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I am setting up a Redhat Enterprise 6 web server and have the option to use either 32-bit or 64-bit. The server will have a Xeon 2620 processor and 16 GB of Ram. I don't foresee any individual process to use more than 4GB of ram, with 99% of them using less than 50MB.

A few years ago I played with a 64-bit version of Centos, I found it more difficult to compile programs as 64-bit applications due to various library issues.

Are there any major advantages that I am overlooking that would lead me to choose the 64-bit version of Redhat? Or would I be fine with 32 bit? Any performance benefits for either one?


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closed as not constructive by Zoredache, ewwhite, Greg Askew, Michael Hampton, Ward Jan 5 '13 at 7:32

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These days you should be almost always be using the 64 bit release. It supports more then 4GB of RAM without using the hacky PAE features. – Zoredache Jan 4 '13 at 20:19
"I don't foresee any individual process to use more than 4GB of ram" -- You are confusing physical memory limits with virtual memory limits. On a 32-bit OS, processes can't use more than 2, 3, or 4GB of address space (virtual memory). It's not a physical memory limit. (And there are important use cases where it's beneficial to have access to more address space that would be hampered by running on a 32-bit system.) – David Schwartz Jan 4 '13 at 20:27
up vote 7 down vote accepted

Pretty much these days, I'd always be going with a 64-bit Linux. Hardly worth the problems (memory and process limitations) and efforts on a 32 bit system.

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You dont run into too many issues when compiling programs? – John Tangale Jan 4 '13 at 20:23
nope....been running 64 bitters for over 10+ years now. – mdpc Jan 4 '13 at 20:24
Second that. Running a 64 bits OS on a desktop OS is about a decade old now (and much older when you move to non mom-and-pop hardware). The bugs have been ironed out a long time ago. – Hennes Jan 4 '13 at 23:55

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