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Should I use the 64bit version or the 32bit. Will it satisfy me coming from a Windows system background. Sounds like a great alternative?

Just wondering if anybody has done similar?

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3 Answers 3

Short answer : Yes.

If you want a longer explanation and some documentation about the topic, see ubuntu-64-bit-vs-32-bit.

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Yes. A better question these days might be "why not use 64-bit?".

For one thing, to my understanding, you'd only be able to use 4 GB of the RAM with a 32-bit OS.

I've personally been using 64-bit Ubuntu installations for the last few years for my work machine, and haven't had issues with that.

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"...you'd only be able to use 4 GB of the RAM..." Well, if your kernel supports PAE, you could overcome this limitation. –  Nathan Osman Oct 2 '11 at 19:34
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well, 64bit isnt only about memory, as one can see here: phoronix.com/… –  Denwerko Oct 2 '11 at 21:32
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You can use 64-bit system if you want (but not forced). You shouldn't if you prefer 32-bit. Both are fits well for most of desktop system.

Why you can use 32-bit system

  • Using PAE kernel you can run 32-bit linux system with up to 64GB RAM. PAE allows to access a physical address space more than 4GB but only 4GB per process (AFAIK).
  • Almost all known application were developed for 32-bit systems. So you will not have "how can I run my flash player on 64-bit system" issues

Why you may want to use 64-bit system

  • Applications developed with 64-bit in mind may operate faster
  • You have to use heavy apps required more than 4GB memory per process (running large databases etc.)
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Flash is no longer a problem on 64-bit machines. You can still run 32-bit binaries on 64-bit systems, but it's slightly harder than on a 32-bit system, so you should pick a 32-bit system only if you have to run lots of legacy 32-bit only apps. –  Krzysztof Kosiński Oct 3 '11 at 1:35
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