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Why does Ubuntu Download recommend 32-bit install?

On the Ubuntu download page, you have a choice between 32 and 64 bit, and the 32 bit one is "recommended". Why is that? I have a 64 bit processor on my Thinkpad W520, but I just installed the 32-bit Ubuntu (Natty). I'm afraid that if I don't go along with the "recommended" 32-bit version, I'll have hardware driver problems. Am I just being paranoid?

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It appears that the recommendation is to install the safest and most compatible version. There are some programs and even some hardware that work best - or even only - with the 32-bit version, although these are few and becoming fewer.

When I installed Ubuntu for the first time a few months ago, I followed the recommendation, too, and so got the 32-bit version. After awhile I got to wondering if I could have installed the 64-bit version, so I downloaded and installed it. I found the 64-bit version to be just a bit faster and everything ran on it, so I've stayed with it.

However, I also found that one piece of hardware, the Linksys AE1000 access point, did not have a 64-bit driver and the 32-bit driver would not work with it. For me it was no problem, as I had an ethernet connection on my desktop and didn't need the wireless access point (I had installed it with the 32-bit version just to see if I could get it to work). But if I had been using a laptop that needed that particular hardware, I would've had to go back to the 32-bit Ubuntu. So I would suggest trying the 64-bit Ubuntu, but don't delete the 32-bit version until you're sure the 64-bit works.

[#44047] Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 3 Years  [reply] [flag answer]
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