32 or 64 bit on DELL INSPIRON celeron

Damon L. Chesser damon at damtek.com
Sat Apr 5 09:29:21 CDT 2008

Raymond Wan wrote:
> Hi Sven/Cyrille,
> Sven Boden wrote:
>> I also run 32bit (K)ubuntu on a Dell with AMD64 chip (using the 
>> original Kubuntu release, not the Dell remix). I tried the 64 bit 
>> version as well and the 32 bit version seems to be more stable than 
>> the 64bit also on a 64bit capable chip (more people use the 32bit than 
>> the 64 bit probably, so 32bit would be better tested in the wild).
>> If you run the 32bit version with 1 or 2Gb you won't lose memory, if 
>> you run 4Gb you will loose a little bit of usable memory.
> Ah, right...I had forgotten something -- thanks Sven.
> At least on Debian (not sure about Ubuntu), the 64-bit  version is 
> missing some things that the 32-bit version had.  Just over a year ago, 
> I think the 64-bit version of Debian was missing OpenOffice, but that 
> has since been rectified.  Now, the only thing that bothers me is that 
> Debian Etch 64-bit doesn't seem to have Flash...so I can't view any of 
> those flash-enabled web pages.  I believe to get it, you need to go to 
> etch-backports.  I haven't bothered looking so I don't know what the 
> current situation is.
> Aside, but I was running Win XP 64-bit once and needed to install 
> drivers for a printer.  Downloaded it from the 
> manufacturer...self-executable...great!  Yup!  It was a 32-bit 
> executable.  Luckily, it is just an archive, and I can run Winzip to 
> open it...but yes, the world hasn't moved to 64-bit yet so you will get 
> some annoyances but I hope they won't last as more and more 64-bit 
> machines are released.
> Ray
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For a desktop machine non-production (ie, your personal box) amd64 Sid 
is quite a good distro.  I don't know if it will load on a celeron, I 
never had one.  Etch is stable (simply means that the software loadout 
never changes except for security updates), Lenny is testing (simply 
means that it is for testing the new stable release and if any thing 
breaks, nobody cares.  They are testing it.  They will fix it, just no 
hurry at all to get it fixed), and Sid is and always will be unstable 
(means the package versions change as often as daily and new packages 
are installed and removed at will.  If a new package works with out bugs 
for X amount of time, they move it into testing).  A common 
misconception is that the logical progression is to move from stable 
(for servers really), then you go to testing and if you are real cutting 
edge, you run Sid.  This is not true.

You run stable on production machines, there will never be software 
updates that break your applications.  If you want something newer for 
the desktop and you want debian, you should run Sid.  Testing is for 
testing the new (could be three years from now before it is released) 
stable.  Unstable Sid is as stable or more so then FC, Mandriva and most 
other distros released out there in terms of "things work".  Again, it 
is not unstable in the sense of breakage or incomplete, it is unstable 
in the sense that packages change (in version and new ones being added). 

That being said, if you want a desktop machine with the latest desktop 
thingies (bugs and all) use Sid.  Breakage may happen, but normally not 
for long and normally not major.  I run amd64 here (not on a celeron) 
and I have flash, the ability to play certain codex, java, etc etc.  For 
that you will need to add debian-multimedia sources to your 
sources.list.  Google it, you will find it and instructions on how to 
add it.  If you go with Sid, there is one program you have to install:  
apt-listbugts .  With that program, when ever you install anything, it 
will check the bug lists and show you what the bugs are and ask you if 
you want to install the new program.  Read the report.

BTW Ubuntu is based off of a mix of testing and unstable with custom 
hacks to fix known bugs/quirks.


Damon L. Chesser
damon at damtek.com

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