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Are you using 32-bit or 64-bit linux?

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July 18, 2009 10:55:49 AM

Since there was a QOTD asking if we are using (going to be using) Win7 in 32-bit or 64-bit I got curious about linux users. Most people seemed to favor use of 64-bit Win7 - myself included. However I dual boot Win7 RC 64-bit with Fedora11 32-bit. I use Fedora most of the time, Win7 is primarily for gaming. The reason that I use 32-bit linux is because I'm under the impression that there's inferior driver availability for 64-bit linux and some programs (I can't think of an example now) are not there yet or are buggy for 64-bit linux. So I'm wondering what the community thinks. Do you use 64-bit linux and not have the troubles that I fear?

More about : bit bit linux

a b 5 Linux
July 18, 2009 12:30:43 PM

It's less of an issue in Linux than it is in Windows. I've not heard horror stories.
a b 5 Linux
July 18, 2009 3:42:26 PM

Fedora has no issues with 64bit, it has been working fine for about 6 years, long before windows.

:) 
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a b 5 Linux
July 18, 2009 8:36:01 PM

64-bit all the way (Gentoo and Fedora). Only problems have been with junk like Flash.
July 21, 2009 5:58:42 AM

Quote:
64-bit all the way (Gentoo and Fedora).


Hooray! A fellow gentoo fan :)  Fedora is great too and it will always be special for me b/c it was my first distro. I run 64-bit gentoo with 32-bit compatibility libraries for things that NEED 32bit (such as the native Linux version of tribes 2). Other than that I'd be 64-bit all the way with no issues whatsoever. My firefox is 64bit and it uses the 32bit Flash plugin using that nsplugginwrapper, and that seems to work just fine. Flash still crashes firefox from time to time (we can't work miracles here...), but other than that, I have had pretty much 0 compatibility problems.

On my laptop I run 64bit Ubuntu and I have not had so much as a smidgeon of trouble from that either. So, I say go for it'!

--Zorak
a b 5 Linux
July 21, 2009 10:45:04 AM

Zorak said:
Hooray! A fellow gentoo fan :) --Zorak

I've always felt that Gentoo is the Linux distribution closest to FreeBSD (which I also love). It's almost expected that you update by recompiling the kernel and user programs, so that they are tailored exactly to your hardware, rather than just downloading new packages. Mind, it can be a lengthy process if your hardware is a little lacking.
a b 5 Linux
July 21, 2009 5:45:33 PM

Micropat said:
Since there was a QOTD asking if we are using (going to be using) Win7 in 32-bit or 64-bit I got curious about linux users. Most people seemed to favor use of 64-bit Win7 - myself included. However I dual boot Win7 RC 64-bit with Fedora11 32-bit. I use Fedora most of the time, Win7 is primarily for gaming. The reason that I use 32-bit linux is because I'm under the impression that there's inferior driver availability for 64-bit linux and some programs (I can't think of an example now) are not there yet or are buggy for 64-bit linux. So I'm wondering what the community thinks. Do you use 64-bit linux and not have the troubles that I fear?


I use 64-bit Linux on all of my machines whose CPUs can run it and 32-bit Linux on the ones that can't. The driver situation is almost identical between 32- and 64-bit Linux as almost all of the drivers are in the kernel. There are only a handful of proprietary drivers for Linux and most of them are available in 32- and 64-bit versions. The reason why some people went for 32-bit Linux rather than 64-bit is because Flash player, Java, and some other proprietary programs don't play nicely with 64-bit Linux distributions. nspluginviewer is a clever hack that allows for 32-bit browser plugins to work in a 64-bit browser and Java is now open-sourced. You still struggle with some crappy old 32-bit proprietary Linux programs, but it is pretty uncommon for most users to deal with that crap.
a b 5 Linux
July 21, 2009 5:52:07 PM

Good to see you again MU :)  It's been a while.

How's med school?

:) 
a b 5 Linux
July 21, 2009 5:52:18 PM

Ijack said:
I've always felt that Gentoo is the Linux distribution closest to FreeBSD (which I also love). It's almost expected that you update by recompiling the kernel and user programs, so that they are tailored exactly to your hardware, rather than just downloading new packages. Mind, it can be a lengthy process if your hardware is a little lacking.


I also run Gentoo, and yes, it is a lengthy process to compile things if your hardware is a little lacking. I run Gentoo on my 4-year-old socket 939 Athlon 64 X2 4200+ desktop since I wanted to run KDE4 but not deal with the memory leak in plasma that occurred with just about every other distribution. Also, I wanted to be able to run the latest Xorg radeon driver on my Radeon HD 3850 to get good video playback and 2D performance and Gentoo allows me to do so in a more or less stable fashion. I run Debian on everything else, but support for the latest-and-greatest is pretty lacking on any stable version of Debian.
a b 5 Linux
July 21, 2009 6:40:44 PM

linux_0 said:
Good to see you again MU :)  It's been a while.

How's med school?

:) 


Busy :D  I am on my rotations and am doing about 10-hour shifts on the good days, 12-hour shifts on typical days, and pulling overnight shifts on the tough days. It's a lot of time but a LOT more enjoyable than sitting in class memorizing medical trivia and taking big exams like in the first couple of years. Ironically I have more free time this year than the last two as you are largely done when you get home, even if you are gone most of the day. You don't have 8 hours of class per day and then have to study all of the rest of the time until you go to bed and then all the time on the weekends. The time also goes a lot faster when you are doing "real doctor stuff" rather than spending all of your time with a nose in a book. I probably spend more time in front of a computer now that anything else as the hospital does most stuff with electronic records.

You guys here would just be shaking your heads at the computer setup in the hospital. The EMR system we run is an extremely clunky, slow, and most likely ridiculously expensive program called PowerChart, which unsurprisingly is made by a company called Cerner that is headquartered an hour and a half west of campus (gotta love politics.) It runs on a Windows Server installation sitting about five miles away from the hospital and access to the EMR is gotten through a Citrix remote-desktop setup to those servers. That guarantees that the EMR is slower than getting your tax refund in California. The computers are are a mix of various Dell SFF and ultra-SFF OptiPlex units running mostly P4s, but there are a few Pentium Ds and C2Ds. Nobody ever has cleaned any of them and the older ones are so full of dust that they are always noisy and sometimes slow to a crawl as they overheat and throttle. We nicknamed one work area with about six of these machines "Air Traffic Control" as the fans sound like jet aircraft getting ready to take off. They are all connected to 17" monitors and are set to run at no higher than 1024x768, and a lot are 800x600. I actually saw one that a nurse got the IT guys to dial down to 640x480. It's almost impossible to get any work done on those machines as you're doing nothing but scrolling around to see any of the information you're trying to find. Entering information is even worse as Cerner follows the Microsoft school of thought WRT UI and everything is clicking. There are very few keyboard shortcuts and very little text entry- you have to select pretty much everything from a series of menus. There are a few text-input boxes you're supposed to use them only if there's nothing appropriate in the clicky menus. That's a complete 180 from my heavily keyboard-based *nix machines.

Speaking about that, I got threatened to be reported to the IT staff because a clueless doctor thought I was "hacking." There is remote SSL access to the Citrix server available via Citrix's Web client so you can use your own machine to access the EMR. I tend to use my own laptop rather than the desktops as my unit has a 1440x900 screen that lets me actually see more than one or two text columns in the EMR system. Of course my laptop runs Linux and since it's a C2D-powered Dell Latitude that I got at a heavy discount, it runs the AMD64 version. Citrix has a Linux client but it's 32-bit only and doesn't work with 64-bit browsers, so I set up a little chroot. I launch Firefox from the 32-bit chroot to get to the Citrix web client launch page and that requires me to pop open a terminal to enter the chroot. A clueless doctor saw the terminal window open on my machine thought I was "hacking into the hospital computer system" and threatened to report me to the IT staff. I told him that it was to launch the Citrix client and he shut up when the EMR login window finally popped up (Citrix's Linux client is a horrible pile of crap.) Not surprisingly, he had a 17" MacBook Pro sitting on his desk that he was using to access the EMR. He just about sh*t a brick when I told him that his computer had an X terminal as well and opened it for him on his machine. The iFruit people certainly earn their clueless reputation, that's for sure.
a b 5 Linux
July 21, 2009 7:29:20 PM

lol :) 

Good thing you didn't have a DoD screensaver or they'd think you were breaking into the pentagon. :) 

You could have some fun with them with the radar screensaver :D 
July 24, 2009 5:35:07 AM

Wow. I had no idea that you are going to med school. That on top of being an engineer! My hat goes off to you. The only bypasses I will ever have to put in will be between pipeline stages rather than hearts ( i couldn't think of a witty joke in case you are not a surgeon, sorry), so I really must commend you. Also, I got quite a kick out of your story; there are some real iDiots (TM) out there who really do need our help, so thanks for doing what you could to rid the world of a little bit of ignorance. As for 'hacking', I certainly hope you don't have that screen saver that flashes portions of the kernel code on the screen. THAT would probably make some people very nervous and be a bit harder to explain ;) 

Thanks for sharing the stories and best of luck!

--Zorak
August 11, 2009 7:31:50 PM

When I bought my present PC in november 2002 I chose to go for a 32bit system. It's still running. Going for a 64bit system in the future (a very distant one...).
a b 5 Linux
August 14, 2009 7:30:17 AM

64 bit by far.

I just use 32bit Firefox because of Flash tho.
August 14, 2009 11:53:02 PM

amdfangirl said:
I just use 32bit Firefox because of Flash tho.


The alpha 64-bit Flash works fine (as much as Flash ever does).
a b 5 Linux
August 15, 2009 2:36:26 PM

Thx dude,

never checked it out ;) 
a b 5 Linux
August 15, 2009 5:55:43 PM

I'm running 32-bit on my Winbloze rig (Don't hate me :( ), but will be running 64-Bit on my Linux rig once all my orders arrive :) 
a b 5 Linux
August 20, 2009 6:30:41 AM

Me, I run 64bit Vista too... :( 
!