RFC: Cygwin 64 bit?

Corinna Vinschen corinna-cygwin@cygwin.com
Sun Jun 26 18:00:00 GMT 2011

On Jun 26 20:10, JonY wrote:
> On 6/26/2011 19:45, Corinna Vinschen wrote:
> > Hi guys,
> > 
> > 
> > I'm not sure if you agree, but as far as I can see, 32 bit systems are
> > more and more reduced to a niche market, namely Netbooks and other very
> > small systems.  On the Desktop, 32 bit is declining fast, in the server
> > segment it's practically dead.
> > 
> > Given this, I'm wondering how much future Cygwin has if we stick to
> > 32 bit.  I think it will be pretty limited.  In fact, we're probably
> > rather late in the game.
> > 
> > Lately I read a bit more about how 32 and 64 bit processes can interact
> > with each other on Windows, and it seems we could come up with a 64 bit
> > DLL which shares all important information with its 32 bit counterpart,
> > so that we could run 64 and 32 bit processes in parallel on a 64 bit
> > system acting as a single system.  This would be especially important,
> > given the fact that 64 bit Cygwin applications will be pretty rare in
> > the beginning.
> > 
> Yes please, 64bit Cygwin will be very nice.
> > As far as I can see what we have to do in about this order is
> > 
> > - Discuss certain basics.  This is probably the most crucial step.
> >   For instance:
> > 
> >   - What name should the 64 bit DLL have?
> I think they should still use the "cyg" prefix, the libtool people was
> against it when I suggested using a new prefix for 64bit mingw.

Right, but that wasn't what I meant.  Sorry for being unclear.  I was
talking about the name of the Cygwin DLL.  For instance, if we decide
that it must reside in the /bin directory, it must have a different name
than the 32 bit dll, for instance, cygwin64-1.dll.  If we decide that
all 64 bit applications and DLLs reside in a parallel directory, it
could have the same name, for instance, /bin64/cygwin1.dll.

But let's not go into too much detail yet.

> > - Create a x86_64-pc-cygwin cross toolchain.
> Yeah, I suppose newlib has to be ported first.

Right, I forgot about that one.  But newlib works rather well for many
systems, so that shouldn't be much of a problem.

> > This is a big project which can only work if we have help and support
> > from the community.  Before we can even contemplate to start discussing,
> > I would like to learn:
> > 
> > - How much interest do you have in a 64 bit Cygwin?
> > 
> > - How much interest do you have to help to make 64 bit Cygwin real?
> > 
> > - What part of the project would most interest you to help?  Coding
> >   Cygwin?  Documentation?  Setup?  Toolchain?  You name it.
> I'd like to help, but I don't know much on win32 API.

That sounds kind of funny, given that you're the mingw64 maintainer :)
Anyway, the Win32 API and the native NT API are already in use just
fine.  It's the porting from 32 to 64 bit which is the problem.  The
calls will only marginally change, if at all.

There's also the fact that there isn't only core Cygwin to work on.
Newlib, for instance.  Or any of the stuff I mentioned above.  There's
a lot to do, I fear :}


Corinna Vinschen                  Please, send mails regarding Cygwin to
Cygwin Project Co-Leader          cygwin AT cygwin DOT com
Red Hat

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