[lsb-discuss] LSB conf call notes for 2008-06-04

Theodore Tso tytso at mit.edu
Fri Jun 6 05:50:31 PDT 2008

On Thu, Jun 05, 2008 at 08:41:49PM -1000, Joseph Kowalski wrote:
> I understand why an distro might want to provided both.  I'm a bit
> lost as to why this is an LSB issue.  Does the LSB generally require
> support for 32-bit objects on 64-bit platforms?

The LSB doesn't require it, no.  I'm not sure we're even 100% set up
for a distribution which wants to claim simultaneous support for x86
and x86_64 LSB 4.0 conformance for their 64-bit distribution.

If we *do* want to allow that sort of thing, though, at some point in
the future, it becomes problematic to require a fixed pathname such as
/usr/bin/java, since at the point where you start the JVM, it might
not be possible to determine in advance whether the 64-bit or 32-bit
JRE was desired.  (You might be able to search a provided CLASSPATH
and try to find some .so files, but #1, I'm not 100% user the .so's
for JNI's are found in the CLASSPATH, and #2, thats still a hueristic
which could be fooled.)  BTW, This isn't so much a problem for other
hard-coded paths, such as /usr/lib/sendmail since if a process is
trying to send an email by running /usr/lib/sendmail, it doesn't
really care whether it is 32-bit or 64-bit.

This is a minor issue, since presuambly for a primarily 64-bit distro
will probably have 64-bit binaries in /usr/bin, it is something to
consider if we want to support multiarch.  (Which by the way will be
more common on PPC, doesn't have the problem with x86's pathetically
small register file which means that x86_64 binaries do have a real
performance advantage, even though pointers are doubling in size.)

	    	       	    	   	    	- Ted

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