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After more than a month of struggling to implement various 64-bit distros on my new laptop, a Presario V2000, I have resigned to the fact the 64-bit Linux is still experimental. I did have SuSE10 x86_64 running, but too many things would not operate properly.
This morning I installed, with default options, SuSE 10 32-bit and in under 40 minutes, my Wireless LAN and all applications are running as desired. I would highly recommend driverloader by Linuxant to anyone, it just make life simple. However, if the 20 bucks is a big deal, ndiswrapper 1.12 should also make life easy.
To the heart of my topic: The bleeding edge should be left to the seasoned Linux pros and is not for dabblers like myself. Thanks to all here for your help and guidance in what I was able to get working. Learning is good, and now I'll always have that knowledge. I know soon 64-bit will hit the mainstream and I am willing to wait until it does.
It does seem dependant on your hardware though. I stuck an Athlon64 X2 3800+ into my main desktop last night along with a new system board and everything has come up fine on 64-bit version of Kubuntu. ndiswrapper was as straightforward as always, and even moving to the amd64-k-smp kernel for dual-core support has worked fine.
Hardware support does seem lacking in other setups from reading these forums and others, but also software support is slow such as Firefox + Thunderbird for example. I'm running Firefox in a 32-bit wrapping script for compatibility with plugins, and Thunderbird would crash upon composing messages unless ran in 32-bit mode.
Most libraries and base components are supported, though as you put it, as more people take up 64-bit systems, this will improve further and you'll already have a capable system (so long as not outdated by then!). I know a few people running 32-bit distos with 64-bit chips and it doesn't seem to impede them too much!
I've had limited trouble running x86_64 SuSE 10.0 on a Sempron 2800+. I had no issue installing Firefox and Thunderbird from tar balls. I've had issue running 32 bit RPMs. Occasionally, compiling for 64 bit has required some special CLI parameters for the compile. I'm still trying to get jpilot 0.99.8 to compile so my backup has been the 0.99.7 RPM that shipped with SuSE.
My 64-bit is solid as a rock, and I love it. Hardware has been no problem, and I have not installed any 32 bit apps. I also have a 32-bit laptop running pretty much the same Etch/Sid mix. There I have OpenOffice, the only app I can't live without that is not available for the 64-bit. Gnumeric takes care of spreadsheet needs, and AbiWord is a fine WP if I don't need OpenOffice compatibility.
My primary browser is Firefox, but Konqeror works fine for java enabled websites even without a plugin if I really need to see one. Thunderbird has given me 0 problems. I can live without Flash, and the various video codecs. DVDs and regular video files, of course play fine on the 64-bit
If you only have one computer, you may be better off to install a 32-bit OS on a 64-bit platform, but I wouldn't do it. Nor would I install a 32-bit app in a chroot. It's just not necessary for me.
It does seem it is great on all desktops ... Laptops seem to be the issue. There are many, many threads on the issues. Perhaps I'll acquire a desktop as a server, that has been a thought for some time. I'll check the .17 out and see, but as I said I am a dabbler and just expect things to work for the most part ... I know it is coming ... and I cannot wait for Kubuntu, this bad boy just might be the future of Linux. Well, I think it may be mine ... but Suse sure get the job done too.
Last edited by slacker9876; 04-09-2006 at 12:55 AM.
I'll have to agree with the others, my x86_64 SuSE v10.0 is totally solid on my AMD 64 3200+. I am using some 32 bit packages (Firefox being the most noticeable) however I have nothing but good things to say about 64 bit