32 vs 64 bit today?

Tod Hansmann plug.org at todandlorna.com
Sat Aug 13 19:10:58 MDT 2011

On 8/13/2011 6:14 AM, S. Dale Morrey wrote:
> Hello Everyone,
> I just wanted to take a quick poll and ask what the current state of
> the whole 32 vs 64 bit thing is now days when it comes to distros.
> I remember a few years ago there were some major issues when going
> with a 64 bit distro and was curious to know if this is still the case
> at all or if all those kinks have been worked out by now?  Is there
> any reason given a 64 bit processor that anyone would still need to
> use a 32 bit distro?
 From what I've experienced, 64 bit is good on both the Linux and 
Windows side of things.  In Linux, I occasionally run into a package or 
some source I want to compile that doesn't support 64 bit so I have to 
compile it against 32 bit libs.  This is generally pretty easy.  As has 
been mentioned, browser plugins about that don't work with 64 bit.  The 
solution on Windows is to default to a 32-bit browser, which it does 
automatically.  The solutions on Linux vary and there are pros and cons 
with each.  I tend to take the Windows approach and just run a 32 bit 
browser, but there are tradeoffs to that too.

It's an adventure either way, and one that's well worth it.  If you have 
4 GB or more of RAM, you will have to run 64 bit to address all that 
memory (or you'll lose some to hardware addressing).

-Tod Hansmann

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