intense applications for one (compiling).
Now in running servers using hashing algorithms 100s' of users at a time, then you bet 64 bit is it.

There are alot of heavy applications that are not 64 bit. Open Office is just getting 64 bit together.
Office 2007 is not 64 bit.

The problem is this IMHO users are stating they want the latest and greatest, 64 bit being in that group. The same user does not even have a clue about how much processor they use. The users
that are aware are those with limited hardware and resources. Vector is based on those users. Just
because KDE is being used does not mean it has to be bloated. The KDE team has recognized the
resource hog it was, this is being fixed. The true fix will be difficult due to X being a mess, I do not really agree that going modular will help.

I pose this ... think about the state of 64 bit computing it is still somewhat fragmented even today a couple years since 64 bit became available. When having to redesign a program why waste time on
64 bit when 128 is around the corner. The same work even better benefits.

Bigpaws
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Toe
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2007, 04:21:24 pm »

I personally dont see any benefit yet in switching to a 64bit system.

Frankly, that doesn't matter.  There are a lot of people out there who want a 64bit OS whether there's a real-world benefit or not.
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caitlyn
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2007, 05:31:05 pm »

Toe hit the nail on the head.  Perception *IS* reality.  The woman I referred to who chose 64-Bit Ubuntu over VL SOHO is a very knowledgeable computer professional.  She does some high end graphics stuff (hobby, not work) and there she does see a difference,  AMD 64 systems are everywhere now.  You can get a 64-bit laptop for about $800. 

I agree that SOHO shouldn't be bloated.  I agree that it's the fastest I've seen KDE run.  I agree with most of the points.  The fact still remains:  if you want VL to be considered a major distro you need a 64-bit version.  All the facts cited won't change that.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1
The Headacher
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« Reply #13 on: June 24, 2007, 11:34:59 pm »

Quote
My clients are not able to use heavy apps (AutoDesk) in 64 bit to
get the most out of the floating point integers.
A floating point integer :-). Something like 14846323.0000?

Quote
if you want VL to be considered a major distro you need a 64-bit version.
If people don't take VL seriously without a 64 bit port, they'd better use ubububu instead, now that's some serious computing Undecided (yay, 64 bit cycles to hog!). A match made in heaven.
 I suppose I just don't really care how people consider VL. I just want it to work and work fine. That's exactly what it's doing now.

Don't get me wrong, if there were a 64 bit VL version out there I'd use it. But I'd hate to see the manpower currently used for creating such a great distro be divided into 2 groups (one for the 64 bit and one for the 32 bit version), and packages being available for one architecture but not the other (or having to package for both).

Lately, people have been making all sorts of demands, but I hardly see anybody doing anything to achieve what they want. "We want a graphical installer, you guys go make one!". "Hey, we want xorg 7.2, you guys put it in!".
If people want something bad enough, they'll start making an effort themselves (like M0E-lnx's xorg+beryl packages + howto).

I'm currently not much of a fan of building a 64 bit VL, but if someone was going to make an unofficial port that's fine of course.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2007, 11:37:56 pm by The Headacher » Logged

Most music on my soundcloud page was arranged in programs running on VL.
caitlyn
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2007, 09:15:17 am »

Quote
I suppose I just don't really care how people consider VL. I just want it to work and work fine. That's exactly what it's doing now.

I guess this is the main point.  Yes, VL works spectacularly well.  There are some minor bugs that crop up here and there.  I report them and sometimes even fix them (like the need for a new wifi-radar package to run against gtk+ 2.10.11) but generally I'm more than satisfied with the current state of 5.8. 

Having said that I *DO* care how VL is perceived.  It's become my favorite distro and I am pretty hard to please.  I see a review I wrote in January for O'Reillynet still in the Hot 25.  That tells me there is a huge amount of interest out there.  Look... I see VL at the point where it could be a major distro (in terms of popularity) and challenge Ubuntu or Fedora.  The question is whether or not the core developers want that or not.  What's important to them?  That's something I don't know and can't influence.  I just see a huge opportunity for VL if folks want it.

Quote
I'd hate to see the manpower currently used for creating such a great distro be divided into 2 groups (one for the 64 bit and one for the 32 bit version), and packages being available for one architecture but not the other (or having to package for both.

Valid point.  The question is this:  would a larger user community bring some fresh blood into the developer community?  Is that something the core developers even want?  As far as packaging is concerned, for core packages and patches, yes, we'd have to package for both.  (I use "we" because I've been doing some packaging as a volunteer.)  As far as extra is concerned I think it's fair to have some packages available for one and not the other.

Quote
Lately, people have been making all sorts of demands, but I hardly see anybody doing anything to achieve what they want.

Fair comment.  I don't even have 64-bit hardware yet (that'll be my next system) so this doesn't effect me personally one way or another yet.  I was passing along a question I've been asked repeatedly is all.  Since I've been writing about Vector Linux I've somehow become associated with the distro.  I don't know why people feel they can approach me rather than the development community.  Undecided

FWIW, the issue I personally complained about was internationalization/localization, and I promptly went to work building packages to address that.  It's still a work in progress but it's getting there and other people have done fantastic work in this area.  When vector built Xfce 4.4.0 with all the language support I was thrilled.  I guess that's why I feel safe raising issues like this -- the developers are very good at listening to and responding to their user community.  I don't think a lot of distros do that as well as Vector.
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eMachines EL-1300G desktop, 1.6GHz AMD Athlon 2650e CPU, 4GB RAM, nVidia GeForce 6150 SE video
CentOS 6.5 (will try VL64-7.1 soon)

Toshiba Satellite A135-S4727,  Intel Pentium T2080 / 1.73 GHz, 2GB RAM, Intel GMA 950

HP Mini 110 netbook, 1.6GHz Intel Atom CPU, 2GB RAM, Intel 950 video, VL 7.1
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