Finally! Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Will Recommend 64-bit
Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 4 November 2011 at 12:44 PM EDT. 16 Comments
There's some good news coming out of the last day of the Ubuntu 12.04 LTS developer summit. During a session that's going on right now, it was decided that the 64-bit version of Ubuntu (beginning with 12.04 Precise) will finally be the recommended version over the 32-bit Ubuntu.

While Linux was the first operating system to have strong x86_64/AMD64 support, there's been Ubuntu 64-bit images from the start, and most hardware for several years has supported 64-bit software, Canonical / Ubuntu have always recommended the 32-bit version of Ubuntu over 64-bit (in terms of when going to the download area of Ubuntu.com, etc). With Ubuntu 12.04 next April, this will finally change so that Ubuntu x86_64 is the recommended version, but there will still be 32-bit images offered.

The reason for finally going 64-bit by default is that multiarch will provide superior 32-bit compatibility for packages, Adobe now offers a mainline 64-bit version of its Flash Player, and that UEFI support is only offered in the 64-bit version of Ubuntu.

Most people that tended to stick to 32-bit Ubuntu even on 64-bit capable hardware was due to 32-bit binary software issues (now largely gone thanks to multiarch improvements and 64-bit Adobe Flash support along with 64-bit OpenJDK) or just using 32-bit since it was "recommended" by Canonical. This is while Ubuntu 64-bit is much faster than Ubuntu 32-bit.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 10,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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