[Vm-dev] Packaging vm 3.11.3 for Debian

David T. Lewis lewis at mail.msen.com
Wed Dec 30 23:10:54 UTC 2009

On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 08:59:13PM +0100, Bert Freudenberg wrote:
> On 29.12.2009, at 15:57, David T. Lewis wrote:
> > 
> > On Tue, Dec 29, 2009 at 01:55:12PM +0100, Jos? L. Redrejo Rodr?guez wrote:
> >> 
> >> - Gstreamer and Pango plugins segfault in amd64, so any image using them
> >> will segfault in this architecture. So latest version of etoys will have
> >> this problem.
> > 
> > I can confirm this. I believe that there are some underlying issues with
> > SurfacePlugin that affect Pango and possibly others on 64-bit hosts.
> > No fix is available at the present time.
> > 
> > I just realized that we don't have a Mantis report for this issue, so
> > I added one: http://bugs.squeak.org/view.php?id=7433
> Can't we just disable building of these plugins until this is resolved?
> It's better to not have them than have them crashing.

IMO, the simplest way to handle this near term is just to maintain a
different VMMaker .config file for the 64-bit build.

But I do think that there are some points that need to be clearly stated
to avoid misunderstanding:

- For general use on Linux distributions, the currently supported
  configuration is the 32-bit VM running on 64-bit Linux. This is
  stable and provides good performance. It does require the installation
  of various 32-bit libraries as a prerequisite.

- There is currently no supported 64-bit Linux VM. If you choose to
  build and distribute one, you are necessarily taking on the responsibility
  of selecting the subset of plugins that you are comfortable supporting.

- Building and distributing a 64-bit VM using the generated source code
  in the platforms/unix/src/ tree is likely to cause problems. All of
  the supported VMs that are found on http://squeakvm.org/unix/ are
  built from that source tree, and they are all 32-bit VMs. If you
  build this source in 64-bit mode, you will be compiling a number of
  plugins that will not work.

I would have no hesitation in recommending the use of 64-bit VMs for
applications such as Seaside servers, or for use by anyone who does
not require multimedia, Pango, and so forth. I use one all the time
for my own use, and it is no problem at all. But supporting a 64-bit
distribution for general Linux users is a big job. If someone chooses
to do it, that's a Really Good Thing, but it should be done with an
awareness of the current limitations of the 64-bit VM.

I also want to emphasize that there is nothing at all wrong with
running the 32-bit VM on 64-bit Linux. The only drawback is the need
for installing some 32-bit runtime libraries. But it works great, it's
stable, it's fast, and you can download all the sources and executables
from http://squeakvm.org/unix/.


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