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james2b 09-20-2010 02:07 PM

64 bit or 32 bit Ubuntu 10.04 in a multiple boot with windows 64 and 32 bit ?
 
I have Vista and windows 7 both as 64 bit versions installed on the same hard drive with XP Pro 32 bit on separate partitions. So should I install the 64 bit version of Ubuntu 10.04 on this system to best be able to view and edit, copy and paste, and share folders and files between all 3 of these operating systems ? Is it true that 32 bit systems can not access any folders or files created by or on a 64 bit system, but a 64 bit can handle accessing 32 bit files, right ?

pljvaldez 09-20-2010 03:40 PM

Typically, I go 64-bit (especially if you have more than 3GB RAM) because you get some performance increases. The only problem I know of in reading a filesystem from a 64-bit install is that 64-bit allows you to have file sizes that are much greater than 32-bit. For example, maybe you save some high def video that's 10GB. You can't read a file that size on any 32-bit OS.

TobiSGD 09-20-2010 04:39 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by pljvaldez (Post 4103738)
Typically, I go 64-bit (especially if you have more than 3GB RAM) because you get some performance increases. The only problem I know of in reading a filesystem from a 64-bit install is that 64-bit allows you to have file sizes that are much greater than 32-bit. For example, maybe you save some high def video that's 10GB. You can't read a file that size on any 32-bit OS.

Where did you get that from? I am able to create files as large as I want on a 32-bit system, as long the underlying filesystem allows it (so no FAT32, because it really has the 4 GB limit in filesize, no matter if you use a 32 or 64-bit OS). Only thing that is limiting a 32-bit OS is that it can not handle filesystems larger than 2 TB.

jefro 09-20-2010 05:09 PM

I doubt you would be able to tell the difference. A newbie with smaller than 4 G ram should stay with 32 bit in my opinion. It may be better supported for drivers and programs.

pljvaldez 09-20-2010 06:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by TobiSGD (Post 4103782)
Where did you get that from? I am able to create files as large as I want on a 32-bit system, as long the underlying filesystem allows it (so no FAT32, because it really has the 4 GB limit in filesize, no matter if you use a 32 or 64-bit OS). Only thing that is limiting a 32-bit OS is that it can not handle filesystems larger than 2 TB.

I should have been more clear. Large File Support has been around since the early 2000's (I believe). My understanding is that LFS software interfaces offer a way around the 2GB file size limit by essentially creating a "window" that can look at a particular part of a large file. But applications have to be specifically compiled with LFS included, or the individual applications won't be able to open/read large files.

Now as we're in 2010 and many things can generate large files, it's probably a good bet that most programs in a distro's repository would be compiled with LFS. But the existing limitation is still around depending on compile time flags.

EDIT: Here's just one example from earlier this year of problems with large file support and the maintainers considering disabling it for a 32-bit package in Debian. Here's a list for Debian's upcoming release of bugs still related to large file support. I'm sure other distros still have some problems with large file support on occasion as well.

TobiSGD 09-20-2010 07:12 PM

OK, you are right with this, but your statement was "can't read a file that size with any 32-bit OS", and that is definitely wrong. However, you corrected your statement and thats OK.

james2b 09-21-2010 02:53 PM

Thanks for the information, and I forgot to give system details. This PC is a 3-2009 Intel based store built with 4 GB memory, Intel core 2 duo CPU, and ASUS P5QL Pro motherboard. So mostly programs and drivers are to be 64 bit specific then, but as long as file permissions allow, I can share and edit file with windows, right ? I just ordered the 32 bit new Ubuntu 10.04, so that should work fine, thanks.

jefro 09-22-2010 04:12 PM

The 32 bit version should be a good starting point. I can't say if all your devices will work 100% at boot but try it first. We may be able to fix any left over issues.

You can not install a 64 bit driver on a 32 bit OS. There is little to no difference between a 64 bit driver and a 32 bit. One is not faster nor is one better in most cases. They simply work or not.

There are very few (fully) 64 bit only programs. Any program that a normal user would want to use would be most likely offered in 32 bit.

Is there some issue that you need 64 bit OS? People get goofy on this issue. I don't understand it. There is little for a common user to gain with a 64 bit OS. It may be that programs will evolve in a year to two or three that you may need a 64 bit OS but I don't think so just yet. It may be that you run very specialized programs and you do need 64 bit. I will agree that on some systems and some programs you may realize a slight performance gain. It has more to do with the way the modern compilers were used. They don't need to back date any issues to older systems.


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