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Standard User RiffRaff
(knowledge is power) Wed 21-Mar-12 12:43:33
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Ubuntu 11.10 64 bit - reliable? stable?

[link to this post]
The downloads page on the official website, under the 11.10 listing, recommends 32 bit. Is this because the 64 bit version is unstable\reliable?

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Standard User prlzx
(committed) Wed 21-Mar-12 14:13:34
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Re: Ubuntu 11.10 64 bit - reliable? stable?

[re: RiffRaff] [link to this post]
No, not related to stability or reliability.

It says 32-bit (recommended) so that for people who aren't sure what the difference means, they will pick 32-bit as the website doesn't know whether you are going to install on an older 32-bit only CPU.

In practice I'd guess CPUs in computers up to 7 years old would mostly be 64-bit even if the user has only had 32-bit Windows on them.

Much of the press coverage of 64-bit vs 32-bit implies that 64-bit is to do with using more than 4GB of memory, but this is mostly an oversimplification and a Windows-specific design choice for the desktop version.

* 32-bit hardware with PAE supports up to 64GB of RAM if the OS also supports it (36-bit addressing).

* 64-bit OSes can be installed on capable hardware regardless of whether you have 4GB memory, or less, or more. In 64-bit mode a CPU makes available additional sets of registers which well-written programs can take advantage of regardless of the amount of RAM.

* x86-64, AMD64, Intel 64 and x64 all refer to the same type of CPU architecture (and instructions sets at least in practical terms) that can run both 64-bit and 32-bit programs. A misconception is that the 32-bit code is emulated or virtualised which is not the case.

* IA-64 and Itanium refer to an Intel-specific architecture which is different and not compatible with x86.

There is a summary of AMD and Intel CPU families that support 64-bit and some of them include older or low-end CPUs that you might not expect.

In any event one can download the 64-bit version as a LiveCD (or USB) and try it without blowing up the computer.

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Edited by prlzx (Wed 21-Mar-12 14:26:09)

Standard User john2007
(legend) Wed 21-Mar-12 15:43:21
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Re: Ubuntu 11.10 64 bit - reliable? stable?

[re: RiffRaff] [link to this post]
Shouldn't be any difference in terms of reliability. I've not noticed any difference in performance either, neither better, nor worse.

If you have any old no longer maintained 32 bit packages you'd need to ensure they run alright on 64 bit.

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Standard User AEP
(eat-sleep-adslguide) Wed 21-Mar-12 16:34:34
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Re: Ubuntu 11.10 64 bit - reliable? stable?

[re: prlzx] [link to this post]
Excellent post!

So often you see the hoary old chestnut of 4GB RAM rolled out when the real advantage of 64-bit is the additional registers that are available to the programmer.
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