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  1. #1

    Confused about ix86 identifaction numbers

    I have RH9 on an HP system with an Intel Celeron, and after installation sometime ago, I upgraded the kernel to version 2.4.20-31.9. At that time I didn't install the source code. Now I want to install the source code but I'm not sure which ix86 source is needed. RH identifies the Intel based systems rpm's as i386, however I think they are refering to all Intel based systems as i386 and not really meaning an actual 386 computer. My confusion is this, there are kernel source rpms available for i386, i586, and i686. I ran the Synaptic app to let it download and install the source for me, however after installation I reviewed the Readme file and discovered, much to my suprise, that the i386 source that it installed was actually for a 386 or 486 computer. So I uninstalled it. No harm done. Now I'm confused about which kernel sorce to install, and about why Synaptic installed that version. Is that the correct version for an Intel Celeron, or do I need to install the i686 version? My logon prompt shows "Redhat Linux 9 (Shrike) Kernel 2.4.20-31.9 on an i686" Any insight to this would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Linux Guru budman7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Knee deep in Grand Rapids, Michigan
    If you get a i386 rpm, it is O.K.
    The i386 rpms are generic. Can be used on all architectures.
    The i486, 586, and i686 are specific.
    If you want to learn more about linux take a linux journey
    Use CODE tags when posting output of commands. Thank you.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Quoting my own post a while back in this thread:

    "To give a little more information on that, the X86 processors started with the Intel 8086 processor way back in 1978. They were incrementally improved (80186, 80286) and then Intel released the Intel 386 (i386) in 1980. That was then followed by he 486 (i486), the Pentium (i586), and the Pentium 3/4 (i686) and AMD's Athlon/Duron/T-bird (also i686).

    Since all these processors were based on the same architecture (basically they read/wrote 1's and 0's in the same way), and their names all contained "86", the whole family was collectively called "X86". All the X86 processors were 32-bit.

    The recent trend has been to move toward 64-bit processors, and several different architectures popped up. DEC's Alpha and Motorola's PPC chips have been 64-bit for a while, but Intel's Itanium and Xeon and AMD's Athlon64 are the new kids on the block.

    The difference between the Itanium and PPC versus the Athlon64 is that the Itanium and PPC have completely different architectures (they speak different 1 and 0 languages), whereas the Athlon64 speaks the same language as the 32-bit X86 processors, but adds 64-bit registers. Therefore the name of the Athlon64 in generic terms is "X86_64".

    Intel, not to be outdone, has since redesigned its 64-bit Xeon processors to use the same kind of architecture as the Athlon64, calling it "Intel 64-bit with Extended Memory Technoloty". Basically they couldn't say they copied AMD without being laughed at in irony (since AMD got its start by simply copying Intel's chips).

    And I'm sure that's much more information than you care to know.. but now you do. Amaze your friends. "
    Registered Linux user #270181

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  5. #4
    Cool thing is ... Linux is constantly being re-worked, and ported to new Processors.

    Already Ported Processors:
    Compaq Alpha AXP
    Sun SPARC and UltraSPARC
    Motorola 68000
    Hitachi SuperH
    IBM zSeries and S/390
    Intel IA-64
    AMD x86-64

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