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uname command

Posted on 2004-04-29
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Last Modified: 2013-12-27
Hi experts

I am working on intel based solaris  running on intel pentium 4

when i use the command uname -p  it gives me  i686 which the processor type
and when i type uname -i  it gives me i386 which is hardware-type

what  is the difference between processor type and platform-hardware type

regards
sagar24
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Question by:sagar24
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by:bloemkool1980
ID: 10947574
-p= the hardware platform you are using
-i = the name of the implementation you are using

WHat does it meant -i says that your system is based on i386 meaning your kernel is optimized for i386 and -p says that you are running i686 hardware
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by:stefan73
ID: 10956977
Hi sagar24,
It's a bit confusing. Here is the corresponding SPARC example, which will illustrate it better:
[139]> uname -p
sparc
[140]> uname -i
SUNW,Sun-Fire-15000

Cheers,
Stefan
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by:sagar24
ID: 10958265
Hi

So uname -i is nothing the type of kernel (i386)???
I am still confused



regards

sagar
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by:bloemkool1980
ID: 10958395
It is confusing because you run it on intel
-i shows you for which hardware it is intended and for solaris on intel is all intel based processors from i386 on,
As you run it on i686 hardware it will show what model of processor you are using.
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by:sirdesai
ID: 10972384
ok
i have got to know some thing

uname -i implies that it will support i386 processors on wards ....ok

then what is kernel architecture ...

because it also is i386
i know i am still confused

regards

sagar
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Accepted Solution

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ocon827679 earned 50 total points
ID: 10977932
i386 refers to the instruction set of the processor.  It is the operating system of the processor hardware, so to speak.  Just about all the AMD, Intel, etc. chips run this instruction set.  I think that Intel's Itanium processor is the only one that doesn't (it has an emulator for the i386 instruction set in order to be backward compatible.)  i686 is the hardware architecture of the processor, kind of like saying Pentium II or Athalon or whatever futuristic sounding name they give the thing.  
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by:sagar24
ID: 10984421
Hi

Reading ocon827679 comments  it means that

i386 is the machine language which cpu understands ..

i686 is the cpu design which  describes its clock speed how many registers it has
how they are arranged..

so all intel pentium cpu understand i386 instructions..
please correct if i am wrong

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by:bloemkool1980
ID: 10984436
I would rather say it is the machine language your OS is using instead of the what the CPU understands
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by:stefan73
ID: 10984622
sagar24,
> so all intel pentium cpu understand i386 instructions..
> please correct if i am wrong

That's correct, but it's not what -i is stating. Rather than saying "i386" it should say "i386-based PC" or "32bit x86 family PC".

Stefan
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Author Comment

by:sagar24
ID: 10986022
So
I would still to elaborate
so uname -i gives me the  type of instruction set  the OS converts to  ....

so shud i say

processor type i386,i686,i486...etc   execute i386 instruction set...

processor type describes its physical characteristics clock speed ..number and type of registers it has...



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by:ocon827679
ID: 10986347
Interesting switch problem here.  I'm running Solaris 9 on a generic PC.  Don't know if it's Intel inside or AMD - it's a  company machine.  

I look at the man page for uname and the last 2 lines say to use uname -p to get the Instruction Set Architecture (ISA) or processor type.  I run uname -p and get i386.  This is exactly what I would expect and what the man page says should be listed.

The man page also states that the -i switch should give the hardware implementation.  I run the command and get i86pc.  Don't know, this is either an Intel Pentium III or an AMD, but the gist is that the box is not a Sparc or other platform, it's a standard run of the mill PC that use to run W2K.  

Are you sure about the results of the switches that you provided in your original post?  They seem backwards to me.
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