64bit or not

hi guys,

do you reckon i should get the 64bit suse 11.2 when its out? what are the benefits and do normal software work ok such as avidemux and other stuff?

laptop is hp dual core 2ghz with 2gb ram


since you said avidemux, I suspect you’re doing lots of video/audio stuff. If this is the case, 64bit definitely offers greater performace for multimedia processing. I use 64bit since 3 years now and am very pleased. No big problems with it at all. YMMV

thanks for the quick reply microchip. yes i do a fair amount of encoding but not loads. the laptop is mainly used for university work really, but still as said do fair amount of encoding and other stiff which take up a fair amount of processor performance. i heard there were problems a while back with things like flash player and so on with 64bit, but this was a couple of years back, is it all ok now i presume?


This is a No Brainer! Go 64. x86-64 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia for architectural details.

It should be about 10% faster, for numeric processing and other intensive code, as well as stuff that has to shovel data round memory fast. You have NX in hardware, higher resolution timers, and a 21st Century arch. Unlike MS, you can run 32 bit plug-ins, and having a wrapper round buggy stuff like Adobe Flash, but even Windows has tipped towards 64 bit now, with 32 bit a low end ghetto.

If you had < 2 GiB RAM, then the roughly 10% increase in code size, would make it closer. But with desktop kernel, they have PAE enabled, adding on 32bit a 3rd layer of page tables, to get DEP (NX), and I found even with 4 GiB it preferable to use the simpler default kernel, accessing roughly 3.5 GiB rather than the PAE huge memory model.

i never understood the pae properly…even with the 32bit system on 11.1 i’m currently running, i’m using a pae kernel by default install.

i’ll give the 64bit a try then over the weekend and see how things go! 10% quicker sounds good to me :slight_smile:

Be sure to check for any BIOS update.

i’m always weary of doing that, since if it messes up, i’m in big trouble! hmmmm. what are the benefits really?

thanks again guys

Just try booting a Live CD first!
If it doesn’t run well then re-consider.

What has the BIOS got to do with kernel & user space code, anyway? It doesn’t even run in Protected 32 bit mode, and ACPI is interpreted.

There really is no good reason why not to be running a 64-bit system on a 64-bit capable processor. Any “gotchas” such as flash and java have long been solved. In fact you can even run the beta version of the adobe 64-bit plugin if you really wish to keep things as 64-bit pure as possible. As far as java goes, they have had a 64-bit plugin for quite a while now and items such as w32 codecs are not needed today with the capabilities of the ffmpeg library.

Let 32-bit die an honorable death.

I do know that on my Toshiba, I had to do a BIOS update to be able to run 64bit reliably. It made a huge difference in how it ran Vista 64 and Linux 64. In fact, it would not even run Win 7 64 until it was updated.

You asked, “What has the BIOS got to do with kernel & user space code, anyway? It doesn’t even run in Protected 32 bit mode, and ACPI is interpreted.”

I don’t write BIOS code, so I can not answer that question.

On the other hand, it was only a suggestion. If you don’t want or like to update your BIOS, then by all means don’t.:slight_smile:

On Wed, 11 Nov 2009 14:46:01 +0000, thestig wrote:

> i heard there were problems a while
> back with things like flash player and so on with 64bit, but this was a
> couple of years back, is it all ok now i presume?

Those problems have long since been resolved - I’m using flash with
x86_64 on 11.1 here and have been for quite some time with no problems
(other than the usual “flash buries my processor” problems, but those
exist on the 32-bit version too.)


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Moderator

With 64 bits, you generally gain around 20% in speed.

I have seen two solvable difficulties in 64 bit openSUSE: the java plugin in Firefox, and drivers for webcams. Certain tuning and downgrading shall be done to make them work.

All other software works ok in 64 bit.

Well if anecdotes like that count, in my case, a BIOS upgrade FORCED using updated kernel, and moving to 64 bit was painless.

The real point is, Live CD makes it simple and quick to test. If there’s problems, then you can look for updates. Of course in past, folk have had to patch the BIOS themselves, because they were written so poorly, that they set up ACPI tables wrong, which sounds like issue you had with only 32 bit Windows getting the right info.

On Wed, 11 Nov 2009 17:06:02 +0000, ZStefan wrote:

> With 64 bits, you generally gain around 20% in speed.

That would depend on the application; an application that doesn’t move
data in memory or utilize specific features of the 64-bit processors
(someone mentioned the use of NX) wouldn’t see much of a performance

This becomes more apparent if you have enough memory that you’d need PAE
if you were on a 32-bit platform and an app that needs that much memory.

> All other software works ok in 64 bit.

As long as the appropriate libraries are installed - even 32-bit software
would run fine as long as the appropriate 32-bit libraries are installed.


Jim Henderson
openSUSE Forums Moderator

its up to you in the end, but personally I see no issues with 32bit so I see no point in using 64bit.

You will see a point when you often do multimedia stuff and number crunching :wink:
64bit is beneficial for these things. it’s not just about having issues or not. Also huge DBs benefit from 64bit too

I have been using 64-bit since openSUSE 10.2 was released. If you have the hardware to support 64-bit, you may as well give it a spin and see how it performs.

May I join this discussion - it’s interesting for me 'cos I just plan to update our school’s server to 11.2.

Currently, it runs 32 bit 10.3 with pae kernel and LTSP for two computer labs and a number of single workstations. There haven’t been any incompatibilities so far, except the Firefox 3 “bug” with too many users launching it at a time (we’re using Opera now if it slows down too much).

But as the server has > 2 GB RAM of course, it might be wise to use 64 Bit with the next OS generation on it. Or maybe it’s not? After all, it’s a huge number of small single tasks running on such a system rather than a few thick ones.

What we do need on a daily basis is Crossover (Wine), and probably a virtualizer like Qemu (for MS Office 2007 stuff, if any). Firefox is needed because we use some websites which are programmed so IE centered that only Firefox has been able to show their contents properly.

Anyone here who can tell me his experience with LTSP 5 and those above, on a 64 Bit system?

Thanks a lot for your hints.


I asked the same question here a year ago, and went 64 at that time. No problems with Flash and such, everything worked fine.

The only trouble was the latest version of Skype. The various tips in this forum did not work for me, and I resorted using the statically linked binary provided, rather than the Suse-RPM.

However, I would expect that the next Skype-Suse-RPM will work with 11.2. I mean 11.1 was a mess, given the various KDE upgrades (that I did not follow unlike apparently everyone else).