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LXF DVDs: time for 64-bit?

As regular readers know, we run 32-bit incarnations of distros on the LXF DVD, including 64-bit versions (where available) as extras in ISO image format. Given that most machines made in the last few years are 64-bit, we're thinking of switching over.

For instance, when Ubuntu 9.10 arrives, we can make the DVD boot into the 64-bit version and have the 32-bit edition as an ISO image. In other words, the reverse of before. What do you think?

Your comments

Time to move on to 64 bit

It seems barmy to be using 32bit versions in this day and age. Don't think that I have used 32bit for 4 years now.


I installed 64bit once, but there were too many problems with the programs I wanted to use that I switched back to 32bit.

I agree with the "lowest common denominator" thing for now.

Those who want 64bit and know the difference are skilled enough to go get the 64bit binaries (or compile their own).

Yes please

Then I might be able to alll of my bits and RAM

Going 64 bits don't defeats

Going 64 bits don't defeats the point of reusing old computers for Linux, because Linux is in fact designed to run in any architecture, either old or new. It is simply a matter of recompile and pack for each target platform, and get the most of each.

Yes on x86_64

Most systems are going 64 bit these days. Out with the old & busted, in with the new & hot.

I don't mind if you still include a 32 bit iso for those unwilling to keep pace with the times. Actually, these days one would have to go out of their way to stay with the antiquated x86 architecture. Even my new HP dv7 laptop has a shiny new Core2 Duo under the hood.

x86_64 is the future.
All others really should keep up, or get left in the dust.

Not everyone wants a new PC

From what I hear 64bit is great if you have the time to sort out the 64bit problems - which I guess for a newbee will be on top of those they will face with a new OS. A lot of beginers will not know if their PC is 64bit or not, so if they boot a cover disc and it doesn't work - that will be another person writing off linux as a load of rubbish. We need all the support we can get for Linux and most people will be trying it on old kit which will almost certainly be 32bit. So no - stay with the cover discs as they are.

I'm all for 64

You've got my vote for making the primary distro 64 bit and make the secondary 32 bit. All recent hardware's 64 bit and as the 32 bit stuff retires it becomes less and less relevant so now seems an ideal time to make the switch over.

Why still 32 bit, why still a DVD?

Why still 32 bit, why still a DVD? Uh, why still a magazine ;-)

The DVD seems a nice thing for first time users to try a Linux distribution. Maximum compatibility seems the most important for me.

For an installation on a production system, download the latest most optimum version. If bandwidth is an issue, 64 bit won't.

No thanks - my machine is 32

No thanks - my machine is 32 bit.

find plan

I've been running 64 bit openSUSE for over 2 years now and very happy with it. Had some initial issues with flash and java but got it sorted in the end. No need to have 4Gb of memory, maybe when you want to run VM's. Would be happy with 64 only but quite a few people are pointing out the reuse of old hardware or not willing to buy new hardware. 64bit hardware can run both but 32bit would be losing out then from my point of view.

don't know many 64-bit users myself ...

I do plenty of Linux installs but mostly for friends/family using 32-bit hardware. Some of these PCs are 5-6 years old - but PCLinuxOS 2009, on a recent CD of yours, has done really well on ALL of them and is (I think ...) winning Linux some converts.

Put 64-bit distros on your discs by all means, but please not at the expense of 32-bit isos.


And while you're at it,means to more easily use linux on the embedded , the out of date , the obscure.Lets not forget the past hardware/software for the future.

You Can't Stay With The Old Stuff Forever

Linux is way to good of an operating system to waste it's capabilities on old computers or as a standby OS on some old computer in case your Windows machine fails. Sooner or later you have to move on. I have been running a 64 bit Linux OS (currently OpenSuSe 11.0) for quite some time. It runs great. If your machine is capable of running a 64 bit OS it doesn't make any sense to run a 32 bit OS.

Who is likely to lose out?

OK, clearly neither option satisfies everyone completely. So: who is likely to lose out the most by not having their preferred option?

If you have an old 32-bit-only box, then you might also be looking at a box with no wifi card, or even with no networking, so the lxf dvd could be your lifeline. If you have a newer 64-bittable box, it's pretty much definite that the box has decent networking, and relatively likely that you as a person have broadband (so you have access to 64-bit ISOs if you want them).

Good idea

I remember seeing a survey in a newspape about 18 months ago in which tit was found that 83% of machines were 64bit. Both machines I have ae 64bit so the DVD usually goes straight into the trash.

Given the problems that I'm

Given the problems that I'm having with drivers at the moment with Ubuntu 9.04, if you make life more difficult by not having a live 9.10 update to hand, I just won't bother. One of the reasons for using Linux anyway is because you don't happen to have a newish computer, so why only cater for the latest kit, which is just what M/soft does.


GOOD THINKING 99. I have a 64 bits micro and THE 32 bits ISO DO NOT WORK ON virtual box

Think about use of dvd

I've been using LXF dvd for many years but my usage has changed. I now get the distro when i need it not when LXF provide it. I am an experienced user so the DVD is good for extra content, pdfs, project files and the like. An experienced user will be less interested in distros and have the experience to instal what (s)he wants, than Newbie. Newbie wants something easy, need something 'gauranteed' to work, and likes choice. I know these are assumptions, but if i'm half right then LXF should stick with 32bit as it fits the need of target audience.

I personaly would like to see more added value content/option to opt out of DVD - the mag is expensive and these past few months have stopped purchasing unless there is something really compelling.

32 or 64

Why are you promoting this idea [are we following Microsoft?]. Most of your magazine exalts the virtue of Linux for the 'older' machine.
Personally I can see my use of 32 machines for the next 5 years.
Sorry but you seem to have had a bad idea around the office!

I was about to argue to stay

I was about to argue to stay 32 bit but then wondered how many of us actually use the disc? I am a Fedora user and tend not to try other distros anyway. I do try the software on the discs but I always download it and install it via the package manager to make sure I get the latest version - I do have the luxury of a fast broadband connection with a large usage allowance though.

That all adds up to a neutral vote from me :/

If I had to vote one way or the other then I'd say look to the future and go 64 bit!

how about for major distros

how about for major distros - a modified installer. The live cd boots into 32 bit mode for testing and then any installer checks for a 64-bit CPU and If it finds one, asks which version should be installed.

Uhhh, maybe?

OK, much as I want my 64bit hardware to be used to it's full and glorious extent (As I'm sure anyone who's bought a machine in the last 24 months would) I have to point out my disappointment at the distinct lack of support on most packages for 64bit architecture.
Most large software companies who have moved to "Open-Source" (I hesitate to mention that they really don't get the term open-source) still do not support 64 bit OS's nor do they really want to develop them. So, whilst my system will kick gluetemous maximus with its expanded RAM and faster processors and spectral hyper-drive turbo-boosted AI integration flux dongle, I still can't see half the content on my web thingummy and therefore miss England's victory in the Ashes. Will more 64 bit users mean more 64 bit support? We can only hope.

Will that work in my floppy frive?

Just trying to get the last pennies out of my 386 and wondered if 64 bit will make those Bulletin Boards colour?

as longs as it both

I personally prefer 64bit.
But i think people should be able to choose themselves what they want.
Possible to select if you want 32 og 64 when u boot from lxf dvd's ?

naff answer

To the smarty who said if you cant get your CDs to work , give up....
well,,, every DVD from the LXF mag shipped to Australia I tried DOESN'T work....
the packaging doesn't protect the media, so mate, your answer is naff....
I have been in contact with Mike and will be getting about 5 DVDs from back issue (airmailed),
that's why I support this mag..
mighty expensive by the time it hits AU$20 each.. :-((

BTW 32bit please allows ne to convert new users without issues of compatibility


well you could stay but ONLY


P4 5x1 and 6xx support 64-bit

"It was only when I got a curious about the merits of x86-64 that I realised my Pentium 4 CPU actually supports it. "
P4 5x1 and 6xx support 64-bit, P4 5x0 and older P4s don't.

64-bit benefits

"In my opinion, running 64bit anything on < 4GB Ram is pointless. "
Except that there is more to 64-bit than just being able to address more than 4GB of physical RAM. There is also the increased virtual address space, as well as more registers too.

new and old

Given that nearly every x86 chip for the last three or four years is actually x86-64 (and I don't personally know of anyone who bought a non-atom intel 32-bit after the athlon64 came out six years ago) I think that any full-fat distro on the cover-disc should be 64-bit. By all means have the 32-bit versions of crunchbang or puppy but a KDE4 distro is going to be grindingly slow on 2002 vintage hardware anyway so there is no point making coasters.

What's the next no-brainer? Are we going to be asked if the cover-disc should switch to distros compiled without SMP support?

Genny Too

How about a gentoo 10th anniversary feature to buy you more time to think about it. That way it can be compiled for 32bit or 64bit CPUs

How about a gentoo 10th

How about a gentoo 10th anniversary feature to buy you more time to think about it. That way it can be compiled for 32bit or 64bit CPUs

Stay with 32bit

Please stay with 32bit for now as there is a lot of us that dont need the power of 64bit. I have found if I use 64bit software on my good laptop which is 64bit is get very hot fast and the battery life is very short compared to running 32bit. My laptop is much cooler and I can use it on my lap and i have about 1 hour more in battery life.

SO please stay with 32bit.

Maybe a 64 bit special?

Clearly many users won't use it, but why not do a special on 64 bit for once? I'm currently running Fedora64 and it's looking good. A few tweaks to account for ATI graphics instability. Flash works fine.


64 bit machines are for power users and large systems. Todays fire for 64bit is to sell more hardware and software. The average user is perfectly happy with 32bit. It does everything they need. Look at how many are still using XP. Who buys your magazine? Two types: power users and general users. You willing to loose half or more of your subscribers?

It is a bad business plan. Power users can download their 64 bit systems - they don't need your help

32bit really

having never bought your mag before i was expecting to be able to install ubuntu from the cd only to find not only is that not possible but you dont even have the decency to let your customers know ir i want3ed 5o burn an iso i could have sim ply downloaded it. sorry about all caps. i have just d8scovered my new font pack on my phone has no lower case

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