Chapter 10. SUSE LINUX on AMD64 Systems

Table of Contents

10.1. Hardware
10.2. Software
10.3. Running 32-bit Software
10.4. Software Development in a 64-bit Environment
10.5. For More Information


AMD presented its Athlon64 processor to the public in September 2003. This new processor is a 64-bit processor and is therefore able to execute new 64-bit AMD64 programs. It also supports the execution of existing 32-bit x86 programs at the same level of performance.

64-bit programs have a larger address space and offer better performance by providing modern calling conventions and additional registers that are only supported in 64-bit mode.

SUSE LINUX supports the new processor with this product in two ways.


The output of uname -m is x86_64 for historical reasons. This was the name of the first AMD specification.

10.1. Hardware

From the perspective of the user, hardware relates to the AMD64 just like it does with AMD Athlon systems. The common interfaces and buses are the same on both platforms and are equally supported.

Because the hardware drivers for Linux on AMD64 must be 64-bit drivers, some of them still need to be adapted. While some older cards are currently not functional, the support of current hardware should be the same in 32-bit and 64-bit.