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i586 vs i686 vs i386

asked 2014-07-01 00:00:16 -0500

abadrinath gravatar image

updated 2014-09-28 08:40:35 -0500

mether gravatar image


On my friend's computer (F20, of course ;)), he has got a 32 bit machine. When he tries to get a package that is not on the Fedora repo, and gets the rpm, which should he get? i386, i586, i686? What is the difference and how can he install these packages?


PS: He's got a Toshiba Satellite U840W/002 14.4"/C i5-3317U/6GB/500GB + 32GB SSD/Intel HD.

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answered 2014-07-01 03:38:52 -0500

cobra gravatar image

Any of those formats will do. Try and grab the i686 version, although it doesn't really make much difference unless you've got a horrendously old machine (i386 processors were, iirc, mid 1990's processors). They're all 32bit, and the 686's are backwards compatible. If you want the technical ins and outs of the differences, though, you should investigate using a search engine - it's really quite a big topic.

If you've got hold of the rpm file, you can install it using yum from the command line. Try:

yum install <package filename>

as the root user. Yum will attempt to satisfy any dependencies in the package for you, and if it can't, it'll tell you what's missing.

Generally you don't need to download particular .rpm's, you can add extra repositories that provide additional software and might give you what you need. Take a look at , which has a free and non-free repository and might help you with some packages that aren't a part of Fedora because they're inhibited by software patents, copyrights or other restrictions in some territories.

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Actually, Cobra, you're off by a decade; the 80386 came out in late 1985, but wasn't in the stores until about October, 1986.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2014-07-01 14:07:07 -0500 )edit

Did they? Blimey. Still, not the first time I've missed a date by 10 years... I'll just point everyone to the fact that I said 'iirc'. When clearly recalling correctly isn't one of my personal strengths :) I stand corrected.

cobra gravatar imagecobra ( 2014-07-02 03:16:28 -0500 )edit

Look it up in Wikipedia; that's where I got the dates from. I knew that the 386 came out in the 80s, but not exactly when.

sideburns gravatar imagesideburns ( 2014-07-02 03:24:21 -0500 )edit

answered 2014-07-01 07:04:30 -0500

tonioc gravatar image

if i5-3317U, this is a 64bit processor, so preferably install a 64b F20. Anyway, to answer your question the arch for 32b F20 would be i686. (i386, i586 would also work but correspond to older CPU architectures).

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answered 2014-07-01 05:29:44 -0500

davidcl gravatar image

As the CPU handle x86_64 I strongly suggest you to install F20 x86_64. If you want to use a 32 bit OS, then the i686 (eg. default architecture) packages should works just fine. The difference between these versions is mainly the optimization level.

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Would've done that if it were me :) It's my friend's...

abadrinath gravatar imageabadrinath ( 2014-07-03 03:35:52 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2014-07-01 00:00:16 -0500

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Last updated: Jul 01 '14