source: prologue/multilib.xml@ 384c707

Last change on this file since 384c707 was 384c707, checked in by Thomas Trepl (Moody) <thomas@…>, 9 months ago

Add more info about kernel requirements for multilib

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File size: 5.5 KB
1<?xml version="1.0" encoding="ISO-8859-1"?>
2<!DOCTYPE sect1 PUBLIC "-//OASIS//DTD DocBook XML V4.5//EN"
3 "" [
4 <!ENTITY % general-entities SYSTEM "../general.ent">
5 %general-entities;
8<sect1 arch="ml_32,ml_x32,ml_all" id="pre-multilib">
9 <?dbhtml filename="multilib.html"?>
11 <title>About the Multilib Edition</title>
13 <sect2><title>What is Multilib</title>
15 <para>Today, most systems in the x86 world have a word size of 64
16 bit. The word size is a number of bits which can be used at once
17 in the most efficient way. Previous architectures of x86 processors
18 had a word size of 32 bit which means they have a different
19 understanding of what is the best alignment of data in memory as
20 well as they have a different mechanism to address a different size
21 of memory. Even the instruction set of the 64 bit processors is
22 quite simmilar to the instructions of 32 bit processors, binaries
23 (objects compiled to machine code) cannot directly be executed on
24 64 bit systems.</para>
26 <para>Multilib is a mechanism to provide support for the 32 bit
27 binaries so that they can be executed of modern 64 bit CPUs.</para>
29 </sect2>
31 <sect2><title>Why doing Multilib?</title>
33 <para>From a educational point of view, LFS in its 'native' form is
34 probably the best way to see how a Linux system is built from source.
35 There is no need to confuse with different architectures. But when
36 there is a need to run 32 binaries and you don't want to build the
37 whole system in 32 bit (which would be waste of ressources
38 nowadays) than LFS-multilib is an option. Examples for such a
39 need could be
40 <itemizedlist>
41 <listitem><para>Closed-source software without source only
42 available for 32 bit. That may be the case for printer driver
43 or any other kind of hardware drivers, the company provides
44 the binaries. If you have such a driver, LFS-multilib
45 may help you getting the stuff running</para>
46 </listitem>
47 <listitem><para>If you want to go far beyond LFS and setup a
48 virtualization platform like <application>VirtualBox</application>,
49 you will need multilib support</para>
50 </listitem>
51 <listitem><para>or even just because you can</para>
52 </listitem>
53 </itemizedlist>
55 </para>
57 <para>The multilib edition of LFS goes a small step beyond and a
58 small step back to what has been said in the previous section
59 when talking about target architectures. On one hand, the multilib
60 edition is focused and <emphasis>limited</emphasis> to x86_64
61 architectures only, on the other hand, it <emphasis>expands</emphasis>
62 the instructions to utilize both possible architectures, namely
63 32-bit as well as 64-bit.</para>
65 <para>It also goes a bit beyond the basic educational
66 approach of LFS which is to show you how to build a Linux system.
67 To achieve this, no support for additional architectures than
68 the default one for your system is required. If you haven't
69 previously built by the standard LFS book, you are encouraged to
70 do so before using this edition.</para>
72 </sect2>
74 <sect2><title>Building a Multilib System</title>
76 <para>Building a multilib system is not that much different from
77 building a system by using the 'native' LFS book. Beside some
78 tweaks here and there the most prominent difference is that
79 multilib requires compiling some applications up to three times:
80 one for the primary 64-bit architecture,
81 one for the 32-bit architecture (m32),
82 and once again for the 32-bit architecture with is 32-bit memory
83 access and 64 bit instruction set (mx32).</para>
85 <para>Continue only if you and your system meets the following
86 requirements:
87 <itemizedlist>
88 <listitem>
89 <para>you have a x86_64 compatible machine</para>
90 <note><para>
91 If you have access to the kernel config for your system,
92 you will need to have
93 <parameter>CONFIG_IA32_EMULATION=y</parameter>
94 set in order to build for <parameter>m32</parameter> and
95 <parameter>CONFIG_X86_X32=y</parameter> set in order to
96 build for <parameter>mx32</parameter>.
97 </para>
98 <para>
99 If you do not have access to the kernel config for your system,
100 you may be able to test for compatability by running the
101 following commands:
102 </para>
103<screen><userinput>echo 'int main(){}' &gt; dummy.c
104gcc -m32 dummy.c
107gcc -mx32 dummy.c
109 <para>
110 If either of the <command>./a.out</command> commands results in an
111 "Exec format error" message, then you do not have a system kernel
112 capable of building for that architecture within LFS, and so you
113 should probably look to build an LFS system without Multilib, but
114 with the required kernel capabilities, and use that to build a
115 Multilib system.
116 </para></note>
117 </listitem>
118 <listitem><para>you already have some experience with LFS</para></listitem>
119 <listitem><para>you have a need for 32-bit support</para></listitem>
120 </itemizedlist>
121 </para>
123 <para>If you passed all three requirements, go ahead and build LFS
124 in multilib mode.</para>
126 </sect2>
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