5

I am trying to debug a scanner install failure and when checking if the required packages were present or not I saw a difference in the package architecture.

$ dpkg -l | grep Brother
ii  brscan-skey           0.2.4-1 amd64 Brother Linux scanner S-KEY tool
ii  brscan4               0.4.2-1 amd64 Brother Scanner Driver
ii  mfcj6910dwcupswrapper 3.0.0-1 i386  Brother CUPS Inkjet Printer Definitions
ii  mfcj6910dwlpr         3.0.0-1 i386  Brother lpr Inkjet Printer Definitions
ii  printer-driver-ptouch 1.3-8   amd64 printer driver Brother P-touch label printers

Knowing I have an intel CPU (and also the printing is working + scanning failing) Do I need to replace the amd64 packages with their i386 equivalents?

3
  • There isn't any problems using amd64 on an Intel processor as It is fully compatible with the architecture. – Michael Lindman Apr 13 '15 at 13:29
  • @MichaelLindman thanks, so are you saying that the architectures are literally different , i.e. I thought amd64 is 64bit and i386 is 32bit, but despite that they are still compatible in certain situtations? – the_velour_fog Apr 13 '15 at 13:35
  • amd64 is 64-bit and i386 is 32-bit but you can use both architectures on an Intel or AMD processor. – Michael Lindman Apr 13 '15 at 13:41
6

No, it will usually not cause any problems.

amd64, also known as x64, x86_64 and x86-64 refers to the 64-bit version of the x86 instruction set. It was developed by AMD (hence the name amd64) as an alternative to Intel's and HP's IA-64 architecture, as a means to add 64-bit computing capabilities to the existing x86 architecture.

Most recent Intel and AMD processors (with the exception of Intel's Itanium line) utilise the x86_64 architecture, so do not be confused by the name.

6
  • thanks, so are you saying that even though AMD developed the 64bit version of their x86 instruction set as an different, alternative architecture to IA-64, they so in a way that was different, yet still actually compatible? – the_velour_fog Apr 13 '15 at 13:47
  • IA-64 and AMD64 are not compatible. IA-64 is Intel's Itanium server CPU architecture, while AMD64 is a 64-bit extension to Intel's x86 architecture. This might help you. – zhongfu Apr 13 '15 at 13:53
  • 1
    ok I think I got it IA-64 is a special case for itanium CPU's otherwise for all other 64bit CPU's intel use the x86_64 even though it was developed by AMD? – the_velour_fog Apr 13 '15 at 13:56
  • Yep, correct! Only Intel's Itanium line uses the IA-64 architecture. – zhongfu Apr 13 '15 at 13:59
  • 1
    Yeah, ia64 is a completely separate architecture, with no similarity to x86/i386, or to x86_64/amd64. – Peter Cordes Apr 13 '15 at 14:59
2

AMD64 packages are for 64-bit processors and i386 are for 32-bit. AMD64 and i386 refers to the architecture, not the manufacturer.

To answer the question "Is it a problem to have packages with “amd64” architecture when I have an intel cpu?" - no, it isn't.

However, there may be some special cases when the amd64 package is known to have problems and the recommendation might be to install the i386 package instead.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.