The specific question is about Fedora 13 on a Dell Precision M4500 with a Core i5 processor and only 4 GB of RAM. It will dual boot with Windows 7 which will be the 64-bit Win7. I understand that Flash and potentially Java have some problems with 64 bit Linux, especially that Flash has no native 64-bit support. Also, these are supposed to be solved problems from what I see. (Does anyone disagree?)

What other road blocks exist for 64-bit Linux, today? What about watching/editing audio or video? Drivers? Are there drivers that are supported under 32bit that are not supported under 64 bit? Or even vice versa for that matter? I know that most of user-space shouldn't care

Thus, the general question is: What can one do with 32-bit Linux today that cannot be done (or cannot be done easily) with a 64-bit Linux install? Is there any reason on a fresh machine to avoid installing 64-bit?

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    You can't see something like this for uname -a: Linux localhost 2.6.27-17-generic #1 SMP Fri Mar 12 03:09:00 UTC 2010 i686 GNU/Linux Jul 29 '10 at 18:02

Whether you're talking Windows Linux or Mac OSX, I don't think there are significant roadblocks to 'getting things done' on a 64 bit client. Most even vaguely modern hardware will support it, and driver support shouldn't be far off that for the 32bit OS equivalent.

We can talk about the lack of 64-bit clients for 64 bit versions of browsers and that is a shame... but in the real world you just remember that a 32-bit browser will still work and that pages will look much the same either way, shrug your shoulders, and get on with it.


64-bit linux does not have as many roadblocks as you would think.

Flash 10 has a 64 bit version available. Java does not have issues here.

You will in 32 bit land not see all 4gbs of your ram. Video/audio stuff will not be much different, video really is more of a concern with your gfx provisisions.

Nvidia produces linux drivers for their products.

Edit: did not realize adobe pulled this.

  • Mind providing a link to the 64 bit version of flash? I am not able to locate it. Jul 29 '10 at 18:22
  • Adobe took it down since it's an older version that has a security hole. Jul 29 '10 at 18:23
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    Adobe pulled the 64 bit version of Flash. There is no supported 64-bit Flash. Your link describes running a 32-bit browser + 32-bit plugin on a 64-bit OS .
    – jscott
    Jul 29 '10 at 18:26
  • Java browser plugin can be a bit painful with 64-bit Linux, especially if you need Sun's Java for any reason instead of OpenJDK / IcedTea. At least in the beginning of this year there still wasn't an official 64-bit browser plugin, regardless of the OS. I have not kept my eye on this since then, so I don't know if Sun (Oracle...) got their act together at last.

  • Flash either works or it doesn't. That depends.

  • Wine MIGHT be more problematic under 64-bit, depending whatcha gonna need.

Other than that, 64-bit should be a smooth ride. I installed my first 64-bit Linux back in 2004 (Gentoo 64-bit, Athlon64 3200+ :-)) and it was relatively smooth even then. After all Linux and open source in general supports many, many processor architectures, AMD64 being just one of them.

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