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barry_lamb 03-31-2013 10:20 AM

Running 64bit Slackware on 32 VirtualBox host?
Hi, I'm thinking buying a 64 bit machine and thought about trying out 64 bit Slackware on VirtualBox, do you have to have a 64 bit host to run 64 bit guest on VirtualBox? The system I'm trying this on is 32 bit.

My error was ... this kernel requires a x86-64 CPU, but only detected an i686 CPU.


camorri 03-31-2013 10:50 AM

The answer is yes, you can run a 64 bit guest on a 32 bit host. However, there are a few things you need to look into to make it work.

See this link -->

Go to page 44, paragraph 3.1.2 and read through the info.

There is more overhead in v-box running a 64 bit guest on the 32 bit host. Is there some reason you want to run Slack 64 bit, rather than Slack 32 bit?

If you do a full install of either, the packages are very similar. You will not see much difference in performance ( speed ) between the two. There is some though.

If you have the disk space, you could install both, as virtual systems.

barry_lamb 03-31-2013 10:56 AM

Thanks camorri, I'll give that a read, the reason why I'm trying this is because I've never used 64bit Slackware and wanted to try it Virtualized first. Didn't know if there was any difference generally.

astrogeek 03-31-2013 01:53 PM

You can only do that if your CPU is 64 bit, which yours is not if I read your first post correctly.



64-bit guests

VirtualBox supports 64-bit guest operating systems, even on 32-bit host operating systems,[11] provided that the following conditions are met:

* You need a 64-bit processor with hardware virtualization support (see the section called “Hardware vs. software virtualization”).

* You must enable hardware virtualization for the particular VM for which you want 64-bit support; software virtualization is not supported for 64-bit VMs.

* If you want to use 64-bit guest support on a 32-bit host operating system, you must also select a 64-bit operating system for the particular VM. Since supporting 64 bits on 32-bit hosts incurs additional overhead, VirtualBox only enables this support upon explicit request.
So the host OS can be 32 bit, but the underlying hardware must still be 64 bit.

Hope this helps!

barry_lamb 03-31-2013 05:16 PM

Yes my host machine is 32bit, does this apply to other Virtualization software?

astrogeek 03-31-2013 06:03 PM


Originally Posted by barry_lamb (Post 4922316)
Yes my host machine is 32bit, does this apply to other Virtualization software?

I cannot answer that as I have not used any other virtualization systems. But my guess would be yes as doing so would be more like emulation than virtualization - a different beast altogether! But perhaps someone else can answer that.

As for your main object, trying out Slackware 14-64, running Slackware 14 (32 bit) will give you effectively the same experience I think, unless you have specific 64 bit configs in mind. I am a latecomer to 64 bits and only recently acquired my first 64 bit machine. I installed Slackware 64 on it initially and was very happy, but decided to reinstall as 32 bit Slackware and am just as happy performance wise.

273 03-31-2013 06:18 PM

I can't say I've properly compared 32 bit and 64 bit Slackware but as far as I can tell the only difference it makes in day-to-day use (ignoring any speed or memory addressing changes you'd not see in a VM anyhow) is that it will take up more disk space if you want to run any program not compiled for 64 bit use since you'll then need multilib installed. This is easily done, and the instructions are great, and it applies to all 64 bit distros.
Other than that the 32 bit and 64 bit experiences ought to be that same, since it's the same packages. Unless Pat et al have included something different in the two architectures?

camorri 03-31-2013 06:35 PM

From your first post, it looked like you have 64 bit hardware, and a 32 bit host OS. Yes, you can run a 64 bit guest on that configuration.

If your hardware is not 64 bit, then you can only run 32 bit software, both host and guest.

barry_lamb 04-01-2013 11:35 AM

Thanks for all your replies... @camorri, yes my machine is 32bit, I just wanted to experience 64bit Slackware before I actually bought a 64bit machine.

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