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system:32-bit_to_64-bit [2017-08-15T11:16:05+0000]
michael_paoli fix string based on strings(1) in binary - probably left out last character of pate much earlier
system:32-bit_to_64-bit [2018-02-26T22:28:31+0000] (current)
Line 1: Line 1:
 +Linux - upgrade 32-bit to 64-bit? (i[3456]86 to amd64/​x86_64)
 +It's a commonly asked question:
 +"Can I upgrade my 32-bit installed Linux distribution to 64-bit?"​
 +The answer is: Yes*
 +The more accurate and complete answer is a (much more) qualified yes:
 +*Yes, ... if your distribution has both 32-bit and 64-bit versions,
 +typically significantly to much easier to backup the 32-bit version,
 +saving all data (and meta-data) that might be needed, do a fresh 64-bit
 +installation,​ then carefully migrate data as wanted onto the 64-bit
 +version. ​ And of course one has to have the appropriate 64-bit capable
 +machine. ​ Similar procedure can also be used migrating to new(er)
 +64-bit capable hardware.
 +But what if you really want to do an upgrade-in-place operation, from
 +32-bit to 64-bit? ​ The "worst case" would be highly difficult ... if you
 +really want to go that route. ​ It's Linux, one can dig as necessary to
 +determine precisely what's different and make those changes - but one
 +may need the host to be down when doing that.
 +But if you have a Linux distribution with multiarch support, e.g.
 +current Debian, and at least certain derivatives:​
 +Then doing such an upgrade (or cross-grade) is quite a bit easier, but
 +still quite non-trivial.
 +"in the future will even allow live migrations from 32-bit to 64-bit systems"​
 +Yes, in future that may be a comparatively easy procedure, but it is
 +quite doable presently, ... it's just not all that easy to do.
 +So ... thought I'd run the experiment, as I do have some hosts I might
 +want to do such an upgrade (or cross-grade) on.  There is also a lot of
 +documentation and the like on how to go about doing it ... but doesn'​t yet
 +seem to be any simple sure-fire recipe that one can run to do it all.
 +Though there are lots of useful bits and "​tools"​ and procedures
 +information,​ on how to go about doing it both general, and in a fair bit
 +of specificity.
 +Anyway, I set up a virtual machine (under qemu-kvm), installed
 +Debian GNU/Linux 7.4.0 "​Wheezy"​ i386 on it and upgraded to 7.5.0
 +(as I'm writing this, the 7.5.0 ISO images aren't out on the mirrors
 +quite yet, but should be very soon - 7.5.0 was released 2014-04-26, and
 +the packages are available).
 +So, the procedure - for Debian (or derivative?​) with multiarch support.
 +This is just an outline - I don't cover all the steps in detail:
 +Add 64-bit architecture support:
 +# dpkg --add-architecture amd64
 +Update apt so it also knows about the 64-bit stuff:
 +I set the Debian CD ISO images:
 +Debian GNU/Linux 7.4.0 "​Wheezy"​ - Official amd64 CD Binary-1 20140208-13:​47
 +Debian GNU/Linux 7.4.0 "​Wheezy"​ - Official i386 CD Binary-1 20140208-12:​25
 +respectively on /dev/sda and /dev/sdb
 +and mounted respectively on /​media/​cdrom9 and /​media/​cdrom8
 +(I did that to avoid all the insert/​remove CD stuff, and if I needed
 +packages from either, to generally go much lighter on the mirrors).
 +I then updated my /​etc/​apt/​sources.list so its active lines contained:
 +deb [arch=amd64] file:/​media/​cdrom9 wheezy main
 +deb [arch=i386] file:/​media/​cdrom8 wheezy main
 +deb http://​​debian/​ wheezy main
 +deb-src http://​​debian/​ wheezy main
 +deb http://​​ wheezy/​updates main
 +deb-src http://​​ wheezy/​updates main
 +deb http://​​debian/​ wheezy-updates main
 +deb-src http://​​debian/​ wheezy-updates main
 +and then did:
 +# apt-get update
 +One should be sure one's packages are in a clean state before proceeding, e.g. see:
 +and especially:
 +Good idea to capture package status before we proceed further, e.g. save
 +the output of:
 +# dpkg --get-selections
 +to a file.  Also, many of the "​recipes"​ given make use of such data or
 +portions thereof (e.g. to pick out i386 that's installed, and configure
 +to install amd64). ​ It may also be advisable to capture information
 +regarding the installed packages, if they were specifically requested,
 +or automatically installed to satisfy dependency(/​ies). ​ One may later
 +want to similarly mark amd64 packages as they were for their earlier
 +i386 counterparts. ​ One might also want that information for packages
 +who's architecture is "​all",​ as some of those might get
 +upgraded/​replaced/​reinstalled along the way.
 +Now we're ready to install packages. ​ First, add a 64-bit kernel:
 +# apt-get install linux-image-amd64:​amd64
 +Then reboot using the 64-bit kernel.
 +Presuming that went fine, one can remove the 32-bit kernel
 +So much for the easy portions. ​ I'll just outline the rest.
 +It's mostly a matter of getting things added/​replaced/​removed in the
 +"​right"​ order - or sufficiently correct order that it all works.
 +Some of the many key bits:
 +dpkg & apt - until these are repladed with the 64-bit versions, the
 +existing versions think the native architecture is 32-bit, and 64-bit is
 +"​foreign"​. ​ There are lots of dependencies - most notably libraries.
 +When dealing with dpkg and apt-get, one can append specific
 +architecture,​ e.g. appending on package architecture:​
 +:i386 for i386 (32-bit), and
 +:amd64 for amd64 (64-bit)
 +- that can be done to be sure one installs/​removes/​purges the desired
 +package(s), particularly while dpkg and apt still are at 32-bit and
 +treat the native architecture as i386 and treat amd64 as foreign.
 +Beware that the apt package has a lot of dependencies,​ so it's not one
 +of the easier ones to get from 32-bit to 64-bit, but it is both
 +important and essential.
 +One can also use - and _ suffixes for remove and purge with apt-get, so,
 +e.g. one can add and remove/​packages with a single apt-get command.
 +The -s option to apt-get and --simulate option to dpkg will come in very
 +handy. ​ Many/most of the operations you'll want to see first if the
 +dependencies have already been met, or not or if any conflicts or other
 +problems show up.  If/when you encounter any predepends, those need to
 +be installed first, not at the same time with dpkg.
 +You'll want to be able to use dpkg fairly well, it's lower-level than
 +apt-get, but you'll need it for some operations, e.g. for making the
 +transition of the apt package from 32-bit to 64-bit, and even dpkg
 +Be very careful with "​essential"​ packages. ​ If you make an error there
 +it may be difficult to recover.
 +The binutils package may come in quite handy on
 +current Debian, notably as it contains ar - and Debian packages (.deb
 +files) are in ar format. ​ If needed, one can use ar(1) to extract
 +contents from a Debian package. ​ E.g. if one breaks findutils, which
 +dpkg -i depends upon (depends upon the find binary).
 +In general you shouldn'​t have to --force anything. ​ If apt-get is giving
 +you warnings with notification such as:
 +To continue type in the phrase 'Yes, do as I say!'
 +That is probably not the path you want to go down.
 +Package versions need to match. ​ If you're going from 32-bit to 64-bit
 +version of package, in many cases apt-get won't handle that for you (or
 +at least not without forcing it, which will typically break things) and
 +you'll need to use dpkg.  E.g. where the version numbers match, one can
 +use dpkg -i to install the 64 bit version, and where it's, e.g.
 +something like a general utility and not a library, it will generally
 +replace the 32-bit version with the 64-bit version - if all the
 +dependencies for the 64-bit version are in place or covered on the dpkg
 +command, and all reverse-dependencies for removing the 32-bit version
 +have been covered.
 +Use of apt-get download can be very handy.
 +One may want to use /​var/​cache/​apt/​archives for download location, as
 +that's where apt-get install defaults to caching files it downloads.
 +You'll want to be sure you notice, catch and correct, certain errors
 +that may be critical. ​ E.g. if a package update/​installation causes new
 +initramfs to be built for kernel(s) and that throws error(s), be sure to
 +correct those. ​ E.g. one can fix a missing/​broken dependency, then
 +reconfigure the dependent package that caused the error to be thrown,
 +Setting up lvm2 (2.02.95-8) ...
 +Setting up LVM Volume Groups...done.
 +update-initramfs:​ deferring update (trigger activated)
 +Processing triggers for initramfs-tools ...
 +update-initramfs:​ Generating /​boot/​initrd.img-3.2.0-4-amd64
 +mount: error while loading shared libraries:​ cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
 +# dpkg -i /​media/​cdrom9/​pool/​main/​u/​util-linux/​mount_2.20.1-5.3_amd64.deb
 +# dpkg-reconfigure lvm2
 +In the above case, mount was installed, but it was i386 and wasn't happy
 +with its library situation, whereas the libraries for amd64 mount were
 +already installed - so just needed the amd64 mount installed and
 +reconfigure lvm2 to correct the error it encountered in updating the
 +And if one does go through with getting rid of all i386 (e.g. if it's
 +not wanted or needed), one can remove the i386 architecture,​ e.g.:
 +# dpkg --remove-architecture i386
 +One would also then typically want to remove any i386 specific
 +architecture bits from /​etc/​apt/​sources.list
 +and again update apt:
 +# apt-get update
 +One may want to reboot when all is done, to ensure all is working as
 +expected, and to also ensure no i386 binaries are still in use (e.g.
 +unlinked open files still being executed). ​ Alternatively,​ one may look
 +for open unlinked files that belong to any removed/​purged i386 packages.
 +lsof may be handy for that (or use of find and the proc filesystem),​
 +one can see some examples of that for a bit different task on:
 +And a much cleaner run at it.
 +The files linked below are bzip2(1) -9 compressed from
 +script(1) with -t option.
 +One may want to shorten up some of the longer
 +(idle/​waiting/​inactive) times in the time file, e.g.:
 +(where here, our leading $ is PS1, and leading > is PS2)
 +$ bzip2 -d < 32to64.time.bz2 |
 +> > 32to64.shorter_wait_times \
 +> sed -e '​s/​^[0-9]\{2,​\}\.[0-9]\{1,​\} /3.000000 /'
 +And uncompress the script file:
 +$ bzip2 -d 32to64.script.bz2
 +And one can then review it with scriptreplay(1),​
 +e.g. to see that at triple speed:
 +$ scriptreplay 32to64.shorter_wait_times 32to64.script 3
 +That was captured connecting via serial console (virtually),​
 +as for terminal type, one would probably want to do that in an 80x24
 +vt100, or xterm, screen, or ANSI terminal or emulation, for best
 +reproduction/​viewing results.
 +Also, what was captured mostly just shows actual changes done.
 +For the most part I used a separate session for doing things like
 +simulation runs, e.g.:
 +# apt-get -s ...
 +# dpkg --simulate ...
 +# apt-get download ...
 +and working out various dependencies (typically from the simulations
 +above), and statuses (typically via use of
 +$ COLUMNS=200 dpkg -l
 +and sometimes also:
 +# apt-get -s install
 +and picking over the resultant data).
 +For the most part, when
 +# dpkg --simulate -i ...
 +came back looking clean, the corresponding
 +# dpkg -i ...
 +worked fine, but not always - sometime the latter would expose
 +additional dependencies or other (relatively minor) issues. ​ Most
 +commonly, if not always, such issues were resolved just by bringing in
 +another package to a few packages or so, and then a:
 +# dpkg --configure --pending
 +and all was then fine.
 +Seems the whole process could (almost?) be automated by some
 +higher-level script/​program (e.g. perl) to work all that stuff out and
 +implement it.  The only part that might be a bit more tricky, is in some
 +cases, there wasn't a precise correspondence between i386 and amd64
 +packages. ​ E.g., in almost all cases, it was simply matter of same
 +package and version number in i386 architecture being replaced with
 +same from amd64 architecture. ​ But not always - there were some
 +exceptions. ​ But at least where I encountered such, it was easy enough
 +to figure out from the dependencies and/or lack thereof, or from the
 +names and descriptions,​ etc.
 +And one issue that was found a little bit later (2014-06-13) and corrected, from our [[http://​​log.txt|system log]] file:
 +Noticed bug/issue with spell, e.g.:
 +$ echo foo | spell
 +/​usr/​bin/​ispell:​ Illegal format hash table
 +# (cd / && umask 022 && dpkg-reconfigure spell)
 +# (cd / && umask 022 && dpkg-reconfigure dictionaries-common)
 +# (cd / && umask 022 && dpkg-reconfigure ispell)
 +Those didn't correct it, but this did:
 +# (cd / && umask 022 && dpkg-reconfigure iamerican)
 +That updated:
 +Guessing this may have been issue left over from i386 to amd64 conversion
 +See also: [[https://​​CrossGrading|CrossGrading]] (a Debian system - on the Debian wiki)
system/32-bit_to_64-bit.txt ยท Last modified: 2018-02-26T22:28:31+0000 by michael_paoli