Once again, well known and great developer Casper Dik from Sun Microsystems give us an interesting answer on the fact that there is not 32-bit emulation in the Solaris OS when running a 64-bit kernel, and why most installed binaries seems to be compiled as 32-bit executables, even if you boot on a 64-bit platform, as in the following example:
# isainfo -kv 64-bit amd64 kernel modules # file /usr/bin/ls /usr/bin/ls: ELF 32-bit LSB executable 80386 Version 1 [FPU], dynamically linked, \ not stripped, no debugging information available
Here is the explanation, shown as a little Q&A:
Q: Once I boot it in 64bit mode, i'd have to run emulation libraries to run 32bit bins right?
A: No; you run the exact same binaries and libraries under 32 and 64 bit. It's not emulation; it's basically two syscall entry tables one for 32 bit and one for 64 bit, mostly sharing the same code except where pointer sizes matter.
Q: Since it will be a very light server (only bare binaries to run my req.s) they probably end up most likely all being 64bit?
A: No, most binaries are 32 bit only those that need to be 64 bit are 64 bit.
Q: so you are saying that i can run both 32bit and 64bit code simultaneously, natively with the solaris kernel? That's pretty damn cool
A: Correct. There are several reasons for an OS which generally comes in binary distributions to do so:
As a last note, it is interesting to see that a full install of SXCE
snv_70 provide 1188 32-bit files and only 82 64-bit files in the
/opt/SUNWspro/bin. The 64-bit files are mostly
stored in a specific architecture subdirectory; i.e.
amd64 in this
case, while some of them are provided as both 32-bit and 64-bit
# file /usr/bin/pfiles /usr/bin/amd64/pfiles /usr/bin/pfiles: ELF 32-bit LSB executable 80386 Version 1 [FPU], \ dynamically linked, not stripped, no debugging information available /usr/bin/amd64/pfiles: ELF 64-bit LSB executable AMD64 Version 1 [SSE FXSR FPU], \ dynamically linked, not stripped, no debugging information available
Update #1: 2008-04-07
Be sure to consult the excellent 64-bit FAQ for Solaris.