[Haifux] Running 32 bit applications (Firefox?) on 64 bit machines

Muli Ben-Yehuda muli at cs.technion.ac.il
Sat Aug 20 22:36:59 MSD 2011

On Sat, Aug 20, 2011 at 07:32:29PM +0300, Eli Billauer wrote:

> It's not like I expect Firefox to address 1 GB of RAM.

There's no 1GB of RAM limitation with 32 bit. Perhaps you meant 4GB of

> So it really makes me wonder: Why are the preinstalled binaries on a
> 64 bit machine, well, 64 bit executables? I run a 64 bit machine
> because I want the *overall* RAM to exceed 4 GB, but except for
> virtual machines, I don't expect any application to have problems
> with the 32 bit limitation.

I speculate that the best reason, from the distribution's point of
view, is that it is simpler to only maintain and support one
environment (64 bit) rather than maintain and support co-existing 32
bit and 64 bit environments. Distributions will grudgingly carry both
32 bit and 64 bit versions of an application where there 64 bit
version is deficient in some sense (e.g., firefox with flash) but
would naturally like to minimize these hassles.

Muli Ben-Yehuda | http://www.mulix.org

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