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Old 05-21-2007, 08:56 AM   #1
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64 bit vs 32 bit ubuntu 7.04 for WINE/wowc?

This is going to be my first Linux installation.

I plan on using WINE to run world of warcraft and potentially Microstation J and/or Autocadd 2000.
There will also be lots of internet movies, flash, and open office type stuff.

My machine has a 64 bit AMD chip in it.....

So the question is this;

Will installing the 64 bit version of Ubuntu make everything run faster and better, or will it be bad?

and a related question; does the 64 bit WINE run programs like a 64 bit windows, or a 32 bit windows?

Any recommendations on which version will cause the least amount of pain and suffering? After I get it hammered out on my computer, I'll be switching my brothers' machines over as well.... and they aren't super technical.

Any other advice is welcome too.....
Old 05-21-2007, 12:08 PM   #2
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I'm not certain which is best for you but I'd recommend the 32 bit version if this is your first Linux install. I'm going to try the 64 bit version next week (if my new processor ever arrives) and i have been doing a bit of googling beforehand to check what nasty surprises might be in store for me. From what I've read the os's are fine but there are quite a few problems with third party software such as flash and Mplayer (no 64 bit support yet). I think these can easily be fixed by uninstalling the 64 bit versions and putting the 32 bit versions on instead, but if it's you first go at Linux why create trouble? I switched to Linux a few years ago and although the transition wasn't a major problem it could have gone more smoothly so theres no point creating work for yourself. Also i think you might run into a few problems getting Autocad running on WINE, i had a go a couple of years ago with Autocad 13 lite, i found a couple of guides but never managed to get it off the ground, though i think world of warcraft has loads of support.

As for which version i used to be on Fedora and I've switched to ubuntu, ubuntu takes less setting up but i think fedora ran faster. for a first go I'd say ubuntu because there seems to be more support.

Last edited by Brynn; 05-21-2007 at 12:12 PM.
Old 05-21-2007, 01:04 PM   #3
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The AMD64 processors are designed to be backwards compatible and the x86_64 architecture is considered a multilib architecture. AMD64 processors are capable of using 32- or 64-bit code. If you use a standards compliant OS, then it will also support 32- and 64-bit ABIs. Everything will happily co-exist and you simply need to double-click the icon for the 32-bit application or the 64-bit application. I do not know whether Ubuntu is standards compliant.

Off the top of my head, I can't think of any browser plugins that are available as 64-bit libraries. You can use the 32-bit plugins with a 64-bit browser by using a wrapper. It's probably easier to simply use a 32-bit browser instead. You won't notice the internet moving any faster using a 64-bit browser anyway.

You, as a human being, will not notice the differences between 32- and 64-bit unless you are doing something that requires millions or billions of calculations. Video editing, large engineering, scientific, and mathematical simulations will provide noticable improvements; you will see tasks that took 15-minutes using a 32-bit application take 10-minutes with the 64-bit version or a simulation that took 40-hours to run on a 32-bit machine run in 33-hours on a 64-bit machine. You won't notice the three nanoseconds you save loading a webpage or opening an OpenOffice document.

There are very few 64-bit Windows applications and I suspect you will be using 32-bit Windows software anyway. From what I have read, it's not worth the trouble using the 64-bit Wine given the few 64-bit Windows apps. Use the 32-bit Wine for your 32-bit Windows applications.

I would find a standards compliant distro and install 32-bit Wine, 32-bit Firefox, 32-bit mplayer (multimedia codecs is another area lacking in 64-bit support, but that is improving), and 64-bit everything else. I recommend that because that's what I do, but why limit the capabilities of your hardware by using a 32-bit OS? The hardware is designed to allow you to use both ABIs side-by-side. If you want to limit the capabilities of your hardware, use Windows instead.
Old 05-23-2007, 07:19 AM   #4
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Thanks for your input, guys.

I'm going to use the 32 bit version first, and then go with 64 once I figure out what's what.


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