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Hi All, I'm running a distro that only has a 32 bit version, the 64 bit is on the to do list but currently hasn't been started. What's the process ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Guru jmadero's Avatar
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    How to Make 64-Bit Distro?


    Hi All,

    I'm running a distro that only has a 32 bit version, the 64 bit is on the to do list but currently hasn't been started. What's the process for doing this? Seems to me like it would be pretty straight forward, just getting the packages that currently are on the 32 bit version in their 64 bit versions. Is this not the case? Thanks in advance
    Bodhi 1.3 & Bodhi 1.4 using E17
    Dell Studio 17, Intel Graphics card, 4 gigs of RAM, E17

    "The beauty in life can only be found by moving past the materialism which defines human nature and into the higher realm of thought and knowledge"

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    It's likely there is no 64-bit version of the distro is that the packages don't exist for that distro, compiled for 64-bit word size. They probably exist for other distros, of course, but would have to be compiled for your distro into the right kind of package: such as RPM, DEB etc.

    However the basic kernel exists in 64-bit form, for some other distro. It may have to be recompiled with desired flags set in the makefiles. In fact I've seen distros which claim to be 64-bit where only the kernel is 64 bits - executables in /bin, /usr/bin, /sbin, etc are all 32-bit executables. So you start from basic kernel sources, and configure it for 64-bit building, and compile it.

    I'm not an expert at building kernels or a lot of other executables, but that may give you an idea about what you're up for. You might run a 64-bit live CD of a distro similar to yours and poke around in the binary directories and the configuration files under /etc, and see how it may differ from a 32-bit version of the same distro.

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    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    You should get a good idea what is involved looking at CLFS linked from here ...

  4. #4
    Linux Guru jmadero's Avatar
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    CLFS isn't accurate any more, very few distros are based from scratch, instead they are forks. The one I'm trying to make a 64bit version of is forked from Ubuntu but uses E17 instead of gnome, unity or any of the other more bloated (no offense, I still use them) DE's (and is all around sleaker than Ubuntu). So CLFS would give a good idea if I was building a distro from scratch but that's not my situation, I'll be forking the Ubuntu 64bit version over, removing a ton of packages and installing a bunch of packages. Then I'll be getting a list of packages that they have to add to their repos (if they so choose). I think the kernel idea is intriguing and that's where I'm starting.


    Is it possible to replace my 32 bit kernel with a 64 bit one if I just compile it? That'd be interesting, instant conversion to 64 bit

    Edit: I didn't mean accurate, it's very accurate, it's not relative a lot of the times these days, that's what I meant
    Bodhi 1.3 & Bodhi 1.4 using E17
    Dell Studio 17, Intel Graphics card, 4 gigs of RAM, E17

    "The beauty in life can only be found by moving past the materialism which defines human nature and into the higher realm of thought and knowledge"

  5. #5
    Linux Guru Jonathan183's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmadero View Post
    I'm running a distro that only has a 32 bit version, the 64 bit is on the to do list but currently hasn't been started. What's the process for doing this? Seems to me like it would be pretty straight forward, just getting the packages that currently are on the 32 bit version in their 64 bit versions. Is this not the case? Thanks in advance
    I read this as 32 bit only version available, my understanding is for this situation you would end up doing something similar to CLFS.

    Quote Originally Posted by jmadero View Post
    The one I'm trying to make a 64bit version of is forked from Ubuntu but uses E17 instead of gnome, unity or any of the other more bloated (no offense, I still use them) DE's (and is all around sleaker than Ubuntu). So CLFS would give a good idea if I was building a distro from scratch but that's not my situation, I'll be forking the Ubuntu 64bit version over, removing a ton of packages and installing a bunch of packages.
    I'd start with either 64 bit Ubuntu or 64 bit Debian (would be my approach) rather than trying to convert a 32 bit to 64 bit system ...

    Ed: or I'd try Mint Debian Edition or Xfce here

    Good luck and let us know how it goes
    Last edited by Jonathan183; 12-16-2011 at 10:01 PM.

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    I like the idea of just adding the U17 packages to some 64-bit version of Ubuntu/Xubuntu/Lubuntu or Mint or Debian - so the kernel will work but you'd get the UI you want. Or maybe start with a non-GUI version of one of those and just build the packages you want to add.

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