12.04 LTS: 64-bit desktop by default?

Kees Cook kees at ubuntu.com
Mon Apr 16 22:05:46 UTC 2012

On Sun, Apr 15, 2012 at 11:03:14PM -0700, Steve Langasek wrote:
> Are there problems that we've overlooked with regards to shipping 64-bit by
> default on the desktop, or is it reasonable to make this switch for 12.04
> LTS?  Is there 32-bit binary software that you know about which is not yet
> supported on amd64 via multiarch, and ought to be before we consider making
> 64-bit the default?
> Note that we're talking about three changes here:
>  - Changing the default download link on ubuntu.com to point to 64-bit
>    desktop images
>  - Changing the pressed CDs distributed by Canonical to be 64-bit instead of
>    32-bit
>  - Changing the architecture used for preformatted USB disks sold in the
>    Canonical shop
> In general, if people can think of reasons not to switch to 64-bit for one
> of these, those arguments would apply to the other; so if we think we're
> ready for a switch, that switch should be applied across the board.

I'm strongly in favor of making 64-bit the default.

IMHO, most of the weird stuff I use (e.g. dosemu) actually runs better in
64-bit. Anything grossly weird (e.g. binary-only 32-bit MPlayer codecs)
runs fine in a 32-bit chroot, and those kinds of things aren't even in
the archive.


Kees Cook

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