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How is separating architecture dependent static data from architecture independent static data useful today?

I imagine it could theoretically be useful in multi-architecture networks with a network-mounted /usr/share. But then, wouldn't that slow things down a lot in comparison to having /usr/share on a local hard-drive (HD space is cheap today)? Or is it used in virtualized environments where a network shared /usr/share is effectively local? Are multi-architecture networks still a thing today?

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If you develop some software (e.g. in C++) and want to test it both on 64 bits and 32 bits Linux systems you might install a chroot-ed 32 bits distribution on a 64 bits desktop, and then it could make sense to share the /usr/share

But I agree with you, thin clients are not very useful today (much less than 10 or 20 years ago).

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The main reason for separating architecture independent files from architecture dependent is so they do not need to be duplicated across architectures. This is something that multi-arch distributions / operating systems (like Debian) do to reduce space usage in their archives.

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