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I recently installed Ubuntu on a dual core pentium D, with intel's 64-bit technology, which i think is the same general thing as AMD's, and 2 gig of ram. I ...
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  1. #1
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    Dual-Core-64-bit kernel for Pentuim D-should I Upgrade?


    I recently installed Ubuntu on a dual core pentium D, with intel's 64-bit technology, which i think is the same general thing as AMD's, and 2 gig of ram. I am new to linux, and really have not started to use the command line much. So I have a few questions before I just go install a kerel

    1. I was wondering which kernel to upgrade to, there are some in the package manager, and if I needed to do anything besides check off install and click apply.

    2. Are there many open-source programs that take advantage of either dual core or 64-bit, even if they are something that the average user would not use( I like to have cutting-edge programs, even if I have no need for them...)

    3. If there are not any programs that use these features, could just recompile them, with out editing the source(I have no programming experience), to use these features.( I am pretty sure that to make a program 64-bit, a person would have to edit a good bit of code to make it take advantage of the ?larger number capacity?, but I am not sure what it would take to make a program use dual-cores)

    4. Any backwards compatibility issues with 32-bit programs ( I have read articles that suggest not, but that I would have to have a 32-bit music program to play music that was created with a 32-bit program)

    I would like to have the fastest kernel for my computer, which ever one that is, and I was surprised to learn that Ubuntu did not detect what kernel I needed, but intead gave me a 386 kernel...but is the 64-bit kernel actually faster?......

    Thanks-LinuxUser254

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    I'm no expert, but I'll try to answer your questions;

    1. Which kernel is in the package manager? IMO, just go to kernel.org and download the latest stable release (2.6.17.8 ).

    2. I'm not aware of any multi-threaded Linux programs, there probably are some, but I don't have a dual-core processor so it really isn't of use to me. The Linux kernel though has had SMP support for 10 years now, so make sure you compile SMP support into your kernel so you can use both cores.

    3. Creating multi-threaded code will require you to edit the source code, compiling the code for your processor will not. Read the GCC manual for options allowing optimization, most popular being -O2, -O3, -march

    4. If you're compiling programs from source, you shouldn't have any problems.

    The fastest kernel is the one you compile specifically for your hardware

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinuxUser254
    1. I was wondering which kernel to upgrade to, there are some in the package manager, and if I needed to do anything besides check off install and click apply.
    If you have a dual-core chip you'll want the SMP (Symmetric Multi-Processor) version of the kernel. It should say "smp" in the name.

    2. Are there many open-source programs that take advantage of either dual core or 64-bit, even if they are something that the average user would not use( I like to have cutting-edge programs, even if I have no need for them...)
    No programs that I know of take advantage of the 64-bit CPUs yet, but you might be able to find a stray program here and there that supports SMP (multi-CPU or multi-core). I know the last release of Quake 3 offered an SMP version.

    3. If there are not any programs that use these features, could just recompile them, with out editing the source(I have no programming experience), to use these features.( I am pretty sure that to make a program 64-bit, a person would have to edit a good bit of code to make it take advantage of the ?larger number capacity?, but I am not sure what it would take to make a program use dual-cores)
    That's what most 64-bit programs are, simple recompiles. That means you're not really taking advantage of any of the new features of the 64-bit chips.

    4. Any backwards compatibility issues with 32-bit programs ( I have read articles that suggest not, but that I would have to have a 32-bit music program to play music that was created with a 32-bit program)
    If you do run into backwards-compatibility problems it's only going to be if you try to run certain 32-bit applications on a 64-bit OS. I've successfully run 32-bit Linux distributions with 32-bit software on my AMD64 with no issues whatsoever.

    I would like to have the fastest kernel for my computer, which ever one that is, and I was surprised to learn that Ubuntu did not detect what kernel I needed, but intead gave me a 386 kernel...but is the 64-bit kernel actually faster?......
    No, it's not. There aren't any very significant speed differences in an X86_64 kernel versus an i386 one. There aren't any tangible differences between i386 and i686 either, for that matter.
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    Ok, so I decided not to compile from source, but i did try to install linux-image-smp-k7 from the package manager. When i rebooted, grub came up fine, I saw the i386 kernel, and the k7 kernel. I the k7 kernel is for amd processors with smp support, and since intel thing and amd thing are the same,it should have been fine. When i booted into it, a grey screen came up telling me that my video settings were off, and wanted me to edit some configuration file, but what it said exactly i am not sure...... I wonder if this is related to me installing XGL. Mabey I should have just gone with the 686 kernel with smp support, any way I am booted into windows now, and the computer works fine, so I will just have to get the dual core kernel working later, i haven't tried it but i am sure that the i386 kernel probably still works though

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    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LinuxUser254
    Ok, so I decided not to compile from source, but i did try to install linux-image-smp-k7 from the package manager. When i rebooted, grub came up fine, I saw the i386 kernel, and the k7 kernel. I the k7 kernel is for amd processors with smp support, and since intel thing and amd thing are the same,it should have been fine. When i booted into it, a grey screen came up telling me that my video settings were off, and wanted me to edit some configuration file, but what it said exactly i am not sure...... I wonder if this is related to me installing XGL.
    Popular third-party display drivers (such as ATI's and Nvidia's) have to be recompiled if you change your kernel. That's probably what the error message said. It was trying to load the video driver for the old kernel and it barfed.
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    How whould I go about recompiling the driver, i am guessing from the command line of the k7 kernel just type :

    sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx nvidia-kernel-common
    sudo nvidia-glx-config enable

    and mabey cange the "nv" to "nvidia" in xorg again.....

    ok, but I am using the right kernel?, i dont think it would have even booted had i not been

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    Quote Originally Posted by LinuxUser254
    How whould I go about recompiling the driver, i am guessing from the command line of the k7 kernel just type :

    sudo apt-get install nvidia-glx nvidia-kernel-common
    sudo nvidia-glx-config enable

    and mabey cange the "nv" to "nvidia" in xorg again.....

    ok, but I am using the right kernel?, i dont think it would have even booted had i not been
    That sounds like it would work. As for the kernel, now that I think about it kernel 2.6.x has SMP enabled by default if I'm not mistaken, so I don't think you have to download a separate SMP kernel anymore.
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