This question comes up every time a new version of SL (Sabayon Linux) is released.amd64, x86_64, x86-64, x86, K, G, Core - What do they all mean?
When you navigate to one of the download mirror sites (see the Download link at the top right of this page) you will either see a directory listing like the one below, or a folder called something like "iso" which you can click on to reveal a directory listing like the one below:
The "5.2", "5.3" or whatever in the file name are the release number of SL.Sabayon_Linux_5.2_amd64_G.iso 25-Mar-2010 08:33 1.7G
Sabayon_Linux_5.2_amd64_G.iso.md5 25-Mar-2010 08:33 64
Sabayon_Linux_5.2_amd64_K.iso 25-Mar-2010 08:34 2.0G
Sabayon_Linux_5.2_amd64_K.iso.md5 25-Mar-2010 08:34 64
Sabayon_Linux_5.2_x86_G.iso 25-Mar-2010 08:35 1.6G
Sabayon_Linux_5.2_x86_G.iso.md5 25-Mar-2010 08:35 62
Sabayon_Linux_5.2_x86_K.iso 25-Mar-2010 08:36 1.9G
Sabayon_Linux_5.2_x86_K.iso.md5 25-Mar-2010 08:36 62
Sabayon_Linux_5.3_amd64_G.iso 05-Jun-2010 18:47 1.7G
Sabayon_Linux_5.3_amd64_G.iso.md5 05-Jun-2010 18:47 64
Sabayon_Linux_5.3_amd64_K.iso 05-Jun-2010 18:54 2.0G
Sabayon_Linux_5.3_amd64_K.iso.md5 05-Jun-2010 18:54 64
Sabayon_Linux_5.3_x86_G.iso 05-Jun-2010 18:57 1.5G
Sabayon_Linux_5.3_x86_G.iso.md5 05-Jun-2010 18:57 62
Sabayon_Linux_5.3_x86_K.iso 05-Jun-2010 19:00 1.9G
Sabayon_Linux_5.3_x86_K.iso.md5 05-Jun-2010 19:00 62
Sabayon_Linux_CoreCDX_5.3_amd64.iso 17-Jun-2010 13:57 560M
Sabayon_Linux_CoreCDX_5.3_amd64.iso.md5 17-Jun-2010 13:57 70
Sabayon_Linux_CoreCDX_5.3_x86.iso 17-Jun-2010 13:58 500M
Sabayon_Linux_CoreCDX_5.3_x86.iso.md5 17-Jun-2010 13:58 68
Sabayon_Linux_CoreCD_5.2_amd64.iso 16-Apr-2010 21:15 373M
Sabayon_Linux_CoreCD_5.2_amd64.iso.md5 16-Apr-2010 21:15 69
Sabayon_Linux_CoreCD_5.2_x86.iso 16-Apr-2010 21:11 339M
Sabayon_Linux_CoreCD_5.2_x86.iso.md5 16-Apr-2010 21:11 67
Sabayon_Linux_SpinBase_5.3_amd64.iso 17-Jun-2010 13:59 461M
Sabayon_Linux_SpinBase_5.3_amd64.iso.md5 17-Jun-2010 13:59 71
Sabayon_Linux_SpinBase_5.3_x86.iso 17-Jun-2010 14:00 426M
Sabayon_Linux_SpinBase_5.3_x86.iso.md5 17-Jun-2010 14:00 69
The "amd64", "x86_64" (or "x86-64") and "x86" in the file name refer to the CPU architecture:
"amd64" is for 64-bit CPUs only. This version of SL works on Intel and AMD 64-bit CPUs (including dual-core and quad-core). It also works on Intel Atom 230 and 330 CPUs.
If you see "x86_64" or "x86-64" in a file name, it also refers to 64-bit CPUs. This version of SL works on Intel and AMD 64-bit CPUs (including dual-core and quad-core). It also works on Intel Atom 230 and 330 CPUs.
amd64 and x86_64 (and x86-64) are equivalent (the same thing!). You can use these SL versions with your Intel and AMD 64-bit CPU and Atom 230 and 330 CPU.
If you see "x86" in a file name, it refers to 32-bit CPUs. This version of SL works on Intel and AMD 32-bit CPUs and also on Intel and AMD 64-bit CPUs (this is because these 64-bit CPUs can also run 32-bit code). It also works on Intel Atom CPUs.
Wikipedia tells you all you need to know about the x86, x86_64, amd64 and Atom CPU architectures. Check the Wikipedia article on the Atom to see if your particular Atom CPU model supports x86 (32-bit) or amd64, i.e. x86_64/x86-64, (64-bit) operating systems.
The "_K" in the file name refers to a release with the KDE 4 Desktop Environment. KDE is fine for both beginners and experienced users. KDE is slightly like the Microsoft Windows desktop way of doing things.
The "_G" in the file name refers to a release with the GNOME Desktop Environment. GNOME is fine for both beginners and experienced users. GNOME is slightly like the Apple Mac desktop way of doing things.
The "_LXDE" in the file name refers to a release with the LXDE Desktop Environment. LXDE is fine for both beginners and experienced users. LXDE is short for 'Lightweight X11 Desktop Environment', and is designed to work with less powerful PCs, such as netbooks or older PCs. Nevertheless it is a full-featured desktop environment.
The "_XFCE" in the file name refers to a release with the Xfce Desktop Environment. Xfce is fine for both beginners and experienced users. Like LXDE it is designed to be fast and lightweight, and is another Desktop Environment that should work well with less powerful PCs, such as netbooks or older PCs. Nevertheless it is a full-featured desktop environment.
The "_E17" in the file name refers to a release with the Enlightenment 17 desktop environment*. E17 is fine for both beginners and experienced users. It is designed to be fast and lightweight whilst looking attractive, and is another desktop environment that should work well with less powerful PCs, such as netbooks or older PCs. Nevertheless it is a full-featured desktop environment and emphasizes good looks. * According to the strict definition of the term 'Desktop Environment', E17 is actually a Window Manager and Desktop Shell. In practical terms, it's a desktop environment!
The "_CoreCD" in the file name refers to a stripped-down SL without any GUI (Desktop Environment) or WiFi installed. You can install whatever Desktop Environment you want on these (KDE, GNOME, Xfce, E17 etc.). See the SL Wiki on how to boot and install SL from a Core LiveCD, and search the SL Forums for various threads with instructions on how to install a Desktop Environment (minimal or full) after installing SL from a Core LiveCD. The SL Core releases are not intended for beginners. Note that CoreCD releases are not the same as CoreCDX releases (see below), and you won't see CoreCD releases mentioned in the latest mirror listings, only CoreCDX releases.
The "_SpinBase" in the file name refers to a release that was formerly known as "CoreCD" (see above), i.e. "SpinBase" = "CoreCD".
The "_CoreCDX" in the file name refers to a release built on top of SpinBase that includes X.Org (the graphical server) and the Fluxbox window manager. Fluxbox is a lightweight window manager that will work on less powerful PCs.
The "_ServerBase" in the file name refers to a release based on SpinBase (see above) but using a server-optimized Sabayon kernel, and containing the bare minimum to make your system boot so that you can set up a server.
Also, don't forget to look in the SL Wiki (see the Wiki link at the top right of this page): there is a lot of information there, including: how to check, by using the MD5 checksum, that the downloaded ISO file is not corrupt; how to burn a LiveDVD/CD from the downloaded ISO file; a number of 'walk-through' articles on booting and installing SL from the LiveDVD; how to dual boot SL with Windows; and much more. Make sure you also read the 'sticky' threads in the SL sheds (forums) on this site.
EDIT (June 18, 2010 10:53 BST): Added explanations for the new names "SpinBase" and "CoreCDX" which came into existence on June 17, 2010.
EDIT (September 11, 2010 20:19 BST): Added explanations for the new LXDE and Xfce editions.
EDIT (November 5, 2010 08:41 GMT): Added explanations for the new E17 and ServerBase editions.