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Old 09-19-2013, 08:35 AM   #1
NGIB
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Run 32 bit or 64 bit?


All of my hardware is 64 bit and has been for some time. My "best" computer is a Core I7 with 8GB RAM, 2GB nvidia card, and 1TB hard drive. I've done a lot of distro hopping and read a lot at various Linux forums (nearly all distro based) and many folks say a 64 bit distro is not necessary and can even be problematic. So, my question is:

If you have 64 bit hardware are you running a 64 bit distro?
 
Old 09-19-2013, 09:10 AM   #2
Keith Hedger
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I have had 64Bit hardware for some time ( different sorts ) and have run a pure 64bit system for years, I don't use wine so no need for that ( if it is still 32bit ) and I don't use googleearth so no need for that, virtual box has been 64bit for quite some time, these were the 3 major reasons that people used to give for not using a 64bit system, if you have a piece of 32bit software and you can't recompile for 64bit and you really can't live without it and can't run it in virtualbox then stay with 32bit else go for 64bit.

So frankly I don't see the point of running a 32bit system on 64 bit hardware, the various speed improvements may not huge but every little helps.
 
Old 09-19-2013, 11:21 AM   #3
sundialsvcs
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If your hardware is natively 64-bit, and you run a 32-bit native OS on it, then your processor has to run in a compatibility mode, and only 2GB or 4GB of memory can be used. You probably don't want to hobble your horse.
 
Old 09-19-2013, 01:48 PM   #4
zeebra
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I would definetely not run any computer with more than 3 GB of ram with a 32bit Linux distribution.

8gb ram, then you for sure have to find a good 64 bit distro.
 
Old 09-19-2013, 02:39 PM   #5
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGIB View Post
I've done a lot of distro hopping and read a lot at various Linux forums (nearly all distro based) and many folks say a 64 bit distro is not necessary and can even be problematic.

If you have 64 bit hardware are you running a 64 bit distro?
64-bit hardware. 64-bit distros. All 64-bit distros (AFAIK) support running 32-bit software through a "multilib" layer, so it's not problematic.
 
Old 09-19-2013, 04:59 PM   #6
John VV
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on my new machine i have OpenSUSE 12.3 64 bit and SL 6.4 64 bit installed

and only very RARELY encounter something that NEEDS 32 bit

there are only like 80 something libs in the /usr/lib folder VS 3,500 in the /usr/lib64

Firefox and Seamonkey have a prebuilt 64 bit version
all the ff plugins have 64 bit versions

and if a 64 bit version prebuilt rpm or deb can be found
then build the program as a 64 bit build - most have no issues with that
 
Old 09-19-2013, 07:06 PM   #7
jefro
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When in doubt load up each choice and see how it goes.

There really isn't any solid rule. My take on it is a 6 G memory issue. Below I tend to run 32 bit, above I go for 64 bit. But now, since most of my systems have enough ram I choose 64 bit. When I make a usb for unknown computers I tend to stick with 32 bit.

Your apps still pay a part in your decision.
 
Old 09-19-2013, 07:34 PM   #8
TobiSGD
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As long as your computer has 2GB of RAM or more and you don't have exotic hardware with only 32 bit drivers available there is not one good reason to stick with 32 bit. You have paid for 64 bit hardware, why not use it to its full extent?
 
Old 09-24-2013, 11:14 AM   #9
suicidaleggroll
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TobiSGD View Post
As long as your computer has 2GB of RAM or more and you don't have exotic hardware with only 32 bit drivers available there is not one good reason to stick with 32 bit. You have paid for 64 bit hardware, why not use it to its full extent?
Agreed.

I haven't found a compelling reason to use a 32-bit OS on 64-bit hardware in years. In Windows it's another story since 64-bit software/driver support was incredibly lagged behind the hardware, but not on Linux.

If you're worried about it, then choose a distro that's multilib-friendly. I've found that RPM based distros are much easier to install and maintain a functioning multilib environment than Debian or Slack based distros.

Last edited by suicidaleggroll; 09-24-2013 at 11:19 AM.
 
Old 09-24-2013, 01:55 PM   #10
ozar
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NGIB View Post
If you have 64 bit hardware are you running a 64 bit distro?
Hello

In my case, I've been running 64-bit Linux for 3 or 4 years now and wouldn't dream of downgrading to 32-bit. I personally see no reason that you should hold yourself back, either.
 
Old 09-24-2013, 02:36 PM   #11
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suicidaleggroll View Post
I've found that RPM based distros are much easier to install and maintain a functioning multilib environment than Debian or Slack based distros.

Mageia is excellent at this. I don't even notice if I install a 32 bit package. It just installs a few extra libs every time and ends with i586 instead of x_64.

Mageia is also a solid overall distro. In my experience Fedora is awful, slow, unstable, difficult with anything. Anything installed outside the package manager breaks everything else and any change of configuration is dangerous, making the system completely inflexible. Even the Fedora people are unpleasant I find it. If you go for rpm distro I would highly recommend not going for Fedora.

Mageia has a fantastic distro, nice people and it never breaks, almost not even when you do something completely wrong and srewed up. You can configure pretty much anything yourself and do whatever you want. Having started with Slackware a long time ago, Mageia is to my liking. But its also very friendly for newbies, and pretty much anything has easy tools.
 
  


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