7.4. Kernel Specifications

The 64-bit kernels for ppc64, s390x, amd64, and em64t offer both a 64-bit and a 32-bit kernel ABI (application binary interface). The latter is identical with the ABI for the corresponding 32-bit kernel. This means that the 32-bit application can communicate with the 64-bit kernel in the same way as with the 32-bit kernel.

The 32-bit emulation of system calls for a 64-bit kernel does not support a number of APIs used by system programs. This depends on the platform. For this reason, a small number of applications, like lspci or the LVM administration programs, have to exist even on non-64-bit platforms as 64-bit programs to function correctly.

A 64-bit kernel can only load 64-bit kernel modules that have been specially compiled for this kernel. It is not possible to use 32-bit kernel modules.


Some applications require separate, kernel-loadable modules. If you intend to use such a 32-bit application in a 64-bit system environment, contact the provider of this application and SUSE to make sure that the 64-bit version of the kernel-loadable module and the 32-bit compiled version of the kernel API are available for this module.