Re: Installer: 32 vs. 64 bit

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Re: Installer: 32 vs. 64 bit

Ben Hutchings-3
On Fri, 2018-10-26 at 14:41 +0200, Juliusz Chroboczek wrote:
> Hi,
>
> I've been encouraging my students to install Debian on their personal
> machines, and we've found out that a lot of them get the wrong Debian
> installer:
>
>   - some of them attempt to install an AMD64 version of Debian in
>     a 32-bit-only virtual machine;

Why are they creating 32-bit virtual machines?  Perhaps this is a bad
default in the VM manaager?

>   - others attempt to install an i386 version on 64-bit hardware.

This should work, in general.  It won't work on a 64-bit system that
only supports EFI boot - and the installer won't be able to report
that, unless it includes a dummy 64-bit EFI program just to do that.

[...]
> Could somebody please speak with the installer people so they make sure
> that the installation fails with a friendly user message in both of the
> cases outlined above?

We should not do in this in the second case, since it is supposed to
work.  (But a warning might be reasonable.)

Ben.

--
Ben Hutchings
The obvious mathematical breakthrough [to break modern encryption]
would be development of an easy way to factor large prime numbers.
                                                           - Bill Gates



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Re: Installer: 32 vs. 64 bit

peter green-2
> Why are they creating 32-bit virtual machines?

At least with virtualbox 32-bit VMs can run on any host. 64-bit VMs require VT-x which is all too often disabled in the BIOS.

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Re: Installer: 32 vs. 64 bit

Juliusz Chroboczek-4
In reply to this post by Ben Hutchings-3
>> I've been encouraging my students to install Debian on their personal
>> machines, and we've found out that a lot of them get the wrong Debian
>> installer:
>>
>> - some of them attempt to install an AMD64 version of Debian in
>> a 32-bit-only virtual machine;

> Why are they creating 32-bit virtual machines?  Perhaps this is a bad
> default in the VM manaager?

Yes, it was a bad default in the laptop's BIOS (VT-something was
disabled).  HP's bug, obviously, but it would have made for a better
experience if the Debian installer had complained in a comprehensible
manner straight away.

>> - others attempt to install an i386 version on 64-bit hardware.

> This should work, in general.  It won't work on a 64-bit system that
> only supports EFI boot - and the installer won't be able to report
> that, unless it includes a dummy 64-bit EFI program just to do that.

It was a recent laptop, and the user had manually enabled BIOS boot.  The
installer hung with a black screen just after the initial menu.

> We should not do in this in the second case, since it is supposed to
> work.  (But a warning might be reasonable.)

Please.

-- Juliusz