Debian has announced that they are introducing support for multiarch in Debian Wheezy.
Multiarch support means that that a Debian system will be able to install and run applications built for a different target system. For example a 64-bit Debian system will be able to install and run an application built for the 32-bit system. Multiarch support is very important to maintain compatibility as 64-bit systems become more common.
During this years annual Debian Conference DebConf11 made the introduction of "multiarch support" a release goal for the coming Debian release 7 "Wheezy" to be released in 2013. Multiarch is a radical rethinking of the filesystem hierarchy with respect to library and header paths, to make programs and libraries of different hardware architectures easily installable in parallel on the very same system.
Most of the other major Linux distributions such as Fedora, Ubuntu etc. already support multiarch. It certainly is good that Debian is finally going to support multiarch. However, considering the fact that Debian Wheezy is not scheduled for release till 2013, I have to wonder if Debian might be a bit too late.
You might want to read other Debian related articles as well:
- Happy 17th birthday Debian (And some interesting history)
- Debian 6.0 "Squeeze" Released
- Debian Squeeze to come with a completely free Linux kernel
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