Just a simple question. I want to install a deb package and which should I select - 32bit or 64bit package? My ubuntu is 64bit version, but recently I read for some programs they advice to install 32bit packages, so now I am confused.


Let's say Mozilla only makes Firefox available as 32-bit software - if you are using a 64-bit version of Adobe Flash Player, it will be incompatible with Firefox because 64-bit software is only compatible with 64-bit software (32-bit software is compatible with both)...

But if you had both the 32-bit and 64-bit version of Flash Player installed, you'd have the 32-bit version for Firefox (in addition to any other Flash-enabled/powered 32-bit software), and the 64-bit version for any 64-bit, Flash-enabled/powered software you are running.

As a rule-of-thumb, you should always try to get a hold of 64-bit software where possible as it offers better security, more stability and in most cases, better performance (the Ubuntu Software Center will usually try to install 64-bit versions of software, where available, if your computer is already configured as a 64-bit system)... Which in part is tied to the higher memory (RAM) allowances supported by 64-bit software.

It's when you start talking about extensions/plug-ins/etc that 32-bit software might be the way to go... But often these are available in 32-bit and 64-bit varieties, so just install both if you use a combination of 32-bit and 64-bit software (or just stick to 64-bit software!).

By the way, it is the 64-bit version of Firefox that installed by default under a 64-bit Ubuntu operating system... Just in case you were wondering. ;-)

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.