Loïc Martin loic.martin3 at gmail.com
Thu Jan 29 11:47:17 UTC 2009

Ken T. wrote:
> On Tue, 27 Jan 2009 13:39:39 -0500, Paul Gupta wrote:
>> I've been using *buntu and *nix since 5.10, mainly Ubuntu.  I'm just
>> curious, and I'd like to figure out WITHOUT having to download EVERY
>> variant known to man.
>> Is 64-bit STILL without flash? java? decent video drivers?  Is it more
>> of a hassle than it's worth?
> I use it on my system.  Flash and Java don't work out of the box, but you 
> can get them working without too much hassle.  My video drivers work 
> acceptably well, but I'm not a gamer.  
> There are still hassles associated with it.  Most of these will go away 
> over the next couple of years.  I understand the next release of Java 
> will have a 64 bit java plugin included.  Not sure about flash, but I 
> would expect them to have a 64 bit version before too long.  

Flash and Java are now available in native 64 bits mode, they are in
Ubuntu Jaunty, and Java 64 bits at least can be easily installed in
Intrepid (even though the 32 bits version installs effortlessly). Java
in Intrepid is already 64 bits, it's just it's not 100% identical to 32
bit Java, which is usually ok (AFAIU Jaunty 64 bits Java should be 100%

> Unless you really need 64 bits for something, I would just go with 32 
> bits.  I use more memory than 32 bits can accommodate for some things, on 
> occasion, often enough to justify the extra hassle.  

64 bit Ubuntu is on average 20% faster (that's an average based on an
old study, the delta should be higher now) than x86 on common tasks,
even in tasks not involving a huge amount of RAM.
See some recent benchmarks (remember to check if it's in seconds or
MIPS, so not to read it backwards) :


The difference is due both to the higher number of registers in amd64
mode (a long standing problem with i386) and optimisations that aren't
applied on stock Ubuntu in i386 mode, to ensure compatibility with older

To make a comparison, using 32 bits Linux on a processor that supports
64 bits mode is like choosing to slow down one's 3Ghz processor run at
2.5Ghz for no reason, while getting the same power consumption. It's
hardly efficient (if you only need 2,5Ghz, why pay for a 3Ghz processor
- and use more electricity as well for nothing)? Plus, if a task takes
20% less time to perform (and sometimes it's dramatically higher than
20%), the processor can sooner go back to a power saving mode, saving
you some electricity.


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