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I don't know much about 32 bit and 64 bit. I had been using 32 bit and it's crashed (not working properly and i don't know how to recover) question here..... and i don't have backup and i run on 3.2 dual core intel processor can you recommend me which would be better, and i do web development(php and mysql) and learning python.

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any specific error on 32 bit edition? –  Uri Herrera Jan 3 '11 at 6:33
no error ... i did sudo chown -R www-data / and everything's ...............! –  Santosh Linkha Jan 3 '11 at 6:35
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7 Answers

up vote 14 down vote accepted

There is no big performance between 64bit and 32bit Ubuntu. I tried both for a year now. Let me point to the actual PROS and CONS for the 64bit since you have been in the 32 already:

64Bit PROS:

  • Support for more than 4GB RAM (without any kernel modifications, 32Bit PAE support, etc..) The sucker support more than 1TB.

  • Gives performance boost ONLY if you are doing some very intense work that needs more than 4GB Ram. Am not talking about playing, watching videos and listeing to music. Am talking about server with a million users, rendering shrek 7 christmas edition or something very big like making a 3D version of the galaxy.... from scratch.

64Bit CONS:

  • A wholeee bunch of programs will have issues. For example flash (even the 64bit version). If you thought you had issues with 32Bit wait till you use the 64Bit one hehe. For me it was a nightmare on PC street.

  • Not really REALLY recommended for the average user. For one part the 64Bit world is not ready yet. There are many issues still in the 32Bit that will get even bigger in the 64Bit one. Apart from that 64Bit is still very new (Even if it came out around 2000) but the majority of the programs made (Even today) are mostly for 32bit. The need for a program to use even close to 4GB is not yet a big problem and the real need to use more than that is not here either. At least for the normal user (Servers, Designers, engineers might need this for testing, heavy work etc.. BUT because they have specific programs that were made for 64Bit).

So to save you a lot of problems please concentrate on the 32Bit problems. If by any chance you need to test this, please use 64Bit version for a couple of months (not days since you might not see what am talking about) after 3 or 4 months you will get the points mentioned here.

Hope to have helped.

UPDATE - There has been a lot of positive updates and changes to the 64 Bit world. Flash is better and well, basically most of the 64 Bit stuff has been solved.

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sure thanks have 2GB RAM going for 32 bit also not average user but beginner ...! –  Santosh Linkha Jan 3 '11 at 7:02
Again, 32 bit ubuntu automatically enables the PAE kernel if there is more than 3gb of RAM, thus the point about addressing more ram is moot (albeit valid). If you have more 4+GBs of ram, you don't need to install a 64 bit system. See the Community Documentation. Great answer none the less :) –  Stefano Palazzo Jan 3 '11 at 7:09
Hi stefano. That is why i mention the part about 32bit PAE Support in the beginning. Thanks for the link which helped. –  Luis Alvarado Jan 3 '11 at 7:45
As @Stefano pointed out, the 32 bit linux kernel has had PAE support for several years now, it is capable of PHYSICALLY addressing > 4GB (assuming the chipset supports it). However, the virtual address space given to each process is still 4GB (AFAIR), however, this is still quite a large ceiling. –  crasic Jan 3 '11 at 7:47
+1 for mentioning the incompatibilities with flash and other software. I had been through that nightmare too. –  Hippo Jan 3 '11 at 10:17
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One relatively new reason to use 64-bit: if you are interested in virtualization, Docker does not run on 32-bit kernels (as far as I know).

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I've been running 64-bit Kubuntu for years without an issue. I think that any objections to 64-bit are just FUD and you can ignore them.

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If you have more than 4 GB of RAM go for 64 bit else 32 bit is just fine.

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The simple answer is the best one. –  djangofan Jan 5 '11 at 19:45
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I find it quite amusing that the usage of 64bit is so closely bound to memory in the machine. 64bit means as well that per processor cycle you are able to process twice the amount of data comparing to a 32bit operating system.

Use 64bit in case you do

  • video editing and processing
  • sound editing and processing
  • graphic editing and processing
  • work with large files (e.g. databases, large log files, ...)

I am doing a podcast and using 64bit with my notebook saves a lot of time when doing audio processing (noise reduction, normalizing, compression, ...). My notebook only has 2 GB of RAM.

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If you dont have any specific reasons for installing 32 Bit then you should go with 64 Bit. At the following URL you can find the performance comparison of 32 Bit and 64 bit linux versions.


You can see that 64 Bit is faster in many places. You can also have more than 4GB ram in 64 Bit but not in 32 bit. Also there is ubuntu community help page here and they also suggest installing 64 bit.

I am running Ubuntu Lucid 64 Bit on my machine and I dont have any problems. All applications that I need are in the repos and everything works. Back in 2009 I tried 64 Bit version of Intrepid but reverted back to 32 Bit because many softwares didnt have 64 Bit versions then but that is not the case now.

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I have to respectfully disagree ;-) This user wants a working system, above all. I know there isn't much downside to 64 bits, but the little that there is justifies this user install a 32 bit system. I don't think rendering things in blender or converting ogg-files half a second faster is really on their list of priorities. :) –  Stefano Palazzo Jan 3 '11 at 7:06
This marks the catch 22 balance. 64 bit systems still have a few rough corners, and until enough people are willing to use it and report/deal with any remaining issues, it will stay a bit rough (flash support, some drivers etc), and until it is a bit less rough, many in the know would rather leave it.. –  Danny Staple Jan 3 '11 at 11:31
Could you explain where Flash support is an issue with 64 bit systems using Ubuntu? –  zerwas Jan 3 '11 at 23:44
I havent faced any issue on Ubuntu related to Flash. I dont remember how was it back in Intrepid but in Lucid it is working good. –  binW Jan 4 '11 at 16:03
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As for this question: If you plan to re-install your operating system completely, choose the 32 bit version. There's really no need for you to try 64 bit.

But it's really not that important. Ask another question here about how to best do that re-installation, keeping your data. Make sure to explain your situation in detail, what hardware you have available (hard disks, usb sticks, cd drives, ..), how your hard drive is partitioned and so on. If you need help figuring all of this out,you can join the Chat room or search the site.

Your problem is quite a difficult one. But we'll help you as best we can.

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