State of the 64bit?

Christopher Chan christopher.chan at
Tue Oct 19 22:16:51 UTC 2010

Tom Browder wrote:
> On Tue, Oct 19, 2010 at 07:38, Christopher Chan
> <christopher.chan at> wrote:
> ...
>> Nope, user (as in desktop user) had nothinh to do but system
>> admin/programmer did but that still had nothing to do with whether the
>> kernel was in 32-bit mode or not because large file support came before
>> AMD unveiled the Hammer and most people were happily using large file
>> support already by the time AMD released the Hammer.
>> Large file support had to be enabled in the kernel and then programs
>> wanting large file support had to explicitly have it turned on during
>> compilation.
> Aha, I have never been a regular user!  Since 1993 I have always
> programmed under Linux and knew at one time I had to do something
> special. In the early days it didn't matter, but of course the trend
> is to always run out of resources and it started mattering later.
> But I still think at one time the user, at installation, was offered
> the choice of a kernel with or without large-file support, and the
> default was without (Red Hat or Fedora).

Nope, not large-file support but large memory support. The enterprise 
kernel would allow you to use more than 4G of RAM. Large file support 
was always there when it became available. Like when XFS, a 64-bit 
filesystem, was added to 2.4 well before the AMD Hammer was released 
although the 32-bitness did limit the largest file possible from 8 EB to 
16TB. The definition of 'Large file support' however is support for 
files larger than 2GB regardless of maximum possible size.

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