Getting the 64bits between the teeth.

(Just for Tribalw0lf… :-))

Over the last week I’ve been playing with MandrakeLinux 10.1 beta 2 x86-64 edition to see how good it is as a general use OS and a day-to-day machine. In that period I’ve installed it on my laptop at home and on one of the researcher’s new Sun W2100z workstation. So, what’s the verdict?

Well, other than one or two glitches in the install (in expert mode it turns off the USB keyboard after the first dialog but before the second so you can’t get further than the second dialog and the bootloader section is broken) everything seems to work fine. Well, fine as long as you’re not trying to use some programs which were compiled on other systems ‘cos a few of the 32 bit libraries are missing. Copying these off other machines got the software working again. Of course, Mozilla plugins for Linux don’t work ‘cos they’re 32bit and the x86-64 version of Java from Sun doesn’t include a browser plugin, how helpful.

The one big problem, however, is the problems of building programs for 32bit machines on the system. Only a very few libraries are available (which don’t include any of the X11 ones) which rather stops most compiles in their tracks. It looks like if I get the replacement desktop machine I’m hoping for I’m going to have to have it dual-boot in 32 and 64 bit Linux. Oh well.

Anyway, I’d better sign off. I’ve got a boring meeting to attend.