Re: [OxLUG] 32bit or 64bit ubuntu for Mum?

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Author: Jamie Lokier
To: Oxfordshire Linux User Group Discussion List
Subject: Re: [OxLUG] 32bit or 64bit ubuntu for Mum?
Tim Pizey wrote:
> Personally I have had no benefit (that I know of) and only downside from using 64bit
> Debian and Ubuntu.

One thing is you can't run a 64-bit KVM or LXC virtual machine on a
32-bit kernel, if you would find yourself wanting to do that at some point.

I don't know if the distros offer the option to run a 64-bit kernel
with 32-bit userland, but that would seem the best choice if they do.

The 64-bit kernel will run faster, especially if you have >= about 1GB
RAM and/or are encrypting disks, and let you run specific individual
64-bit userland things if you need to. Though, I guess your Mum isn't
likely to do the latter. :-)

I've read that 64-bit userland takes more RAM than 32-bit userland,
but often runs a bit faster despite that because of the better
instruction set.

> If Google, Adobe and Skype are not going to bother fully committing to 64bit would it be
> more sensible to recommend 32bit, indeed would it be more sensible for me to
> downgrade my home and work machines to 32bit?

There are so many people using 64-bit now, that I'm surprised if those
companies still aren't working with it.

Note that you can run 32-bit applications on a 64-bit userland, but
"some care required". Which tends to affect the closed applications more,
and browser plugins even more.

-- Jamie