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Re: Fedora 9 32 or 64 Bit - Which One?

Charlie McVeigh wrote:
I apologize if this question has been asked before.   I have a new
Thinkpad T61 in scheduled to arrive sometime next week.  I want to
install Fedora 9 on it.   Being as it has a Core 2 Duo processor, I
assume I can install the 64 bit version of Fedora 9.  My question is
what are the pros and cons that I need to consider when choosing 32 or
64 bit version of Fedora 9?  I am currently using a Thinkpad T42
running Fedora Core 7, so I have no experience with 64 bit linux or
associated issues.

Thanks in advance for any and all advice.

Well, this has been answered very well previous to my reply, but let me add my experience to the mix.

If you are willing to deal with the issues, then x86_64 is for you. If not, then stick with the i386 stuff.

I upgraded a working FC6.i386 installation on my laptop to F9.x86_64.
(Intel Core Duo T7200 @ 2GHz)

While the upgrade was not without problems, it went pretty smoothly once I forced it (ie, many "yum update" commands by hand, and reading the F9 release notes)! At the end I had a working F9.x86_64 system with the following "issues":

1) My lappie has an ATI Mobile Radeon X1600 video system. It worked on FC6 using the fglrx driver from livna. F9 upgraded Xorg to a version that fglrx does not yet support. OK, so its back to using the radeon driver under F9. It mostly works (I can still watch videos), but I can't help but feel that fglrx will give me better performance than I am currently getting. I tried the radeonhd driver and couldn't get it to work for me.

2) Many firefox plugins require nspluginwrapper because there are no x86_64 versions for them (Adobe Flash, Adobe Reader). Getting it to work correctly is straightforward and the Fedora Project Documentation is correct if you follow it. Sometimes Flash just doesn't work until I restart firefox. And the Acrobat embedded reader can bring the laptop to its knees with some sort of memory leak. Its also not as fast going through the nspluginwrapper. I sometimes have to wait 4-5 minutes for the embedded page to actually display (and sometimes it comes up right away). npviewer.bin is the application that sometimes runs wild. Especially if I am viewing a number of different PDFs sequentially and using the browser's BACK button between them. Some people have configured their browsers to run acroread as an external application directly (instead of the embedded reader) to get around this.

3) Sometimes sound gets screwed up in the browser (firefox). Even when using gecko-mediaplayer. Restarting the browser, or sometimes restarting the X session is necessary.

4) If you want to run vmware-server you might want to upgrade to the version 2.0 BETA which has an X86_64 RPM. (the version 1 version is i386 only). I had no trouble running the .i386 version of vmware-server with the appropriate compatibility libraries. Now I'm running the x86_64 BETA and it runs my 32-bit virtual machine just fine. You *MAY* need to find the latest version of vmware-anyanyupdate (or you may not) for vmware-server version 1.

5) Finding x86_64 versions of Firefox and Thunderbird ADDONs can be an adventure. So can finding addons that support firefox 3.0 in some cases.

6) WINE is i386 only. I tried to get sound working in WINE and discovered that it wanted to drag in lots of i386 libraries, not all of which were compatible with all of the x86_64 versions I have installed (some from livna, some from atrpms, some from fedora). I gave up on the conflicts and continue to run wine without support for sound.

7) FC6 used cubbi-suspend2 kernels in order to suspend and hiberate correctly. I was unable to make the tuxonice kernels work for me on F9, but the stock kernel support works fine with F9. (It may not be as fast as tuxonice, but it does suspend/hibernate and restore without any major problems.)

8) My wireless is now much more reliable with F9, but that could be the new iwl3945 driver and not the old ipw3945 driver.



Kevin J. Cummings
kjchome rcn com
cummings kjchome homeip net
cummings kjc386 framingham ma us
Registered Linux User #1232 (http://counter.li.org)

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