What exactly does "Binary Compatible" mean?
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Thread: What exactly does "Binary Compatible" mean?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
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    Oct 2005

    What exactly does "Binary Compatible" mean?

    I was looking at the descriptions of several Operating Systems (and toy Operating Systems) and things like UnixLite is said to be "binary compatible" with Linux, and CentOS is "binary compatible" with Red Hat applications, etc.

    But what the deuce does "binary compatible" mean? I can't figure it out for the life of me!

    Thanks for the help!
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  2. #2
    Senior Member nihil's Avatar
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    Jul 2003
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    I am probably wrong, but this would be my view:

    We use different "high level languages"...........COBOL, ALGOL, FORTRAN, C, C+ and so on?........ they would generally be in hexadecimal?

    At the bottom line, all boxes speak binary? like 0 and 1.............

    So, I would imagine that when it gets to machine code the languages are compatible?

    This might seem like a trivial or trite response, but please remember that with assembly language, the processor matters as well?

  3. #3
    Leftie Linux Lover the_JinX's Avatar
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    Nov 2001
    Beverwijk Netherlands
    It usualy means that binary packages of one system should work on the other..
    In the case of the centos / redhat it should mean that redhat .rpm packages should install and work on a centos install..

    In the case of unixlite I think it means big fat 'static' linux binaries should install and run on it..

    Does that still make sense ?
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  4. #4
    Master-Jedi-Pimps0r & Moderator thehorse13's Avatar
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    Dec 2002
    Washington D.C. area
    Jinxy's explanation is right on the money. I've used RedHat RPM packages on CentOS with success in the past.

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