AMD64 vs. x86-64 - BSD

This is a discussion on AMD64 vs. x86-64 - BSD ; Just curious why FreeBSD's 64 bit x86 version is called "AMD". That makes it sound like it can only be installed on x86 CPUs. Lots of people I've talked to assumed they couldn't run it on their 64 bit capable ...

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Thread: AMD64 vs. x86-64

  1. AMD64 vs. x86-64

    Just curious why FreeBSD's 64 bit x86 version is called "AMD". That
    makes it sound like it can only be installed on x86 CPUs. Lots of people
    I've talked to assumed they couldn't run it on their 64 bit capable
    Intel CPUs, when in reality it works just fine.

    Why not rename it to the generic version to attract more users?

    -->Neil

  2. Re: AMD64 vs. x86-64

    Neil Bradley wrote:
    > Just curious why FreeBSD's 64 bit x86 version is called "AMD". That
    > makes it sound like it can only be installed on x86 CPUs.


    Sorry - meant "AMD CPUs".

    > Lots of people
    > I've talked to assumed they couldn't run it on their 64 bit capable
    > Intel CPUs, when in reality it works just fine.
    >
    > Why not rename it to the generic version to attract more users?
    >
    > -->Neil


  3. Re: AMD64 vs. x86-64

    In article <7nMMk.349$Jv2.167@nwrddc01.gnilink.net>,
    Neil Bradley writes:
    > Just curious why FreeBSD's 64 bit x86 version is called "AMD". That
    > makes it sound like it can only be installed on x86 CPUs. Lots of people
    > I've talked to assumed they couldn't run it on their 64 bit capable
    > Intel CPUs, when in reality it works just fine.
    >
    > Why not rename it to the generic version to attract more users?


    It's AMD64. What do these people think the 64 means?

    The naming is historical in that AMD came out with a 64-bit
    cpu that also supported the legacy ia32 architecture. The
    initial port was to an AMD processor, and Intel did not have
    a similar product. At the time, it would have made no sense
    to call it X86_64. You'll also find that AMD's documentation
    refers to AMD64, ie.,

    # AMD64 Architecture Application Programmer's Manual
    # AMD64 Architecture System Programmer's Manual

    http://www.freebsd.org/platforms/amd64.html

    --
    steve

  4. Re: AMD64 vs. x86-64

    On Sat, 25 Oct 2008 21:40:19 +0000, Neil Bradley wrote:

    > Just curious why FreeBSD's 64 bit x86 version is called "AMD".


    The rule is, you invent it, you get to name it.

  5. Re: AMD64 vs. x86-64

    Mark Madsen wrote:
    > The rule is, you invent it, you get to name it.


    Yes, that's the rule. More info for the OP:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amd64
    --
    Torfinn Ingolfsen,
    Norway

  6. Re: AMD64 vs. x86-64

    Steven G. Kargl wrote:
    > In article <7nMMk.349$Jv2.167@nwrddc01.gnilink.net>,
    > Neil Bradley writes:
    >> Just curious why FreeBSD's 64 bit x86 version is called "AMD". That
    >> makes it sound like it can only be installed on x86 CPUs. Lots of people
    >> I've talked to assumed they couldn't run it on their 64 bit capable
    >> Intel CPUs, when in reality it works just fine.
    >> Why not rename it to the generic version to attract more users?

    > It's AMD64. What do these people think the 64 means?


    It's also Intel EMT64. That's the point. It'll run on both
    architectures. Some people are ignoring AMD64 FreeBSD because they
    assume, by the name, that it can't run on a 64 bit x86 CPU. The way to
    fix that is to call it something more generic, like x86-64, as it does
    make sense now.

    -->Neil

  7. Re: AMD64 vs. x86-64

    On Mon, 27 Oct 2008 00:48:40 +0000, Neil Bradley wrote:

    > Steven G. Kargl wrote:
    >> In article <7nMMk.349$Jv2.167@nwrddc01.gnilink.net>,
    >> Neil Bradley writes:
    >>> Just curious why FreeBSD's 64 bit x86 version is called "AMD". That
    >>> makes it sound like it can only be installed on x86 CPUs. Lots of
    >>> people I've talked to assumed they couldn't run it on their 64 bit
    >>> capable Intel CPUs, when in reality it works just fine. Why not rename
    >>> it to the generic version to attract more users?

    >> It's AMD64. What do these people think the 64 means?

    >
    > It's also Intel EMT64. That's the point. It'll run on both
    > architectures. Some people are ignoring AMD64 FreeBSD because they
    > assume, by the name, that it can't run on a 64 bit x86 CPU. The way to
    > fix that is to call it something more generic, like x86-64, as it does
    > make sense now.


    Maybe that'll be more likely to happen, now that the repository has moved
    over to subversion, and CVS access is just a window on the side. As long
    as the repository was primarily housed on CVS, I believe that there was
    exactly zero chance for this change, because CVS is lousy at hierarchy
    renames. Perforce can reputedly handle that, but I have no experience
    with which to judge how handily.

    When I say more likely, I am referring to some epsilon larger than zero,
    not necessarily measurable. Having a few potential users miss out
    because they lack sufficient clue or history seems to be a small price to
    pay for lack of effort. I mean, do we want the mailing lists to fill
    with requests from the sort of folk who can read the first paragraph on
    the FreeBSD homepage and come away with the impression that it won't run
    on an EM64T processor?

    [For the web-deficient in the audience, that first sentence reads:
    "FreeBSD® is an advanced operating system for x86 compatible (including
    Pentium® and Athlon™), amd64 compatible (including Opteron™, Athlon™64,
    and EM64T), UltraSPARC®, IA-64, PC-98 and ARM architectures. It is
    derived from BSD, the version of UNIX® developed at the University of
    California, Berkeley."]

    Cheers,

    --
    Andrew

  8. Re: AMD64 vs. x86-64

    Andrew Reilly wrote:
    > On Mon, 27 Oct 2008 00:48:40 +0000, Neil Bradley wrote:
    >> It's also Intel EMT64. That's the point. It'll run on both
    >> architectures. Some people are ignoring AMD64 FreeBSD because they
    >> assume, by the name, that it can't run on a 64 bit x86 CPU. The way to
    >> fix that is to call it something more generic, like x86-64, as it does
    >> make sense now.

    > Maybe that'll be more likely to happen, now that the repository has moved
    > over to subversion, and CVS access is just a window on the side. As long
    > as the repository was primarily housed on CVS, I believe that there was
    > exactly zero chance for this change, because CVS is lousy at hierarchy
    > renames.


    I echo those experiences in which I was forced to use CVS, so I can see
    how that would be a big deal.

    > pay for lack of effort. I mean, do we want the mailing lists to fill
    > with requests from the sort of folk who can read the first paragraph on
    > the FreeBSD homepage and come away with the impression that it won't run
    > on an EM64T processor?


    That information would be better when you click on the bright yellow
    "Get FreeBSD now" button on the primary page. Text isn't eye catching,
    but the big download button is. It's only when you get to the
    distribution page where you're looking for the specific file(s) to
    download that one would expect to start looking for a description. It's
    not there. At the very least, it could be placed in another column in
    the releases table.

    -->Neil

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