Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

The state of 64bit Distros

Filed under

Its long been the case, the Linux, has offered, a decent round up of 64bit distros, most of the big players offer one, Fedora, Suse, Ubuntu, Debian (I know its essentially the same thing), Gentoo..

Maybe its for personal reasons, as I own a 64bit processor laptop, I feel not enough is being done with these 64bit variants, in what is becoming a very big market.

There are of course many arguments on the subject, does a 64bit distro offer you any better speed, etc.. However, i feel they are missing the point. at a very basic level, if you have 64bit architecture, then you should be using the right OS for the processor.. And lets face it, Microsoft have missed the boat on this one with recent 64bit versions of XP and Vista.. Its a very large potential desktop market area, for the right distro..

I've tried many of them, Suse, a distro i so want to love, who seem to be innovating in so many areas, OpenOffice and gnome especially, but i just cannot get on with the deadly slow package management, having been used to apt-get boom done, in debian. the desktop is great, however the media plugins are just non existent. and what is out there is a a right royal pain in the rear to install.

The same occurs with Fedora, not great, or simple with the media plugins,

I base my installs on some very basic tasks, can i do the following, or get it setup easily with some basic howtos, the following

1. Can i watch the Match of the Day Video clips on the BBC Webpage?
2. Can i watch Click online on the BBC Webpage using Full screen
3. Can i watch a DVD
4. Can i play MP3's
5. Does Compiz Fusion work?
6. Does Wifi work

In both Suse and Fedora, two top end distros, the answer is a firm no for the first 3, and yes for the second. Having scoured the forums for howtos, there are very few around which explain how to do this in 64bit versions of these distros.

Then i turn to Ubuntu, a distro which started its life strong, but i fear will soon, not be the darling of the Linux world, due to the inability too add too much innovation into thier distro, as they have such a huge user base, and are trying to be like M$ and please everyone..

However, their 64bit distro, with the help of Automatix, gives a yes to all of the above, however, it does take a little extra setting up on 7.04 and doesn't do this out of the box.. Im not against having to setup a few things, infact i quite enjoy it, there is nothing better than a spanking new install for speed..

I can however, have all of the above 5 factors working, in 64bit, with no additional effort, with 1 distro, After downloading the DVD, and installing it, with NO extra command line interfearence, having to read no howtos, I have found 1 distro which lets me do all of the above.

Sabayon 3.4f

It lets me watch the online vide content, it lets me play DVD's, it uses the ecellent KDE menu, it has working wifi, and my windows wobble..

OK, the Gentoo package management system, is a snail compared to apt-get, and the back end, can be a bugger to amaster, however think about what the Sabayon team have done..

They have created a distro, which removed a lot of the desktop linux arguments, as the drivers do seem to work, even my 5.99 webcam, i bought while living in Bangkok, works..

Now if you are a windows user, unsure of Linux, want to give it a go, and want to see what it can do.. this is what you want to see, if you are a 64bit PC user, and you want to see what Linux offers, and load this distro, i bet you don't go back..

Ok, there are some arguments which could be made..

1. It contains proprietory codecs and drivers
2. Its a pain to get some apps working in gentooland

and hundreds more i'm sure.. however the basic point is being missed, as a long term linux user, I know i can do most of the stuff i want with free drivers, and software, ogg is better than mp3, however, as a convert, ho didn't have the motivation, or it ability, i had 8 years ago when i switched, i want something, which at the very least does what i was using, when i first install it.. Once you have em hooked, then you reel em in..

Now i ask, why one of the DEB/RPM based distros, can't put together a polished distro such as this, for the 64bit market, a distro with a brand name.. from install, with no buggering about with Repos, 3rd pary installers, a distro which loads, and works..

That distro would clean up.. don't belive me? Well take a look at distrowatch, despit all its Emerge, and gentoo back end, which could cause newbies a problem. Its been number 5 in thier chart for over 6 weeks.. with an active and helpful forum...

Valid point

I hear what you are saying, however, its not an excuse not to move forward with the desktop.. Its a carrot and donkey thing, dangle the stick with the 64bit desktop, more users will use it, and the programming will follow..

An engineer, is a person, who looks at a glass, and sees neither half empty, or half full, only an object twice as large as it needs to be.

More in Tux Machines

Linux/FOSS Events

  • Gentoo Miniconf 2016
    As I noted when I resurrected the blog, part of the reason why I managed to come back to “active duty” within Gentoo Linux is because Robin and Amy helped me set up my laptop and my staging servers for singing commits with GnuPG remotely. And that happened because this year I finally managed to go to the Gentoo MiniConf hosted as part of LinuxDays in Prague, Czech Republic.
  • Science Hack Day India 2016
    Few months back Praveen called to tell me about the new event he is organizing along with FOSSASIA, Science Hack Day, India. I never even registered for the event as Praveen told me that he just added mine + Anwesha’s name there. Sadly as Py was sick for the last few weeks, Anwesha could not join us in the event. On 20th Hong Phuc came down to Pune, in the evening we had the PyLadies meetup in the Red Hat office.
  • Science Hack Day, Belgaum
    It started quite early with Kushal telling me that Praveen Patil was organizing a Science Hack Day with Hong Phuc’s help and that it might be an interesting place to come to. He mentioned that there were many interesting people coming in and that Nisha and I would have a good time. I wasn’t very keen though because of my usual reluctance to get out and meet people. This was especially an issue for me with Cauldron and Connect happening back to back in September, draining most of my ‘extrovert energy’. So we were definitely not going.
  • FOSDEM 2017 Real-Time Communications Call for Participation
    FOSDEM is one of the world's premier meetings of free software developers, with over five thousand people attending each year. FOSDEM 2017 takes place 4-5 February 2017 in Brussels, Belgium.

Leftovers: Software

  • Desktop Gmail App WMail Scores a Sizeable Update
    There's a new stable release of WMail, the app that describes itself as "the missing desktop client for Gmail".
  • 2 free desktop recording tools to try: SimpleScreenRecorder and Kazam
    A picture might be worth a thousand words, but a video demonstration can save a lot of talking. I'm a visual learner, so seeing how to do something has been very helpful in my education. I've found that students benefit from seeing exactly how an application is configured or how a code snippet is written. Desktop screen recorders are great tools for creating instructional videos. In this article, I'll look at two free, open source desktop screen recorders: SimpleScreenRecorder and Kazam.
  • Nightfall on Linux
    I've looked at general astronomy programs in the past that are helpful for many tasks you might need to do in your stargazing career. But, several specific jobs are more complicated and require specialized software to make relevant calculations, so here, let's take a look at Nightfall. Nightfall is a program that can handle calculations involving binary star systems. It can animate binary star systems, taking into account not only orbital speeds but also rotational motion and the changing shape of stars due to their close positions. You can model what it would look like and what kind of light curves you would register when observing a binary system. You even can take a set of actual observational data and find a best-fit model for the system you are studying.
  • Nmap 7.31 Security Scanner Updates Npcap with Raw 802.11 Wi-Fi Capture Support
    The first point release of the popular, open-source, and cross-platform Nmap 7.30 free security scanner and network mapper arrived, versioned 7.31, adding several important stability improvements, and bug fixes. New features in Nmap 7.31 include Npcap 0.10r9, which has been upgraded from version 0.10r2 bundled in Nmap 7.30 to add raw 802.11 Wi-Fi capture support, updated Zenmap graphical interface to indicate that better display of hostname is attached to Topology page's address, and IPv6 fingerprint submission improvements. "To increase the number of IPv6 fingerprint submissions, a prompt for submission will be shown with some random chance for successful matches of OS classes that are based on only a few submissions. Previously, only unsuccessful matches produced such a prompt," read the release notes for Nmap 7.31.
  • Shotwell 0.25.0 Image Viewer Supports ACDSee Tags, Improves Piwigo Support
    A new stable release of the popular Shotwell open-source image viewer and organizer arrived for users of Linux-based operating systems, version 0.25.0, bringing lots of important changes. As usual, we've managed to get our hands on the internal changelog, which we've also attached at the end of the story for your reading pleasure, and we'd like to tell you that Shotwell 0.25.0 now supports the tags written by the commercial ACDSee photo manipulation software. The application now makes use of Unicode characters, supports recent Vala compiler releases, improves the Piwigo upload support by implementing an option to override the SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) certificate handling, and another one to display the SSL certificate, along with better creation of new albums.
  • xfce4-panel 4.12.1 Released, Xfce 4.14 Still A Long Ways Out
    Xfce4-panel 4.12.1 has been released as a "long overdue maintenance release" while Xfce 4.14 is still in its infancy. Xfce4-panel 4.12.1 has translation updates, support for xfpanel-switch in the preferences, and just some basic fixes. This comes a few weeks after the quiet bug-fix releases of xfce4-settings 4.12.1 and also joined by the xfconf 4.12.1 release this week.
  • Video Call Improvements Land in Skype for Linux Alpha 1.11
  • Dual-GPU integration in GNOME
    Thanks to the work of Hans de Goede and many others, dual-GPU (aka NVidia Optimus or AMD Hybrid Graphics) support works better than ever in Fedora 25. On my side, I picked up some work I originally did for Fedora 24, but ended up being blocked by hardware support. This brings better integration into GNOME.
  • ‘GNOME To Do’ App Picks Up New Features
    GNOME To Do is one of those apps you’ve probably heard of, but do not use. And with a bunch of rivals task managers and to-do list apps available on Linux — from Simplenote to Remember the Milk — and online, the little app that might has its work cutout.

today's howtos

More Games for GNU/Linux

  • Humble Gems Bundle Goes Live, Offers Chroma Squad For Peanuts
    Wallets at the ready as Humble Gems Bundle is now live, a pay-what-you-can-be-bothered-to-palooza offering a selection of hitherto undiscovered indie gaming marvels. Alright, they’re all games that you’ve probably heard of before, certainly if you’re an active fan of the indie gaming scene.
  • Civilization 6 Linux Release Teased By Aspyr?
    Recently, Aspyr Media confirmed that they’ll be doing a Civilization 6 Linux release soon. Currently, Civilization 6 is live on both PC and Mac. Will Aspyr Media release concrete details about the Civilization 6 Linux release in the next few days?
  • Playstation 4 Linux Hack May Show 4.01 Vulnerability
    A new video about a Playstation 4 Linux hack may have shown a vulnerability in the 4.01 firmware update that came out for the Playstation 4 a few weeks ago. The hacking news came from a video at the GeekPwn 2016 convention in Shanghai, China, where the hacking was shown via a live demo. In this demo, a pair of Chinese computer users use a Linux computer and the Webkit browser, which is used to inject a certain exploit into the Playstation 4. One cut later, and a command line prompt appears that is then used to play Super Mario Bros. While the first use for it in the live demo is innocuous, the fact that this is even possible points once again to possible holes in the Playstation’s security.
  • PlayStation 4 hack enables Linux on recent Sony firmware
    A showcase event at this week’s GeekPwn conference in Shanghai suggests that Sony’s PlayStation 4 has been hacked, as a recently released video shows the console running an unsanctioned Linux build courtesy of a web browser exploit. While details regarding the hack are not yet known, a browser-based security issue in PS4 firmware version 4.01 could potentially allow users to root the upcoming PlayStation 4 Pro console in order to run unlicensed applications and games.