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Old 02-01-2008, 09:12 AM
Jef Driesen
 
Default Installing a 64 bit OS or keeping a 32 bit OS?

Currently, I have the 32bit version of Ubuntu installed on my laptop (an
Intel Core 2 Duo), but I'm considering reinstalling with the 64bit
version. Are there any disadvantages? Can I still run 32bit
applications? Can I upgrade to the 64bit version or do I need to
reinstall? Can I have them both side by side, without doing two
completely separate installations (dualboot)?

The laptop is mainly used for software development, so I would like to
have a 64bit environment for testing my code. But I still need to be
able to compile for a 32bit environment (and preferable test them as
well). Is that possible?

I also use the laptop for playing some multimedia. Will that be a
problem? As far as I know, it's not possible to use w32codecs on a 64bit
Linux? Are there any alternatives for playing wmv, flash,... ?


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Old 02-01-2008, 09:59 AM
Chris Jones
 
Default Installing a 64 bit OS or keeping a 32 bit OS?

Hi,

Jef Driesen wrote:
> Currently, I have the 32bit version of Ubuntu installed on my laptop (an
> Intel Core 2 Duo), but I'm considering reinstalling with the 64bit
> version. Are there any disadvantages?

The advantages outweigh a few minor annoyances (in my opinion)

One (minor) issue is a few things don't yet exist in 64 bit form,
firefox plugins. If this is an issue for you then it is not hard to just
run the 32 bit firefox on your 64 bit system (see below).

> Can I still run 32bit applications?

Yes, absolutely. You will need to install some 32 bit system libraries
along side their 64 bit versions (this may be default, I don't have a 64
bit ubuntu so cannot be sure here. Someone else who does can clarify this).

> Can I upgrade to the 64bit version or do I need to reinstall?

I don't think upgrading is possible, you have to do a clean reinstall.

> Can I have them both side by side, without doing two
> completely separate installations (dualboot)?

Dual boot should be possible, but not really necessary, since the 64 bit
version can run any 32 bit binary.

>
> The laptop is mainly used for software development, so I would like to
> have a 64bit environment for testing my code. But I still need to be
> able to compile for a 32bit environment (and preferable test them as
> well). Is that possible?

yes, with gcc just use the "-m32" flag and that will force the 64 bit
compiler to build 32 bit binaries.

> I also use the laptop for playing some multimedia. Will that be a
> problem? As far as I know, it's not possible to use w32codecs on a 64bit
> Linux? Are there any alternatives for playing wmv, flash,... ?

This is one area you might have issues, but as I said if anything
doesn't work, just use the 32 bit version instead...

cheers Chris

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Old 02-01-2008, 10:17 AM
Gerald Dachs
 
Default Installing a 64 bit OS or keeping a 32 bit OS?

Quoting Chris Jones <jonesc@hep.phy.cam.ac.uk>:

> Hi,
>
> Jef Driesen wrote:
>> Currently, I have the 32bit version of Ubuntu installed on my laptop (an
>> Intel Core 2 Duo), but I'm considering reinstalling with the 64bit
>> version. Are there any disadvantages?
>
> The advantages outweigh a few minor annoyances (in my opinion)

But what are the advantages, beside the possibility to address more
than 4GB memory?

Gerald

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Old 02-01-2008, 10:36 AM
Chris Jones
 
Default Installing a 64 bit OS or keeping a 32 bit OS?

> But what are the advantages, beside the possibility to address more
> than 4GB memory?

64 bit builds are generally a little faster.

Whether you will notice this or not running normal 'desktop' apps is
debatable, but you should if you do any heavy data processing. For
instance the data analysis application I work on runs 30-40 % faster
when built in 64 bit mode, over the same code on the same machine in 32
bit mode.

Chris

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Old 02-01-2008, 10:51 AM
Jef Driesen
 
Default Installing a 64 bit OS or keeping a 32 bit OS?

Chris Jones wrote:
>> Can I still run 32bit applications?
>
> Yes, absolutely. You will need to install some 32 bit system libraries
> along side their 64 bit versions (this may be default, I don't have a 64
> bit ubuntu so cannot be sure here. Someone else who does can clarify this).

But if I install a 32bit application, I also need to install a 32bit
version of all its dependencies? Or is that not necessary?

>> The laptop is mainly used for software development, so I would like to
>> have a 64bit environment for testing my code. But I still need to be
>> able to compile for a 32bit environment (and preferable test them as
>> well). Is that possible?
>
> yes, with gcc just use the "-m32" flag and that will force the 64 bit
> compiler to build 32 bit binaries.

Does that also work when linking with other libraries? I suppose a 64bit
Ubuntu will have only 64bit libraries installed. How do I build the
32bit binary in that case?


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Old 02-01-2008, 11:13 AM
Chris Jones
 
Default Installing a 64 bit OS or keeping a 32 bit OS?

Jef Driesen wrote:
> Chris Jones wrote:
>>> Can I still run 32bit applications?
>> Yes, absolutely. You will need to install some 32 bit system libraries
>> along side their 64 bit versions (this may be default, I don't have a 64
>> bit ubuntu so cannot be sure here. Someone else who does can clarify this).
>
> But if I install a 32bit application, I also need to install a 32bit
> version of all its dependencies? Or is that not necessary?

Yes, any 32 bit application will need 32 bit versions all dynamic
libraries it needs. However, if you do this via apt/synaptic etc., this
should be done automatically for you.

I'm currently on a 64 bit redhat box, here the main 64bit system
libraries go in /usr/lib64 and /lib64 - However, in order to allow 32
bit binaries to run as well, the system also has 32 bit versions of the
same libraries in /usr/lib and /lib

The names might be different on ubuntu, I don't have a 64bit version of
that so cannot be sure, but the principle is the same.

The 32 bit libraries where not there by default, but they where
available in the standard software repositories it uses (via yum/rpm) -
I'm sure ubuntu must have a similar thing ?

>
>>> The laptop is mainly used for software development, so I would like to
>>> have a 64bit environment for testing my code. But I still need to be
>>> able to compile for a 32bit environment (and preferable test them as
>>> well). Is that possible?
>> yes, with gcc just use the "-m32" flag and that will force the 64 bit
>> compiler to build 32 bit binaries.
>
> Does that also work when linking with other libraries? I suppose a 64bit
> Ubuntu will have only 64bit libraries installed. How do I build the
> 32bit binary in that case?

If you want to build 32 bit binaries, you will need to install 32bit
versions of all libraries you need to link against. See above.

Chris

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Old 02-01-2008, 11:27 AM
Loïc Martin
 
Default Installing a 64 bit OS or keeping a 32 bit OS?

Gerald Dachs a écrit :
> But what are the advantages, beside the possibility to address more
> than 4GB memory?
>
AFAIR, there's a 20% increase in speed on average, for a mixed set of
applications. If you processor is at 2.6GHz, it's like getting a
3.12GHz, which mean (considering Intel's pricing for future Quad
Penryns) getting a 1299$ processor for 266$ - if I remember correctly.
And if you've already overclocked your processor to 4Ghz, you'll get the
speed of a 4.8GHz processor, which isn't bad either.

The testings for amd64 where done on AMD processors, but Intel is
supposed to have caught up with AMD 64bits wise.

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Old 02-01-2008, 06:40 PM
"Michael R. Head"
 
Default Installing a 64 bit OS or keeping a 32 bit OS?

On Fri, 2008-02-01 at 12:13 +0000, Chris Jones wrote:
> Jef Driesen wrote:
> > Chris Jones wrote:
> >>> Can I still run 32bit applications?
> >> Yes, absolutely. You will need to install some 32 bit system libraries
> >> along side their 64 bit versions (this may be default, I don't have a 64
> >> bit ubuntu so cannot be sure here. Someone else who does can clarify this).
> >
> > But if I install a 32bit application, I also need to install a 32bit
> > version of all its dependencies? Or is that not necessary?

> Yes, any 32 bit application will need 32 bit versions all dynamic
> libraries it needs. However, if you do this via apt/synaptic etc., this
> should be done automatically for you.

It's not possible to install i386 packages on an amd64 install -- a
limitation of the dpkg system.

> I'm currently on a 64 bit redhat box, here the main 64bit system
> libraries go in /usr/lib64 and /lib64 - However, in order to allow 32
> bit binaries to run as well, the system also has 32 bit versions of the
> same libraries in /usr/lib and /lib

Ubuntu on amd64 has:
burner@backdraft:~$ ls -ld /lib*
drwxr-xr-x 16 root root 8192 2007-12-08 07:35 /lib
drwxr-xr-x 4 root root 4096 2007-10-25 10:06 /lib32
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 4 2006-10-24 12:39 /lib64 -> /lib


> The names might be different on ubuntu, I don't have a 64bit version of
> that so cannot be sure, but the principle is the same.
>
> The 32 bit libraries where not there by default, but they where
> available in the standard software repositories it uses (via yum/rpm) -
> I'm sure ubuntu must have a similar thing ?

Ubuntu has ia32 compatibility packages, which need to be available for
various 32bit apps to run:
ia32-libs (contains 32 bit versions of gtk and a bunch of other standard
libraries)
ia32-libs-kde (contains 32 bit versions of the KDE libs)

as well, there are as some specific lib32* packages.

> >
> >>> The laptop is mainly used for software development, so I would like to
> >>> have a 64bit environment for testing my code. But I still need to be
> >>> able to compile for a 32bit environment (and preferable test them as
> >>> well). Is that possible?
> >> yes, with gcc just use the "-m32" flag and that will force the 64 bit
> >> compiler to build 32 bit binaries.
> >
> > Does that also work when linking with other libraries? I suppose a 64bit
> > Ubuntu will have only 64bit libraries installed. How do I build the
> > 32bit binary in that case?
>
> If you want to build 32 bit binaries, you will need to install 32bit
> versions of all libraries you need to link against. See above.
>
> Chris
>
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