32-bit binary compatibility on 5.3-amd64

Rob Watt rob at hudson-trading.com
Thu Jan 27 07:58:45 PST 2005


My company is considering buying a number of emt64 or opteron machines. We
have been doing some testing so that we can determine the benefits and
the pitfalls of the new machines/architectures, and so that we can also
determine what we need to change about our build system to have our
applications run most effectively on both i386 and amd64 freebsd.

I've read a number of posts and bug reports that relate to
compiling/running 32-bit applications on amd64 (for example:
and they seem to suggest that binary compatibility is supported, but still
needs a bit of work.

I've run the /usr/src/tools/lib32/build32.sh script, and applied some
other changes that people have reccomended, but basically our 32-bit
applications all segfault when run on the amd64 machines.

Before we put much more effort into running 32-bit apps, I would like to
know if it's worth doing now? Should we wait for the support to be fleshed
out, and if so is there a timeline for full 32-bit support?

Obviously we can have 2 completely different builds of all of our apps,
and that is something that we are considering, but we would prefer if we
only had to compile our high-performance apps for amd64 and could just run
everything else 'as-is'.

Can anyone comment on the state of 32-bit support and offer any advice or
experience on the matter?


Rob Watt

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