PAE kernel automatically installed?

I’m a relatively new openSUSE user here coming from Ubuntu. As of Ubuntu 10.04, a 32-bit PAE-enabled kernel is automatically installed by the installer if more than 4GB of RAM is detected. Is openSUSE 11.2/11.3 the same? I usually run a 64-bit kernel, but I need to install openSUSE on a family computer with optimal Flash performance. In light of Adobe recently removing its lab support for 64-bit Flash, I prefer to use a 32-bit kernel for now. If a PAE-enabled kernel is not automatically installed in openSUSE, is there are a repository where I can simply install a prebuilt PAE-enabled kernel?
Thanks in advance for any help.

You can still use the 32-bit flash plugin with a 64-bit openSUSE system. A wrapper is used around the 32-bit plugin by Firefox and Chrome. Works fine here.

I have used the wrapper myself. However, in the case of a family computer, Flash performance is extremely important (Hulu etc.). The wrapper doesn’t provide optimal performance, hence the reason I am planning to use a 32-bit kernel. Does anyone know if the PAE-enabled kernel is installed by default in openSUSE, just like in Ubuntu 10.04?

Not sure it is installed by default but easy to install via Yast later.

In most cases SuSE will install the “desktop-kernel” which is a pae-kernel. At least that’s how the 11.2 handles it.

How do you know that the performance hit is significant? (I don’t know the answer, just curious.)

I’m trying to find relevant articles to quote. However, I know I have read an article for Flash benchmarks on Linux (I think it was a Phoronix article). The tests were done with Ubuntu, but I expect the results to prove true for all Linux platforms. From personal experience alone, open your processes and look at how much memory/cpu the wrapper consumes; on my 64-bit laptop, it can sometimes reach 30% while running Flash, and that does not even include the Flash process itself. From my experience, Linux does not adapt well to running 32-bit processes under 64bit. It is usually not an issue due to Linux’s open source nature, but proprietary Flash is obviously an exception. I should have maybe also added that my family desktop needs to be very easy to administer; I’ve had to reconfigure/reinstall the wrapper occasionally on my desktop after upgrading other packages. This scenario would not be acceptable for the new Linux users in my family.
*Edit: Here’s one article quoting Flash benchmarks. Note, however, that it only benchmarks the Flash process and not the wrapper, which I personally find to be a major resource hog on my system. Additionally, as if it’s even possible, Flash through a wrapper seems even less stable than Flash on pure 32-bit. :wink: There’s another article somewhere on phoronix which provides a better performance/resource comparison by including the wrapper resource consumption. *

@gropiuskalle Thanks for verifying that. I’m planning to use 11.3, so I expect (hope!) that it will be a PAE-enabled kernel by default.

Well I can only mention my experience that I haven’t experienced any Flash instability for a long time. Flash keeps getting updated due to security issues so I’d be wary of any tests more than a year old.

As for running 32-bit programs under 64-bit Linux being an issue, that’s a canard, whether the program is proprietary or not. All that are needed are 32-bit libraries. We do this all the time on 64-bit machines without a hiccup.

However you certainly can treat your 64-bit capable CPU as a legacy 32-bit only CPU during install and use PAE to access > 4GB, motherboard chipset allowing (for both 32 and 64 bit cases).