On Mon, Sep 27, 2010 at 10:30:12PM +0200, Fritz Meissner wrote:
One advantage to 64-bit machines is that there are more
CPU registers available in 64-bit mode, so some processing
goes faster, and more addressable memory.
That may be reason enough to run a 64-bit kernel while
keeping a 32-bit userland (libraries, applications, etc.)
Which some (including myself) do.
The advantage of 32-bit software is a smaller
memory footprint (e.g. 32 bits to represent an
integer instead of 64). There is a much wider software
availability, and fewer compatibility issues.
Although many say "64-bit is well established, no need
to worry about compatibility", I've had a few run ins.
At one point, I was maintaining two parallel Debian systems,
one 32-bit and one 64-bit, to track down such issues.
Some disadvantages to mixed systems, from the amd64 faq
Q: I want to run i386 userland with a 64bit Linux kernel
A: Running 32bit userland with a 64bit kernel is recommended
only for servers needing the absolute stability of 10 years
of 32bit debian, but without the memory limitations the IA32
architecture bears, for example a 64bit mysql server on a
system with 8GB or 16GB memory.
Running the mixed setup on a workstation is not recommended,
because iptables, the XFS filesystem, non-free NVidia and
ATI binary drivers do currently not support it.
Iptables *does* appear to work for me in mixed environment,
at least the user interface part.
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