How many bits for Linux... 32 or 64 recommended? :)


A general question here, about “choice of bits”, which I’m about to have to make for my intended production server.

For Windows, it is currently still recommended to use the 64-bit version only if you intend to have more than 3 GB of RAM, since otherwise there is no real benefit from it.

What can one say about this concerning Linux Server, especially Ubuntu, and considering “webhosting” as primary target? The Ubuntu homepage says that 64-bit is recommended, except there are viable reasons to use 32-bit.

The other way round, are there concrete reasons to prefer 64-bit over 32-bit? Aren’t there any compatibility issues to fear? Does 64-bit under Linux have advantages other than memory size? As in, do Linux apps make better use of the wider data bus than what I know from Windows?

Thanks for opinions and insight! :slight_smile:


According to some benchmarks I saw recently, 64 bit Linux is actually a decent bit faster.

However, it also uses more RAM, which means it may not be ideal unless you have a good chunk of RAM there.

I haven’t run into any compatibility issues on a 64 bit server… it’s probably easier to find an app that won’t work on the 64 bit desktop, though even there things have worked pretty well for me (I just setup a new 64 bit Ubuntu desktop a couple of months ago).

You can see some benchmarks for 32 bit, 32 bit PAE, and 64 bit kernels here:

Thanks for the great feedback Eric!

Especially the Apache and OpenSSL benchmarks look very impressive. RAM is not an issue, the ESXi host has 12 GB and thanks to VMWare’s memory sharing and management technology, it’s very efficient at using that.

So 64 bit it shall be for me.