Your Linux system is?

32 bit
40% (562 votes)
64 bit
60% (858 votes)
Total votes: 1420


By using getconf utility to query a system configuration variable:

% getconf WORD_BIT


`getconf LONG_BIT`

is what you are looking for. WORD_BIT is 32-bits on 64-bit systems :P

Oops. You're right, of course. That was an error on my part, "getconf LONG_BIT" it is!

It would be great if some of the relatively recent converts from 32bit to 64bit would share his opinions on the matter. Namely, is he satisfied after the update, what problems (if any) has he encountered, any remarks on performance and so...

I'm still sticking to the proven 32bit system, but planning to convert soon. Let's say after Adobe Flash plugin gets completely usable on the 64bit platform. From what I discovered, that may be the last real obstacle before 64bit is really well supported on the Linux platform.

Any other opinions?

I'm using flash in firefox on a 64bit system (Arch). Sometimes crashes the whole machine, but "works".

For various reasons, it looks like the combination of 64 bit kernel and 32 bit user space brings the best of both worlds at the moment. At least on desktop. OTOH, full 64 bit environment (kernel + user space) was the only proper approach for servers a long time ago. Especially for databases and such, requiring huge amounts of memory for caching.

But as all kinds of memory are getting cheaper and application developers and vendors are getting more aware of 64 bit, I'd expect 32 bit systems to become extinct species already in the next decade.

Ever since I built my Athlon64-based machine. At first I ran many 32-bit aplpications on a basically 64-bit install (kernel, GNU tools, Xorg, Gnome in 64-bit, OOo and Firefox in 32), but ever since the Go-OO project managed a 64-bit build of OOo and Adobe made a 64-bit alpha version of Flash, I've been running all software in 64-bit - apart from Wine.

Once, a while ago, I installed the 32-bit version of my distribution on my machine, and compared with the 64-bit version. Well, without being sluggish, the 64-bit version did feel more snappy - understand though that since most packages for a 32-bit distribution are built for a 586 instruction set, the speed increase a migration to a 64-bit build brings is not only (and even, hardly) because of 64-bit vs. 32-bit - this is something the Gentoo crowd must know about.

Still, adding up all this (686 instructions, 686 optimizations, use of MMX and iSSE, use of 16 more generic CPU registers, use of 64-bit long words when computing very long INTs...) does bring a little 'extra' speed to a distribution.

OOo did sure like 64-bit. Firefox 2, not so much.

In Linux, dates are expressed as signed 32-bit integers representing the number of seconds since January 1, 1970. This turns negative in 2038. But in 64-bit systems, dates are expressed as signed 64-bit integers, which extends the usable range.

That means we have until 2038 to make the switch, ha, ha, ha... :)

32-bit? What is this ancient technology you speak of?

My desktop? ;)