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  1. #1

    A trouble-free 64 bit Linux distro

    Hi folks,

    I have been testing both FC5_64 and Ubuntu-6.0.6-amd64, including Ubuntu-6.0.6-i386, on an AMD Athlon 64 PC and encountered lot of problem.

    Can you please recommend a reliable 64 bit Linux distro to run on this PC without much problem.



  2. #2
    Linux Guru techieMoe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    In my personal experience, a completely trouble-free 64-bit Linux does not yet exist. You're always going to hit a snag somewhere, depending on your hardware setup or your software requirements. In my opinion there is no logical reason to run 64-bit Linux at this point. You'll probably have better luck using a 32-bit distribution.

    That being said, however, you have given us no details at all about the problems you were having with the above distributions or what kind of computer you were using them on. With more hardware details and some more information on the specific errors you're having we could probably make a much better suggestion.
    Registered Linux user #270181
    TechieMoe's Tech Rants

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2004
    arch linux
    I think you'll run into issues with any 64-bit distro and agree with techieMoe that it's better to stick with 32-bit for now. Of course, I'm not even sure that a trouble-free 32-bit distro exists because there's always someone that has problems with all of them.

    Let us know what you should decide.

  4. $spacer_open
  5. #4
    Hi folks,

    Tks for your advice.

    I built this AMD64 box is for testing JBoss, MySQL/PostgreSQL --> EnterprizeDB (Oracle compatible)

    Hardware configuration:-
    AMD Athlon 64 3000+
    ASUS mobo, A8N-VM-UAYGZ
    Graphic card - Gigabyte GV-NX66256DP2, RAM-128MB DDR2
    RAM 1G, dual-channel

    I selected both FC5_64 and Ubuntu-6.0.6-amd64 as OS, each on its own HD, FC5_64 on SATAII and Ubuntu-6.06.-amd64 on ATA-133 but having many troubles resulted, not relating to hardware compatibility but the OS itself. Installation went through w/o problem. Trouble started after running the OS a day or 2, Firefox crashing, crashing and exiting X-window, gdm not started, gdm started but X-window not started. etc. Finally I installed Ubuntu-6.0.6-i386 on ATA-133 HD instead but still having problem. The box has been built for almost a month. I'm still busily solving problem on OS.

    On the contrary I have an old box running Athlon 1.4G, 32 bit with only 500MB RAM. JBoss is already up running there on 32bit FC5. It would be a waste of money if putting the new box on shelve and getting back to the old box, or if run 32bit Linux on 64bit box. I need speed. Therefore I'm now trying my last retort to find a reliable 64bit Linux OS for this box

    That is the whole story.


  6. #5
    Linux Engineer drl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Saint Paul, MN, USA / CentOS, Debian, Slackware, {Free, Open, Net}BSD, Solaris

    A few observations. I agree with techieMoe and ozar that the current state of 64-bit Linux is not as stable as the 32-bit versions.

    However, if you really need the speed then you need to be willing to put up with some inconvenience. At the place I once worked, we provided service to researchers who had applications that were among the most challenging -- see for some sample areas. Their approach was that that they would run codes for some time, get results, then analyze their results off-line. So they didn't care if the compute-servers would go down occasionally -- old-line conservative vendors like IBM were appalled at MTBF figures that were substantially lower than theirs -- those vendors provided very stable environments, but they were not fast. We provided service on an array of Crays, ETA, and Thinking Machines boxes. IBM finally arranged to have 2 behemoths brought in -- 2 6-CPU 3090s lashed together with a large shared memory -- but, interestingly, most of the defaults were at single-precision, essentially 32-bit, so any researcher had to do a lot of work to run their codes, and, as a result, most didn't.

    The last project I did, I showed that 64-bit can be faster, but I was porting a code and I had to do the compilation myself anyway. You may need to roll-your-own in that respect, but I have no advice beyond making applications. It's possible that in cases where you do your entire system, you might see stability, but I haven't done any serious work in that area -- gentoo comes quickly to mind here, however.

    Another point that I have been thinking of is that this is something of a chicken and egg problem. If there are no users of the 64-bit software, current vendors won't be as inclined to work on those projects. So you need to be in that vocal group that demands continuing effort.

    There is always the hardware angle -- continue to buy the fastest that you can find, including multi-chip, multi-cpu boxes. Lots of memory. Perhaps even something off the beaten path -- I bought a Sun SPARC via eBay for a fraction of the initial cost. You might also look at the BSD offerings -- hard to beat BSD for stability, but I have not looked at their 64-bit possibilities.

    Then there is the alternative of just buying the service, not the hardware -- you keep a stable local environment and let the service worry about the speed end.

    All that being said, I have found SuSE to be the most usable of the 64-bit variants that I have used so far, but I am using
    SuSE Linux 9.1 (x86-64)
    VERSION = 9.
    So, I encourage you to keep working toward your goal, but you need to face the likelihood that stability may not be as much as you want at this time ... cheers, drl

    ( edi1 1: re-word for forum search )
    Welcome - get the most out of the forum by reading forum basics and guidelines: click here.
    90% of questions can be answered by using man pages, Quick Search, Advanced Search, Google search, Wikipedia.
    We look forward to helping you with the challenge of the other 10%.
    ( Mn, 2.6.n, AMD-64 3000+, ASUS A8V Deluxe, 1 GB, SATA + IDE, Matrox G400 AGP )

  7. #6
    Linux Engineer psic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Satimis: if it's speed you're looking for, try 64-bit Gentoo. Or even 32-bit Gentoo for that matter (less problems, as has already been said). It is not the easiest distros, but it is one of the most-documented distributions. You can find how-tos for an insane amount of topics. The installation documentation is also excellent. The biggest difference between Gentoo and most other distros (Suse, Debian, Ubuntu, Fedora) is the fact that Gentoo is source-based, which pretty much means you have a hand-configured and hand-compiled machine. Not for the faint of hearted, no, but as I said, if it's speed you're looking for...

    Interesting post, dri

  8. #7
    Hi drl and psic,

    Tks for your advice.

    I have been away from Gentoo and FreeBSD at least 5 years. I'm now preparing my way back to Gentoo going through the doc re:
    Gentoo Linux 2006.0 AMD64 Handbook


    Gentoo LVM2 installation

    Already have "install-amd64-minimal-2006.0" and "install-amd64-universal-2006.0" burned on CD.

    I'll start my voyage later.

    Hi dri,

    Is "SuSE Linux" now a proprietory OS?


  9. #8
    Linux Engineer psic's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Ljubljana, Slovenia
    Quote Originally Posted by satimis
    Is "SuSE Linux" now a proprietory OS?
    Well, being linux, it's still open source (as per the GPL), but they now have two 'distros', the regular Suse which is now 'Suse linux enterprise' and the rather new, community based 'openSUSE'. I'd probably suggest the second, because it's apps are a bit newer, here are the sites for both projects/distros:

  10. #9
    Hi psic,

    Tks for your advice and URLs


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