[LAU] OT: 64 vs 32 bit?

Arnold Krille arnold at arnoldarts.de
Mon Sep 27 22:35:57 UTC 2010


On Monday 27 September 2010 22:26:17 Josh Lawrence wrote:
> I'm late to the party when it comes to 64-bit machines, so apologies
> in advance if I am asking something that should be obvious...
> I recently purchased a 64 bit machine and like it a lot, but I've
> noticed that some software that is usually available on a 32 bit
> machine isn't available in the 64 bit repos that I am using.  Can I
> install the 32 bit version of my distro (Debian) on my 64 bit machine?
>  I'm assuming that would give me access to all 32 bit software.  It
> would also be a performance hit, correct?

You really are late for the fight. 64bit has won by the mile. (Which doesn't 
surprise anyone since this fight has been finished several years ago.)

There are no practical advantages of 32bit over 64bit on 64bit hardware. Only 

Note that 32bit can not address 4GB of memory, only 3.something. More is only 
supported with the PAE extension of the kernel. Which still leaves userspace 
processes with 3.something GB addressable space. Unless you want to recompile 
all your apps with 64bit pointers which reduces performance on 32bit kernels 
And there are some (proprietary) kernel modules that don't understand PAE...

Just install your machine with a 64bit linux. If there really are apps that 
aren't available for 64bit, bug your distribution.

Have fun,

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