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Debian-based distros, two kernels: 32 and 64 bit with GRUB


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#1 MarioPL98

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 03:01 PM

Is it possible to install both 32 and 64 bit kernels in debian-based distros and pick one of them in GRUB at boot?

I'm currently making live linux on a flash stick and i need it to work well with 64 bit apps on 4+ GB ram machines as well as with 32 bit apps on 1GB ram machines.



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#2 NickAu

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 03:35 PM

It should be possible to install one next to the other, you may need to create a partition for each system.



#3 Al1000

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 03:54 PM

If Linux is installed, which is what you're doing, it's not "live," regardless of the media that you install it to. Live Linux (with or without persistence) is when you boot your computer from the ISO.

You can install 32 bit applications to a 64 bit system.
 

To run a 32-bit executable file on a 64-bit multi-architecture Ubuntu system, you have to add the i386 architecture and install the three library packages libc6:i386, libncurses5:i386, and libstdc++6:i386


Further details here:

http://askubuntu.com/questions/454253/how-to-run-32-bit-app-in-ubuntu-64-bit

Personally I would do what (I think) Nick is suggesting, and install both 32 and 64 bit Debian systems on separate partitions on the USB. That is, if installation is best for the purpose.

Are you sure that this USB will work on all the computers you want to use it on? When you use a computer to install Linux (whether to a HDD, USB or whatever), it will choose drivers based on the hardware on that particular computer, and may or may not work on other computers.

Using Linux Live with persistence however,

1) you can install applications, and

2) the ISO performs checks on the hardware every time you plug the USB into a computer to boot it, in order to select appropriate drivers for the hardware it's being asked to use. Whereas if you install Linux to the USB, it will expect to use whatever hardware is on the computer that you used for the installation.

Personally I prefer installing Linux to USB rather than use live with persistence, but as you need to use it on different computers perhaps live with persistence would be best.

Edited by Al1000, 16 December 2015 - 03:55 PM.


#4 Guest_hollowface_*

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Posted 16 December 2015 - 06:39 PM

Is it possible to install both 32 and 64 bit kernels in debian-based distros and pick one of them in GRUB at boot?

While I've never done it, yes it is possible, some distros do this out of box (eg: Parted Magic. Which isn't Debian based.).

I'm currently making live linux on a flash stick and i need it to work well with 64 bit apps on 4+ GB ram machines as well as with 32 bit apps on 1GB ram machines.

It sounds like you want this Debian-derivative to be 32bit on 32bit computers and 64bit on 64bit computers, which to my knowledge isn't possible. You could do as others have suggested and have 2 operating systems, one that's 32bit and one that's 64bit. You'd still end up with your desired result of having both of them listed in the same Grub menu.

#5 MarioPL98

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 12:41 AM

I don't want use separate systems, because I would have to clone everything. And I also won't install it on any hard drive. Just running from pendrive, that's all. I will use persistence for sure.



#6 MarioPL98

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 11:14 AM

So should it work just by installing new kernel with apt-get?



#7 Al1000

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 12:00 PM

You won't be able to install another kernel to a "live with persistence" setup. You would have to install your Debian based distro to the USB.

(Please note the difference between live with persistence and installation that I explained in post #3)

#8 MarioPL98

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 12:33 PM

What if I install kernel first, then I will make .iso and live?



#9 MarioPL98

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 12:36 PM

So You think that multi-kernel feature and live is not possible?



#10 Guest_hollowface_*

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 04:46 PM

I don't want use separate systems, because I would have to clone everything.

Then you cannot proceed, because there are no Debian based operating systems that are simultaneously 32bit and 64bit.

What if I install kernel first, then I will make .iso and live?

I've no idea what tools you're using to accomplish the creation of a custom ISO, and having never tried to build a disc with both kernels, I'm not familiar with the process of doing it.

So You think that multi-kernel feature and live is not possible?

Since you cannot proceed with your original plan to have a single OS that is both 32bit and 64bit, I'm not sure why you wish to proceed with setting one up that is 32bit but has both a 64bit and 32bit kernel, as you'll still be running 32bit software. However, if that's what you want, you might be interested in using Knoppix, which comes with both a 32bit and 64bit kernel. If you're using a 32bit machine, it'll boot the 32bit kernel, and if you're using a 64bit machine it'll boot using the 64bit kernel.

 

As you can see in this screenshot from my computer, I've booted the 64bit kernel:

0384SEu.png



#11 MarioPL98

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 04:57 PM

I was using knoppix some time ago but it has many software buggs. Even more errors appeared when i updated everything.

Also i remember that you can choose kernel by typing in start screen "knoppix 64" for 64 bit kernel and something similar for 32 bit. 

 

I need some clean, fresh system, not bunch of useless apps (even smallest version of knoppix has many useless things).

All I need is something like clean Debian, but with kernel selection feature.

 

But can anyone explain to me how did Knopper make that multi-kernel feature? Is it just simple program that copies or activates files of certain kernel?


Edited by MarioPL98, 17 December 2015 - 04:57 PM.


#12 NickAu

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Posted 17 December 2015 - 05:03 PM

I have 5 kernels I can boot from, I select the kernel I want from the grub menu but they are all 64 bit,



#13 shadow-warrior

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Posted 19 December 2015 - 03:57 PM

I know you can have the dual boot kernel set up on Arch as done by this fellow who knocks out a lot of unusual distros..http://linux.exton.net/?p=372 ...how i don't know  but if Arch and debian (Knoppix) can do it there must be a way thats available..maybe you need to look at the source code for the Distro.... though i have never seen one installed with i86 and 86x64 kernels outside of a live environment...






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