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32 or 64 bit version?

Posted: 2011/07/13 23:43:10
by taylorkh
I am considering CentOS 6 for my home PC. A general purpose PC for a power user. Nothing fancy but I want a simple, stable foundation. I have been using Ubunt for about 4 years but I am not happy with the direction Canonical is heading (Unity interface, change for change sake, etc.) At the moment I am running Ubuntu 10.04 64 bit. I have been running it for a little more than a year. I used the 64 bit version of 9.10 before that. I think the 64 bit version was a mistake.


Dell Studio XPS 8000 - i7-860 CPU with 8 GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD5450, plenty of disk.


Gnome desktop with normal PC stuff such as, Thunderbird, Firefox, Xsane, Gimp, VLC player, K3b
VMWare Player - A couple of Windows VMs for some old apps which I have not found Linux equivalents, testing new distros, a LAMP server for some PHP MySQL work etc. A fun toy and something to apply the power of the i7-860 to.
Some apps under Wine - Agent and GrabIt for Usenet, Visual FoxPro database and a couple of others

Bottom line, I have a 64 bit CPU but no 64 bit apps. I initially thought I needed a 64 bit OS to access the 8 GB of RAM. I since learned that a PAE kernel will do that sufficiently for my purposes. I do not have any apps which need more than a couple of GB of memory. Including the VMs. So I am thinking that the 32 bit version of CentOS would be fine.

The cons I have found with Ubuntu 64 bit include:

Browser problems - especially related to java and flash
Nero Linux (CD/DVD burning app) will not do double layer DVDs (not an issue really as I generally use K3b)

The pros:

I don't know. Since I can access all of my ram with a 32 bit pae OS I do not see why I would want to run the 64 bit OS.

Can anyone show me what I am missing?



Re: 32 or 64 bit version?

Posted: 2011/07/14 00:27:53
by grifs71
I would go with the 64-bit version, you can work around a lot of the issues with flash and so on.

I can find the links and post on the config's for flash ect....

Re: 32 or 64 bit version?

Posted: 2011/07/14 03:46:39
by AlexAT
In short:

1. If you [b]really[/b] have no 64-bit apps (who or what prevents you from installing 64-bit versions though?) - go with 32-bit distro, you won't benefit much from 64-bit.


2. 64bit build = a bit more memory used, so make sure you have load of.
3. 64bit build = a bit more performance, primarily because of the extended GP register set

If you go with 64 bit, make sure you have as small number of 32-bit apps as possible. The ideal case is ZERO 32-bit apps, but that requires decent bit of effort in "desktop" cases.

Re: 32 or 64 bit version?

Posted: 2011/07/14 22:29:22
by AlanBartlett
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa \*release\*
[ajb@Duo2]$ uname -r
[ajb@Duo2]$ grep exclude /etc/yum.conf
exclude = *.i?86
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa --qf "%{ARCH}\n" | grep -ci i386
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa --qf "%{ARCH}\n" | grep -ci i486
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa --qf "%{ARCH}\n" | grep -ci i586
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa --qf "%{ARCH}\n" | grep -ci i686
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa --qf "%{ARCH}\n" | grep -ci x86_64
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa --qf "%{ARCH}\n" | grep -ci noarch
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa --qf "%{ARCH}\n" | grep -ci none
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa | wc -l
[ajb@Duo2]$ rpm -qa --qf "%{N}\t%{VENDOR}\n" | awk '/Dag/ { print $1 }' | sort | pr -4 -t -w100
a52dec gstreamer-ffmpeg libmpeg2 opencore-amr
aalib gstreamer-plugins-bad libquicktime orc
amrwb gstreamer-plugins-ugly librtmp rpmforge-release
dirac lame libsidplay schroedinger
enca libcaca live555 SDL_gfx
faac libcdaudio mjpegtools svgalib
faad2 libdca mpg123 twolame
ffmpeg libkate mplayer unrar
ffmpeg-libpostproc libmad mplayer-common x264
flash-plugin libmms mplayer-fonts xvidcore
fribidi libmodplug
The above output is from my laptop, a [i]Dell Latitude E5500[/i], which is a pure 64-bit system.

Re: 32 or 64 bit version?

Posted: 2011/07/14 22:42:25
by iamybj
I suggest 32bit version centos.
Ubuntu is a desktop release of linux, so its kernel does not support PAE, so it does not support memories more than 3GB. You can install the kernel with PAE support, like the ubuntu server's kernel.
Both rhel and centos is enterprise linux, PAE is supported by default.
As a desktop user, you do not need to use 64bit linux, first your pc may not have good hardwares like a server ,second some desktop software do not have 64bit version, third 64bit system will install both 32bit and 64bit packages, the system will be more big.

By the way , Microsoft is very intresting at the supporting of PAE. Windows 7 must runs on at least 2GB RAM, but Windows 7 only support 3GB RAM at most. Beacause MS donot want to add PAE support to desktop version windows, Only server version windows support PAE. MS can earn more money from custormers by selling them windows server.
MS said that Windows 8's hardware requirement is the same as windows 7. In fact it is a must doing. If windows 8 requirment better hardware, then MS must support PAE in windows 8, or only release 64bit windows 8. Clearly, MS will not do like that.

Re: 32 or 64 bit version?

Posted: 2011/07/15 09:51:17
by abednegoyulo
taylorkh wrote:

Dell Studio XPS 8000 - i7-860 CPU with [color=FF0000]8 GB RAM[/color], ATI Radeon HD5450, plenty of disk.


If you want to use 8GB of ram, then IMHO you are [b]forced[/b] to use a 64 bit version unless of course ther is a kernel PAE version for the CentOS 6.

32 or 64 bit version?

Posted: 2011/07/15 15:38:03
by pschaff
abednegoyulo wrote:
If you want to use 8GB of ram, then IMHO you are [b]forced[/b] to use a 64 bit version unless of course ther is a kernel PAE version for the CentOS 6.[/quote]
There is no [b]non-PAE[/b] ix86 kernel for RHEL/SL/CentOS-6, as some with older hardware have lamented.

I'd go with 64-bit. As [b]Alan[/b] documents, the browser/plugin/multimedia issues for x86_64 are pretty much a thing of the past.