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I've installed the 32bit ubutu (hoary) on one of my work systems. I then did some work on the system for a few days. I then realized that this was a mistake and that I should have installed the version of Ubuntu for amd64. Firstly the system has 2GB of ram and the 32bit version by default only see's 986mb of ram. Secondly I'll get increased performance from using 64bit software on the 64bit cpu. So I wan't to "upgrade" but also I don't want to loose any work (Or at least as little as possible). I think I've partitioned the drive well enough to let me do this smoothly but would just like to confirm that this will work.
My system is drive is setup something like this:
/home enough GB
unused space > 6GB
Would it work if I created a new / partition out of the unused space and installed the amd64 bit version to this new partition? I would like to do this because if anything goes wrong I'd like to be able to roll back to my previous installation. It's important that I do not loose any work.
As I understand it, I can reuse my /home partition and most programs (firefox,thunderbird, vmware) work with my current settings.
Yes, you can keep your /home partition. I would back up any data you have in it before you do the install. It will not update from 32 to 64bit though if I understand it right. It does a clean install. You will lose everything on your / partition, but as long as you are careful you can retain the /home partition.
If you must have flash in your browser, you can run firefox32 in a chroot environment. This also works well for the Win32 codecs and a few other things that are lagging behind in development for the 64-bit platform. There is a chroot howto on the Ubuntu wiki that will guide you through the setup. I run Kubuntu pure 64-bit and don't miss the horrible flash ads that is for sure, but to each their own.