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I hope to install GNU/Linux Mint or possibly Debian on a Ryzen 7 laptop (as a dual boot). (Specifically, on a new HP x360.)

Will I be using the same binaries (installers, downloads and packages) as if the laptop was running Intel's Core i5 or i7?

I understand that there are some things that possibly don't work perfectly, but I'm not asking about that here. I just want to know if I'll have to look for software specifically compiled for Ryzen or not.

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  • @muru, Why did you remove the 'ryzen' tag? Because AMD makes a number of CPUs, like Athlon for example that is quite different from Ryzen, and I wasn't asking about AMD processors in general. I asked this question because I had already spent several hours searching for an answer to this question. .. surprised that someone hadn't asked it before. Oct 7, 2020 at 20:10
  • Also it would be nice if whoever marked this down, would explain why they did that in a comment here. .. Especially when there have already been 4 people who upvoted the answer. (BTW, this isn't even my machine, thought I would like it if it was, it's a friends.) Oct 7, 2020 at 20:12
  • Why do you need the Ryzen tag when it is an AMD CPU, and this is a question about Linux? First use the tags that are already applicable to the question.
    – muru
    Oct 8, 2020 at 0:09
  • As to being Ryzen-specific, Ryzen isn't using some groundbreaking new architecture. It's still amd64 just like Athlon. There's nothing to be surprised about - if you'd known about amd64, you'd have found questions like askubuntu.com/q/54296/158442 or its several duplicates or unix.stackexchange.com/q/53415/70524 and so on. Nothing special about Ryzen to merit a tag.
    – muru
    Oct 8, 2020 at 0:47
  • @muru and then amd is just a sucky intel second-sourcer, how did they deserve their own amd tag on stackexchange? exterminate it!
    – user313992
    Oct 25, 2020 at 21:31

1 Answer 1

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The installer is the same, and nearly all the packages are the same. In Debian terms, PCs based on Core i5/i7/... and Ryzen CPUs share the same architecture, amd64.

The only difference is in the microcode update packages: on Intel CPUs, you need intel-microcode, for AMD CPUs, you need amd64-microcode.

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  • From a comparison of instructions between Ryzen and AMD's FX line (i.e. the predecessor to Ryzen) I can see via en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryzen, that there are a number of new instructions for Ryzen. Does Linux take advantage of these, and if so how? I would think that libraries would need to be compiled differently. For example the BMI2 and SHA instruction groups were added, and FMA4 group was removed. (It's been a long time since I've coded in assembly, and I admit that I haven't kept up with the subtle changes to the 86 line along the way over the years as it has evolved.) Oct 8, 2020 at 6:05
  • The kernel uses some of these on CPUs which support them; see for example the optimised SHA-256 implementation. It checks for the availability of these instructions at run-time. Some libraries use this approach too. More general support requires rebuilding with model-specific compiler settings. Oct 8, 2020 at 6:41
  • Thanks very much! Oct 8, 2020 at 6:45

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