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Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

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Old 12-26-2007, 09:19 AM   #1
gcaldwel
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Location: Irmo, SC
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Which to install 32 bit vs 64 bit Linux


I bought a Compaq 8710w mobile workstation laptop.

Includes a Intel Core 2 Dual Processor T7800
(2.6 ghz, 800 mhz, 4-mb L2 cache)
4 gig ram
250 hard drive

I'm trying to decide between installing a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Linux. Preferably CentOS,

I've read some of the other forums on this topic, but they never seem to give any real answers.

Is there anyone out there using a 64-bit version of Linux day to day on a laptop?

What are some of the issues you come across (Besides Firefox)?
Any issues with drivers for wireless?
Any problems with the various 32-bit applications?
Finance
Backup


I do plan to install VMWare and run other guest OS's such as Fedora 8 and, Windows XP (sadly)).


Also any chance on having a forum devoted to discussions of 64 installs.


Thanks
G-
 
Old 12-26-2007, 03:26 PM   #2
Lenard
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Some qualifiers:
$ cat /etc/*release
Red Hat Enterprise Linux Client release 5.1 (Tikanga)
$ uname -a
Linux Aspire5100 2.6.23.12 #1 Sat Dec 22 10:37:38 EST 2007 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
processor : 0
vendor_id : AuthenticAMD
cpu family : 15
model : 76
model name : AMD Turion(tm) 64 Mobile Technology MK-36

Selected output from dmidecode;
Code:
System Information
        Manufacturer: Acer
        Product Name: Aspire 5100
        Version: V3.10A

Quote:
4 gig ram
If you choose 32-bit make sure you install the PAE kernel so all your memory will be available.

Quote:
What are some of the issues you come across (Besides Firefox)?
Other than many third party plugins which are not 64-bit ready yet, no problems with the nspluginwrapper rpms cannot overcome for the most popular of them.

http://gwenole.beauchesne.info/proje...pluginwrapper/

Quote:
Any issues with drivers for wireless?
Not really, just the same wireless issues with Linux in general. I'm using the built-in wireless interface (via ndiswrapper and the 64-bit Windows Broadcom driver)to post this reply.

Quote:
Any problems with the various 32-bit applications?
Nope not as long as you have the needed 32-bit libs required for the application installed and/or available. One thing you need to "fix" is your CentOS-Base.repo file so you can have access to these 32-bit libs. it is easy just copy the existing repo file contents, paste at the end then make a couple of minor edits, for example;

Code:
[c5-32base]
name=CentOS-5
mirrorlist=http://mirrorlist.centos.org/?release=5&arch=i386&repo=os
gpgcheck=0
enabled=1
gpgkey=http://mirror.centos.org/centos/RPM-GPG-KEY-centos5

Last edited by Lenard; 12-26-2007 at 03:27 PM.
 
Old 12-26-2007, 03:38 PM   #3
exvor
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Back when I had my 64bit lappy I tried 64bit Linux had issues like you have with all Linux on a newer laptop. ( it probably did not help I also had a laptop that was fully ATI ) There was some quirks tho. One was time on my OS would never stay the same always going too fast. This is an older issue tho and last time I checked they had worked out fixes for it. All in all tho everything worked alot better then some of the horror stories I have heard from 64bit windows users.
 
Old 12-26-2007, 04:29 PM   #4
weibullguy
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You have an x86_64 machine. Why choose? Why not use the hardware the way the engineers intended it to be used? Go multilib. Run 32-bit applications for the few that need it and 64-bit for everything else. You'll find that only a very few apps really need to be 32-bit. I run everything 64-bit except mplayer, Firefox, JRE, and Wine (because there are so few 64-bit Windows apps) and have for two years with no problems.

I can't comment on the wireless because I don't use it.

Last edited by weibullguy; 12-26-2007 at 04:31 PM.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 09:01 AM   #5
gcaldwel
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Thanks everyone for the input. It was really helpful.

I have RHEL 5.1 installed. I also installed Vmware Workstation 6. I was surprised it installed without any issues. Installed Windows XP Pro and Fedora 8. I thinking if setting up a separate virtual machine for guest CentOS with a local NAT network setup with developer tools I can install and run against a DB installed on the host.

I removed the 64 bit firefox 1.0.5 and installed Firefox 2.0.11 with adobe reader, flash and java. I'm working to get mplayer and the mplayer browser plug-in installed. I can't figure out what it with Red Hat on holding on to firefox 1.5. They should have been ditched 1.X long before Fedora 6 and RHEL5.

I have to agree with Weibullguy on the lack of 64 bit apps. It's really mind numbing.

Any tips on where I can get the mplayer rpms? I try to avoid compiling from source as much as possible and stick with rpms or ready made binaries that you just unzip and run.



G-
 
Old 12-31-2007, 09:40 AM   #6
Lenard
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Dag Wieers's site: http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/packages/

Since you have RHEL5 installed follow the advice here: http://dag.wieers.com/rpm/FAQ.php#B

When ready type something like: yum install mplayer.i386 mplayerplug-in.i386

If the browser is 64-bit then you will also need the nspluginwrapper rpm packages from here;
http://gwenole.beauchesne.info/proje...pluginwrapper/
 
Old 12-31-2007, 11:33 AM   #7
weibullguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gcaldwel View Post
I have to agree with Weibullguy on the lack of 64 bit apps. It's really mind numbing.
I said there was a lack of 64-bit apps for Windows, not Linux (maybe that's what you mean). I only have 4 apps that I use 32-bit everything (I mean everything) else is 64-bit on my x86_64 machines.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 11:35 AM   #8
b0uncer
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If you are unsure, it's 32-bit you're after. Hop on to 64-bit only if you have a real reason for it. For now it's nothing ground-breaking really, so better stick to the "old, working" way until there is some _real_ general use for 64-bit operating systems. Like having every single piece of software take advantage of it.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 12:51 PM   #9
Uncle_Theodore
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I have two systems, 32-bit Slackware and 64-bit Arch on the same laptop, which happens to be all ATI. Arch is not multilib, it's a pure 64-bit distro. I'm typing this from Arch.
There's almost no difference in performance between 32 and 64 bit. There's also almost no difference in the availability of applications, easiness of configuration or anything else that comes to mind. Since you can always compile from source, unlike in Windows world, applcations, whose source is available for 32-bit, are immediately available in 64-bit.
I even didn't install nspluginwrapper, I use the gnash player for Konqueror to watch youtube videos. The only thing I notice is that ATI graphics drivers are slightly less stable under 64 bit. Everything else is virtually the same.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 07:36 PM   #10
weibullguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle_Theodore View Post
Arch is not multilib, it's a pure 64-bit distro.
x86_64 is multilib, always has been, and always will be. For an OS to be standards compliant, it needs to be multilib. Nothing says a distro has to be standards compliant though.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle_Theodore View Post
There's almost no difference in performance between 32 and 64 bit.
For everyday computer usage, the differences in execution speed are so small that no human will ever notice the difference. The real savings come with computationally intensive activities. In situations such as that you will see tasks that take 10 minutes with 32-bits will only take 6-7 minutes with 64-bits. I run simulations of complex repairable systems. When I switched from 32- to 64-bits, the time it took run some of these dropped from 40-hours to 26-28 hours. I noticed that, but the internet never worked any faster.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle_Theodore View Post
Since you can always compile from source, unlike in Windows world, applcations, whose source is available for 32-bit, are immediately available in 64-bit.
Most of the time you can build an app using the 64-bit ABI, but sometimes there's a need hack the code, configure script, Makefiles, etc. to be successful. However, very few apps available have been written or updated to take advantage of all the x86_64 architecture has to offer.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle_Theodore View Post
I even didn't install nspluginwrapper
Nor should you with a multilib OS, install the 32-bit version of your favorite browser and enjoy. I guess some people are just afraid of those extra 32 bits.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 08:00 PM   #11
Uncle_Theodore
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weibullguy View Post
x86_64 is multilib, always has been, and always will be. For an OS to be standards compliant, it needs to be multilib. Nothing says a distro has to be standards compliant though.
Well, that's what they say.

http://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/...side_Arch64.3F

Quote:
Nor should you with a multilib OS, install the 32-bit version of your favorite browser and enjoy.
No, that won't work on Arch. 32-bit aps don't work there, as there's no 32-bit libs. There's a rather complicated setup with a 32-bit chroot jail, but it's really too much to bother with.

Last edited by Uncle_Theodore; 12-31-2007 at 08:16 PM.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 08:21 PM   #12
weibullguy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle_Theodore View Post
I've read that before. In fact, that's why I don't use Arch, because it's NOT standards compliant. But quite a few distros that offer an x86_64 version aren't multilib. Gentoo is, but Portage installs 32-bit apps precompiled because Portage can't (or couldn't a couple of years ago) support multiple ABI's. That's a big part of the reason I began using CLFS, I could build everything from source and it was standards compliant. Using 32-bit apps on an x86_64 machine is as simple as installing the 32-bit app and using it. There's nothing magical or terribly difficult about it. It seems to me that using wrappers and chroots to be able to use 32-bit apps is more difficult. But, hey, to each his (or her) own.
 
Old 12-31-2007, 08:50 PM   #13
jay73
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Do I see 4GB RAM? Then it's definitely 64 bit unless you want to start messing with PAE. 32 bit can access about 3GB at best. I would recommend Fedora 8 over CentOS since it comes with its own version of nspluginwrapper in its repositories, which makes things more straightforward if you want to use 64 bit firefox (I do without any issues). It is also one of the first to use Pulseaudio by default.

Last edited by jay73; 12-31-2007 at 08:53 PM.
 
Old 01-01-2008, 07:16 AM   #14
gcaldwel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weibullguy View Post
I said there was a lack of 64-bit apps for Windows, not Linux (maybe that's what you mean). I only have 4 apps that I use 32-bit everything (I mean everything) else is 64-bit on my x86_64 machines.
Actually I was referring to 64 bit Linux. After installing RHEL and adding the RHEL Extras for 64 bit. I noticed that the 64 bit repository only contains like a tenth of the apps the 32 bit repository contains.

I'm trying to locate another third party repository for RHEL 5 where they at least maintain a one to one between the 32-bit and 64-bit apps in their repositories.

For example, one of the apps I want to use is called basket.
A application for managing notes.

I couldn't find this in any of the 64 bit repositories.

G-
 
Old 01-01-2008, 08:47 AM   #15
Dominic85
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To me 64bit is not really necessary yet. Stick w/ 32bit, i use 64bit on my laptop and its hard finding 64bit apps.
 
  


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