Ubuntu Website Content

Misinformation when intending to download the 64-bit edition

Reported by Mark Curtis on 2010-05-26
438
This bug affects 90 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubuntu-website-content
Undecided
Gerry Carr
Nominated for Trunk by BLaZuRE

Bug Description

On the Ubuntu download page, no clue is given for why the 32-bit edition is marked as recommended; but not the 64-bit one. Users interested in taking advantage of 64-bit architecture are leaded to the conclusion that it's possible the 64-bit edition of Ubuntu has tangible disadvantages, and perhaps Ubuntu itself.

By specifying in the documentation the 64-bits edition is the recommended one for most 64-bit computers doesn't address the issue, since the absence of the recommendation mark in the download page implicitly means the 64-bit is not recommended; so information given in the download page is in contradiction with that given in the documentation.

Evan Boldt (echowarp) wrote :

I don't like the phrase "not recommended" either.

I understand the need to emphasize that 32 is likely the best choice.

Maybe say 32 "Works for most computers" and that 64 is "Only for new computers".

SDonatas (sdonatas) wrote :

Completely agree with you. From present marketing perspective, maybe for new users 32 bit version would be better, just because it is less buggy (at least some people say, but I not feel that) and for 32 bit versions it is easy to install native codecs, flash, adobe air, restricted extras etc, But 64 bit is the future and therefore strategically this version is more important for ubuntu community and (hope so) canonical. Even on computers bellow 4 GB ram potential speed, stability and security advantages could be received on specifically implemented programs. And I agree apple is a good example, they are at the top of the innovation within OS industry and at least for now they clearly show what is the future. Therefore for those reasons, users with 64 bit ready machines should be encourage to choice 64 bit OS version, rather than 32 bit OS.

Changed in ubuntu-website:
importance: Undecided → Wishlist
status: New → Triaged
Bilal Akhtar (bilalakhtar) wrote :

I was going to file a bug for this, when I noticed it. This looks really a discouragement for new users.

oldos2er (oldos2er) wrote :

 I would really like to know Canonical's reasoning for having this message on the download page. I've been using 64-bit Ubuntu for two years, and it's been mostly stable and reliable for that entire time. What, if anything, is new and different about 64-bit 10.04 that makes it "not recommended"?

Kent Seaton (spr0k3t) wrote :

Most computers made these days are capable of 64bit. The two (32bit and 64bit) should be listed as equals. I would even encourage the use of 64bit if the computer system in question is capable of handling 64bit.

yacwroy (yacwroy) wrote :

IMO 32-bit will become obsolete within the next decade.
While there's little difference (some + some -) between 32 and 64 for most users, I believe having more people using 64 now is better for the community in the long term.
Shifting users from 32 to 64 will also shift bit-specific support and development (eg kernel) from 32 to 64, increasing the quality of 64, albeit at the expense of 32. Since 64 is the future and almost every 32 user will switch to 64 at some point, we should prioritize it.

As demand for 64 increases, the competition will be between Windows 64 and Linux 64. The more focus here on 64, the more users we'll get once 64 becomes the norm.

Myself, I've used 64 bit for 3+ years and the only problem is Adobe not supporting 64 bit for their proprietary flash, and the 32-bit wrapper crashing, although I think this is fixed now.

IMO, this warning is quite harmful and totally unnecessary.

I'd recommend rewording it to something like this:

64 bit: For all 64-bit capable systems (default).
32 bit: For those without a 64-bit capable system. (3+ years old).
(Check <here> to see if your system is 64-bit capable).

David Clayton (dcstar) wrote :

That message is pointless as well as inaccurate and misleading, all it will do is give Ubuntu a reputation of not being suitable for use on state of the art hardware.

It is bad enough on the forums with people bad-mouthing certain distros/apps because "they had a problem" 5 or 6 years ago and continue to attack them with outdated and erroneous views, but to have this sort of thing on an official Ubuntu site is unacceptable.

kimus (kimus) wrote :

For the past couple of years I always installed the 64bit version. Works very well. There was some initial problems with Flash (and also Java) but I think that was corrected. But yes, there's some apps (mostly closed sourced) that do not work well in 64bits and it's a bit hard to fix the problem.

So I do not agree with the "64-bit - Not recommended for daily desktop usage" message but could be more like: "64-bit - Recommended for computers that support it (warning: some applications still run in 32bit mode)" (or something like this).

Jorge Suárez de Lis (ys) wrote :

I also don't agree with the message. The most annoying thing is that there's no explanation for that non-recommendation. And nobody seems to undertstand it either.

Same here. I'm typing this comment on the 64bit version right now!

Kris Stewart (kris26) wrote :

64bit seems to have more flash/compatibility issues then 32bit, but if you are at least a power user you should be able to Google up a quick terminal remedy. I would recommend 32bit Ubuntu to all other basic users to avoid issues.

Just because there are a tiny bit of flash problems doesn't mean the whole OS should be 'not recommended.'

Terje Andre Arnøy (terjeaar) wrote :

There seems to be a need form a clear definition for what we mean with a desktop ready OS, and a clearer understanding of why the 64bit is not recommended as an OS. For example, we can't recommend that people with 4gb of ram to use a 32bit OS.

liamdawe (liamdawe) wrote :

I agree with the above poster, it needs to be much clearer.

To use his example we shouldn't have 32bit as recommended for computers with 4GB+ RAM.

It needs to be changed, 4GB RAM in the UK in most shops i look at is becoming standard (3GB is the lowest i can see).

Bilal Akhtar (bilalakhtar) wrote :

Why is this bug marked as "Wishlist" ?
How much time does it take for a Web Presence Team member to change that text? By the time this bug is closed, more than a 100 people who wanted 64-bit would have chosen 32-bit because of that message.

David Clayton (dcstar) wrote :

Agree with post #15, this issue is the proverbial "Low hanging fruit" that can be resolved extremely quickly by a short discussion with whoever has responsibility for that web page.

Roy Jamison (xteejx) wrote :

Please change this bug report to High or Critical. It affects EVERY user, and is subject to mass debate on 32 vs 64 bit. There are no difference in the Ubuntu 32 and 64 bit versions other than the compilation of packages and is EXTREMELY misleading to anyone who wants to download Ubuntu. We should not be steering away potential users on the mistake of a few words.

Roy Jamison
Bug Control

Alan Pope ㋛ (popey) wrote :

To all commenting on this bug.

The Ubuntu Website has recently undergone a dramatic change as you all know. There is a small but dedicated team of individuals working their way through a significant number of bugs, and they're aware of this one. Whilst the wording on the site may well be clumsy or misleading it doesn't prevent people from downloading the ISO image of their choice.

Also note the last 3 days have been a long holiday weekend for many people working on the project. Lets cut them some slack, please.

ramorrismorris (morris-bob) wrote :

Short: I agree with all the above.

Long:
The central point about 32-bit machines is that a single program cannot address more than 4GB of of memory at all (other than with tricky added hardware and software that is largely now irrelevant). In addition, to keep hardware costs down, consumer machines, especially laptops, reserve some of the RAM for video memory. Sometimes this is even effectively true when there is an added video card with its own memory. In practice, most 32-bit consumer desktop/laptop machines can use about 3.5 GB for programs. By contrast, 64-bit machines can offer several advantages. Among these are (a)they can exploit more than 4GB for program memory (b)many of their instructions can load and execute faster (c)they can compute with larger numbers more immediately, which is usually of little importance except for scientific computing; (d)more programs can remain resident in memory without swapping out to disk, so changing from program to program among several running programs is without noticeable delay. Of course, some of these accrue only if the system actually has more than 4GB of hardware on it, which is rarely true of current consumer-grade 64-bit machines. That will change as memory density increases, in its usual fashion.

In the history of digital computing, as memory addressability went from 8 to 16 to 32 to 64 bits, programming technology has always found a way to exploit the increased memory to increase speed or to dramatically support new kinds of data structures to good effect. It's typical of application programs that if recompiled on a 64-bit machine they can exploit such advantages as above. Only the few that fundamentally touch the hardware, e.g. video, may not be able to, unless the kernel programmers have completely done so at the system level, and the application programmers have not tried to circumvent the O/S for improved performance.

Probably programmers, and perhaps gamers, are typically in need of all of the aforementioned advantages, and probably most people who have such need would be capable of understanding the arguments leading to "not recommended". Whatever those are, one hopes they disappear as 10.4 matures. Meanwhile those who can benefit from 64-bit architecture and have it, would be well-served if they could learn where the sticky points are. I don't want to spend my time nudging early post-beta releases of Ubuntu, but I also don't want my 6GB systems forced back to 4GB. And I am always grumpy when I feel compelled to use more than one version of an O/S, as I do at the moment: 10.4 on my 32-bit machines, 9.10 on my 64-bit machines.

Alan Pope ㋛ (popey) wrote :

Just to clear up some misinformation. It _is_ possible to address more than 3.2GB on a 32-bit install of Ubuntu.

If you perform a clean install of 9.10 or 10.04 it should detect that you have more than 3.2GB of RAM and install a kernel (PAE) which supports it.

If you upgraded your RAM after installing, or you installed an older version of Ubuntu and then upgraded, you might not have the PAE kernel installed. In that situation just install the package 'linux-image-generic-pae' to address all the available RAM in your computer.

http://packages.ubuntu.com/linux-image-generic-pae

This is a meta package which will pull in the latest PAE kernel for your release. Note this is the current one for Ubuntu 10.04 (Lucid):-

http://packages.ubuntu.com/lucid/linux-image-2.6.32-21-generic-pae

Note from the description: "Geared toward 32 bit desktop systems with more then 4GB RAM."

Note: On some computers this doesn't work, so 64-bit might be better for those people, but for many this does work.

ramorrismorris (morris-bob) wrote :

Alan - Thanks for reminding about PAE; certainly my "other than with tricky added hardware and software that is largely now irrelevant" is wrong as to "tricky" and "irrelevant", since the PAE kernels speak to both. Also, swapping quickly among running programs should be solved by PAE where it is supported. So only my point about a single program being restricted to 4GB is probably relevant. Apologies for so much noise to say that.

Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

64bit has other advantages than just RAM usage. Media encoding is one example and with the inclusion of PiTiVi in 10.04 I would think that would be something users would take advantage of.

SDonatas (sdonatas) wrote :

Ok, lets assume it is a marketing stuff. I guess a majority of new Ubuntu users firstly need an easy explanation about OS choice, and also 32 bit Ubuntu is after all easier to use for new Ubuntu users. And, yes, when I did use 32 bit Ubuntu version on 4 GB machine, there were no issues about RAM support, because PEA kernel was enabled automatically. I agree that those people who would benefit from 64 bit computing (video editing, encoding, ... etc.) would now what it is and will make their own decision. Also there are plenty of people who choice Linux just because they use older hardware, and they would need 32 bit. However it is a bit pity that the biggest effort still goes to 32 bit rather than 64 bit Ubuntu version, while at the same time mac OS x already benefits from 64 bit computing, because all of its applications were rewritten to take the full advantage of 64 bit computing.

p.s.
Some of you have mentioned difficulties with Adobe Flash. I would recommend not to install anything on non-native (32 bit flash) on 64 bit Ubuntu. There is adobe flash x64 beta, which doesn't need to be installed, you just need to copy one file (firefox plug-in from adobes labs site) into one of the file-system's folder (just google it, I'm sure you will find the solution). And who cares about flash anyway, apple just dumped flash and industry will follow the lead as usual. HTML5 works much better than flash, no crashes, smooth scrolling, one rich fully integrated mark-up language. Lets hope Firefox will be introduced to Ubuntu with HTML5 support, or Chromium will be tweaked to become standard Ubuntu browser.

Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

p.s. HTML5 != video without flash. Both HTML5 and Flash have diverse feature sets, a lot of which don't overlap. Even if overnight Youtube and every other video site on the planet switched to <video> using WebM, Flash would still be around for things like games and full flash websites.
Also, as right of right now NO Browser has 100% HTML5 support because it's currently impossible to do so. The spec is a work in progress and isn't finalized yet.

goto (gotolaunchpad) wrote :

So, is ubuntu no longer suitable as an OS for modern PCs? I was about to download Ubuntu 64-bit, but the warning scared me off completely.

David Clayton (dcstar) wrote :

Just too hard to read the comments, eh?

Ioannis Vranos (cppdeveloper) wrote :

I changed the bug status so as it gets attention. This is a major issue. The description needs to be fixed, or clarified why Ubuntu 10.04 x64 is "Not recommended for daily desktop usage".

Changed in ubuntu-website:
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Roy Jamison (xteejx) wrote :

Well what you have done in effect is lower the status, and even though I am Bug Control I do not have the ability to change it back to the proper, and higher 'Triaged' status. Please leave these things alone unless you have read the triaging guides and are a member of the required groups, i.e. Bug Squad or Bug Control. Thank you.
I will try to get hold of Chris to see if he can change it back.

Changed in ubuntu-website:
status: Confirmed → Triaged
Chris Johnston (cjohnston) wrote :

This bug is currently being further investigated by the website team to determine if it is something that should be changed, and if so, how it should be changed. There are a number of reasons that are valid both for it being changed and not being changed. Points have already been made for reasons to change it. I will make a few points for reasons not to change it. Please note: I'm not saying I agree with not changing it, I am only providing the other side of the coin.

 - A 32 bit install will work on a 64 bit machine. A 64 bit install will not work on a 32 bit machine.
 - 32 bit machines are still being sold in retail stores, so it is more than just phasing out the machines that are currently out there.
 - Possible issues with flash and firefox, and possibly even other applications when running 64 bit.
 - Possible issues with drivers when running 64 bit.

Please be assured that a solution is trying to be found, but know that it may not come as quickly as some would like. For the time being, please do not change the status of this bug as it is currently set at its correct status. I will try to keep this bug updated if there are any changes as research is done.

oldos2er (oldos2er) wrote :

 There's such a thing as consistency.

 I understand these reasons. " - A 32 bit install will work on a 64 bit machine. A 64 bit install will not work on a 32 bit machine. - 32 bit machines are still being sold in retail stores, so it is more than just phasing out the machines that are currently out there. - Possible issues with flash and firefox, and possibly even other applications when running 64 bit. - Possible issues with drivers when running 64 bit." and it would've made sense if they'd been on the page since day one. But the "not recommended" text is barely one month old.

 If one visits ubuntuforums.org, specifically looking for the 64-bit users forum, one will find it has been closed for months with the message "The closure of this forums is based on the fact that 64 bit Ubuntu has matured and there are very few 64 bit specific issues."

 Two seemingly official messages, 180 degrees apart.

On Thu, 2010-06-10 at 21:05 +0000, Chris Johnston wrote:
> This bug is currently being further investigated by the website team to
> determine if it is something that should be changed, and if so, how it
> should be changed. There are a number of reasons that are valid both for
> it being changed and not being changed. Points have already been made
> for reasons to change it. I will make a few points for reasons not to
> change it. Please note: I'm not saying I agree with not changing it, I
> am only providing the other side of the coin.
>
> - A 32 bit install will work on a 64 bit machine. A 64 bit install will not work on a 32 bit machine.
> - 32 bit machines are still being sold in retail stores, so it is more than just phasing out the machines that are currently out there.
> - Possible issues with flash and firefox, and possibly even other applications when running 64 bit.
> - Possible issues with drivers when running 64 bit.
>
> Please be assured that a solution is trying to be found, but know that
> it may not come as quickly as some would like. For the time being,
> please do not change the status of this bug as it is currently set at
> its correct status. I will try to keep this bug updated if there are any
> changes as research is done.

Myself am using 9.10 x64, and was planning to move to 10.04 x64 around
October - however I currently have a test 10.04 x64 installation in a
virtual machine.

With 9.10 x64 in my system (laptop Acer Aspire 8920G with NVIDIA
graphics card), Firefox and Flash work OK always, ==> provided that
Appearance Preferences::Visual Effects is set to None.

If there are issues regarding the 64-bit version of Ubuntu 10.04, I
think it shouldn't be available for downloading, but 9.10 x64 should be
offered instead.

However this is up to Canonical to decide, I will not post any further
messages about this.

Just a puzzled user.

Best regards,

--
Ioannis Vranos

C95 / C++03 Software Developer

http://www.cpp-software.net

Rather than comment on the issues, here's a concrete suggestion of some replacement text for the page, to act as a strawman:

"The 32-bit version will run on a wider range of hardware and generally may experience fewer issues, so is a good choice if you want a system that Just Works.

The 64-bit version is only for 64-bit hardware. It may require some knowledge of the issues that can arise on such hardware. Choose it if you feel you will be able to cope but choose 32-bit if you think you may be out of your depth.

See [some suitable page] for a more detailed explanation of the difference between 32 and 64 bit software."

David Clayton (dcstar) wrote :

Apart from the irrelevant comments of what "issues" people *think* that 64-bit Ubuntu "might" have, the bare facts are that for any definition whatsoever of "Daily Desktop Usage" 64-bit Ubuntu 10.04 is more than suitable.

The particular issue of Flash is easily solved by installing the native 64-bit plugin, and any other issues of people not being able to install 32-bit only 3rd party applications by definition means that these particular users are NOT using Ubuntu for "Daily Desktop Usage".

The facts are that for "Daily Desktop Usage" 64-bit Ubuntu is more than suitable, there have been no valid reasons given in this thread to counter that, so why is that obviously erroneous and misleading statement still on the web site?

Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

@David Clayton
Funny you should mention the 64-bit flash plugin since as of yesterday, Adobe discontinued it.
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/64bit.html

So if 64-bit users are stuck with the 32-bit one via ndiswrapper isn't that better from Canonical's security standpoint?

Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

I meant nspluginwrapper

David Clayton (dcstar) wrote :

@Merk
Thanks to Adobe removing access to the 64-bit Flash Plugin, now the website statement is more true.

Having just done a test installing the 32-bit plugin on a fresh 64-bit system it is basically crap running inside Firefox (having all the problems other have reported), wiping it out and installing the "old" 64-bit RC plugin provides full Flash functionality.

Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

Yes Adobe doesn't currently make Flash for 64bit, but they don't make any of CS5 for Linux, so I guess Ubuntu as a whole shouldn't be recommended? Or more analogous, there is no Flash at all on iOS yet people have no problem with those devices.

Saying 64-bit is not recommended due to third party problems is a chicken and egg scenario:

Less people use 64-bit because of {insert issue like Flash}...
Maker of {issue like Flash} sees little need to hurry/start 64-bit development since there are so few users...
There are fewer users because of {insert issue like Flash}...
Maker of {issue like Flash} sees little need to hurry/start 64-bit development since there are so few users...

On Sun, 2010-06-13 at 01:29 +0000, David Clayton wrote:
> @Merk
> Thanks to Adobe removing access to the 64-bit Flash Plugin, now the website statement is more true.
>
> Having just done a test installing the 32-bit plugin on a fresh 64-bit
> system it is basically crap running inside Firefox (having all the
> problems other have reported), wiping it out and installing the "old"
> 64-bit RC plugin provides full Flash functionality.

I have Ubuntu 9.10 x64 installed, and I installed Ubuntu's 10.1.53.64
flash update.

After erasing .adobe directory in my home directory, flash plays out of
the box in my system.

I also have set System > Preferences > Appearance > Visual Effects to
None.

May anyone provide a link of a web page, where flash doesn't play in
Ubuntu x64, with the above setting?

Thanks,

--
Ioannis Vranos

C95 / C++03 Software Developer

http://www.cpp-software.net

Data structures in some scripting languages get quite a bit larger on 64-bit systems. Perl, for example, can grow quite alarmingly. If you don't actually NEED 64-bit (and most people do not), then a good case can be made that you should install 32-bit even on 64-bit capable hardware.

Matthew Nuzum (newz) on 2010-07-07
affects: ubuntu-website → ubuntu-website-content
Changed in ubuntu-website-content:
importance: Wishlist → Undecided
assignee: nobody → Birgit Oberlerchner (birgit-oberlerchner)
status: Triaged → Confirmed
Matthew Nuzum (newz) on 2010-07-08
Changed in ubuntu-website-content:
status: Confirmed → Won't Fix
Changed in ubuntu-website-content:
assignee: Birgit Oberlerchner (birgit-oberlerchner) → Gerry Carr (gerry-carr)
Gerry Carr (gerry-carr) on 2010-07-08
Changed in ubuntu-website-content:
status: Won't Fix → Opinion
Vistaus (djmusic121) on 2010-08-29
Changed in ubuntu-website-content:
status: Opinion → Confirmed
60 comments hidden view all 140 comments
Benjamin Drung (bdrung) wrote :

I know. I have been using this workaround for weeks. It will be uploaded to lucid-proposed and karmic-proposed, too.

Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

I realize it's an alpha, but Adobe released a new 64-bit version of their Flash player.
http://labs.adobe.com/technologies/flashplayer10/
Hopefully that will eventually put to rest those that claim Flash alone is a reason to have 64-bit "not recommended"

Soul-Sing (soulzing) wrote :

there is and was a Adobe flash alpha release for 1,5 years for 64 bit linux systems, it is not a recent dev.!
this release performed well imo.

Alan Bell (alanbell) wrote :

I would say this is fixed, for the release candidate of Maverick the text reads:

PC (Intel x86) alternate install CD
    For almost all PCs. This includes most machines with Intel/AMD/etc type processors and almost all computers that run Microsoft Windows, as well as newer Apple Macintosh systems based on Intel processors. Choose this if you are at all unsure.
64-bit PC (AMD64) alternate install CD
    Choose this to take full advantage of computers based on the AMD64 or EM64T architecture (e.g., Athlon64, Opteron, EM64T Xeon, Core 2). If you have a non-64-bit processor made by AMD, or if you need full support for 32-bit code, use the Intel x86 images instead.

Changed in ubuntu-website-content:
status: Confirmed → Fix Committed
Jacob Peddicord (jpeddicord) wrote :

With all respect, Alan, this is about the text on http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download which reads "64-bit - Not recommended for daily desktop usage" and nothing to do with the RC image pages, which have been the same for many releases.

Changed in ubuntu-website-content:
status: Fix Committed → Confirmed
Alan Bell (alanbell) wrote :

bother, you are quite right, I saw that and thought it was new text that would follow the RC into production.

Selenia (samuraihell666) wrote :

Seriously, you guys need to get moving and change this. I decided to go with Kubuntu for a new desktop, but was pondering the possibility of Ubuntu and opened up the download page. I have been using Linux for many years and seeing that message next to 64-bit almost made me consider another distro, as there is no way I would run 32-bit on a Core i7 with 8GB of RAM. That is, until I researched it and found it to just be utter BS. Imagine what a relative newbie who wants to unleash the power of their system might do. That's right! They will likely move along, if they have any concept of 32-bit vs 64-bit(most at least know more is usually better). Anyways, I did end up installing the Kubuntu CD I had already made for a laptop before. As usual, no problems. Just the usual 32-bit compiled programs needing some libs(big deal). Maybe a link next to the download explaining the potential complications(not running on 32-bit machines, needing some extra libs yada, yada) might be in order. However, how it reads now definitely gives the wrong impression, even to a long-time *nix user. I actually did think maybe a serious bug was found in 64-bit, by the way that read.

Matthew Nuzum (newz) wrote :

The wording is being changed for 10.10 release day. It is going to be something like:
[ x ] 32 bit (recommended)
[ ] 64 bit

The reason is that we want people to have a great experience even if they read nothing and just hit the giant orange "download button." All form fields are defaulted so that people will get a sane and usable experience without having to make a decision.

Let me re-iterate that there are two separate conversations going on here:

 1. The website pushes people to 32bit in a way that bothers some
 2. 32bit Ubuntu desktop is or isn't simpler to run and configure for new users than 64bit Ubuntu

This bug is about point #1. If you want to make 64bit Ubuntu better or discuss anything related to point #2 than this bug is not the place to discuss it.

Changed in ubuntu-website-content:
status: Confirmed → In Progress
Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

Would "explain to the user the difference between 32bit and 64bit" and/or "explain to the user WHY 32 is by default" be for this bug since I mentioned both in the original description?

Soul-Sing (soulzing) wrote :

#2 is related to #1, because members do seek a reason/reasons why its (the "warning") on the website at all. The reason should be explained imo. Without an explanation, members speculate for reasons that make sense.

Matthew Nuzum (newz) wrote :

Merk: for users who wish to know there is ample opportunity for them to read or enquire. A good web page decides what it's purpose in life is and then does that with excellence. This web page's purpose is to deliver Ubuntu to its users. Explaining about 32bit and 64bit is not this page's purpose. More text and more decisions do not make a web-page better.

Maybe what should be done is either a new page is created or this page is updated: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/32bit_and_64bit to explain the things to consider when choosing between 32b and 64b. It would need to start out in a non-technical fashion and be broadly understandable and erring in the side of caution. For those interested in helping with this, a draft can be made at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Website/Content/HelpMeChooseArch

Then a "help me choose" link can be placed on the download page.

Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

A separate link (which is linked on the download page) is fine. I didn't mean that it should all be explaned on the download page.
The only issue with linking to the wiki is it currently reads:

"What should I choose - 32 or 64 bit?
Unless you have specific reasons to choose 32-bit, we recommend 64-bit. "

So a user will see on ubuntu.com/download "32 bit (recommended)", yet should they look into more info, they'll see the opposite, recommending 64bit.

If, instead, a new page is created, it could then spell out why 32bit is recommended. So far throughout this bug the only reason I've seen is Flash.

Download full text (3.4 KiB)

Hello to you all,
I'm CitizenKane - the originator of this question - and I would like to
thank you all for your continued concern.
Since I posed the question on the forum, I tried closing the discussion by
accepting the explanation that "getlibs" was a sufficient answer to run 32
bit apps on the 64bit Ubuntu as a technical precaution.
However ...
Since I have downloaded the 64bit and installed it as a dual boot on my Dell
Desktop (8gb ram, 1gb Nvidia graphics, 1 tb HD) I have experiences some
major hardware difficulties and OS glitches.
After installing the Nvidia proprietary drivers for Linux, it has difficulty
maintaining dual monitor displays and 1080p resolution and will default to
single, basic resolution unless I reactivate the X display.
I have a 7.1 surround theater speaker system which it does not recognize.
Program gltches such as Orca speech /w Speech Distributor engine has no
'Betty', ....
So far, the experience could be described as 'Malfunction Junction' - so -
until these bugs are worked out, I suggest to continue with even a stronger
warning and explanation for 64bit.
Thanks for your continued interest,

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matthew Nuzum" <email address hidden>
To: <email address hidden>
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 7:03 AM
Subject: [Bug 585940] Re: Text reads "not recommended" for 64-bit

The wording is being changed for 10.10 release day. It is going to be
something like:
[ x ] 32 bit (recommended)
[ ] 64 bit

The reason is that we want people to have a great experience even if
they read nothing and just hit the giant orange "download button." All
form fields are defaulted so that people will get a sane and usable
experience without having to make a decision.

Let me re-iterate that there are two separate conversations going on
here:

 1. The website pushes people to 32bit in a way that bothers some
 2. 32bit Ubuntu desktop is or isn't simpler to run and configure for new
users than 64bit Ubuntu

This bug is about point #1. If you want to make 64bit Ubuntu better or
discuss anything related to point #2 than this bug is not the place to
discuss it.

** Changed in: ubuntu-website-content
       Status: Confirmed => In Progress

--
Text reads "not recommended" for 64-bit
https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/585940
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of the bug.

Status in Ubuntu Website Content: In Progress

Bug description:
On http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download it shows the options
for 32bit and 64bit

32-bit - Recommended for most users
64-bit - Not recommended for daily desktop usage

Why is 64-bit not recommended? I've used it for years and aside from
netbooks (whose users would most likely choose UNE) I don't know if any
computer released in the last few years that doesn't support 64-bit.

Unlike Microsoft's webpage for Windows 7, Ubuntu.com doesn't even an
explanation as to the differences between 32 and 64-bit operating systems,
nor how a user could tell if they can run it.
Apple even shows 64-bit as a positive bullet point in its Snow Leopard, why
is Ubuntu treating 64-bit like a beta?

I understand there should be some precauti...

Read more...

Merk, it is never as easy as it appears on the surface. :-(

We don't recommend 64bit on desktops when the simplest user experience is desired. We DO recommend 64bit on servers (it is checked by default there).

Mark Curtis (merkinman) wrote :

How does 32bit provide "the simplest user experience"?
That doesn't necessarily have to be answered here, though I would like it to be. Instead, if that's Canonical's reasoning for recommending 32 over 64 then explain it to the user on that new/edited comparison page.

Seriously ...
I think it is more than just wording or the Microsoft way of deflecting
attention to problems.
My first dual boot was back in 2001 with RedHat ... heck, I've even loaded a
router module on floppy and ran it on an old 486 for a homemade router. I've
been a developer just as long and I TOTALLY agree with the author of this
recent article - http://www.asymco.com/2010/09/29/unixs-revenge/

but, if Ubuntu is to take it's rightful pace on users desktops, then these
issues have to be addresses and resolved in an open and traditionally Linux
successful way - not swept under

----- Original Message -----
From: "Matthew Nuzum" <email address hidden>
To: <email address hidden>
Sent: Monday, October 04, 2010 8:15 AM
Subject: [Bug 585940] Re: Text reads "not recommended" for 64-bit

Merk, it is never as easy as it appears on the surface. :-(

We don't recommend 64bit on desktops when the simplest user experience
is desired. We DO recommend 64bit on servers (it is checked by default
there).

--
Text reads "not recommended" for 64-bit
https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/585940
You received this bug notification because you are a direct subscriber
of the bug.

Status in Ubuntu Website Content: In Progress

Bug description:
On http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download it shows the options
for 32bit and 64bit

32-bit - Recommended for most users
64-bit - Not recommended for daily desktop usage

Why is 64-bit not recommended? I've used it for years and aside from
netbooks (whose users would most likely choose UNE) I don't know if any
computer released in the last few years that doesn't support 64-bit.

Unlike Microsoft's webpage for Windows 7, Ubuntu.com doesn't even an
explanation as to the differences between 32 and 64-bit operating systems,
nor how a user could tell if they can run it.
Apple even shows 64-bit as a positive bullet point in its Snow Leopard, why
is Ubuntu treating 64-bit like a beta?

I understand there should be some precaution since the user may have a
computer that doesn't run 64-bit, but I think the wording "not recommended
for daily desktop usage" is poor.

To unsubscribe from this bug, go to:
https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu-website-content/+bug/585940/+subscribe

I've created this page as per Matt's comment #111:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/Website/Content/HelpMeChooseArch

I don't consider it final, but focused on 3 things:
- Making sure people understand which installer works where
- Linking to known 64-bit issues in the releases notes
- Having consistency between the download page and release/cdimages pages

In my duties as a support analyst I am updating & reviewing the release notes here:
https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MaverickMeerkat/TechnicalOverview#64-bit

I hope this helps advance resolution of this bug, we only have a few days until release.

Bilal Akhtar (bilalakhtar) wrote :

The maverick website update brings a drop-down box that has two options:
32-bit (recommended)
64-bit

As we can see, 32-bit is still being recommended above, but nothing about the 64-bit version is being mentioned. Hence, I think this is fixed now.

Changed in ubuntu-website-content:
status: In Progress → Fix Released
Olli Niemi (olliniem) wrote :

I've been testing the default flash plugin in Maverick/64bit desktop (the plugin it suggests to install when first starting to browse flash content). It works much better than in Lucid when Lucid was introduced. Occasional lockups and browser killing is necessary if doing something CPU intensive at the same time and the focus is not in the browser. But anyway much better than previously.

On Thu, 2010-10-14 at 06:42 +0000, Olli Niemi wrote:
> I've been testing the default flash plugin in Maverick/64bit desktop
> (the plugin it suggests to install when first starting to browse flash
> content). It works much better than in Lucid when Lucid was introduced.
> Occasional lockups and browser killing is necessary if doing something
> CPU intensive at the same time and the focus is not in the browser. But
> anyway much better than previously.

Have you tested the flash plugin which is available through Synaptic?

I am using Ubuntu 10.04.1 x64 currently, and I am interested in this.

Thanks,

--
Ioannis Vranos

http://www.cpp-software.net

I do not agree with SDonatas who states : "From present marketing perspective, maybe for new users 32 bit version would be better, just because it is less buggy (at least some people say, but I not feel that) and for 32 bit versions it is easy to install native codecs, flash, adobe air, restricted extras etc, But 64 bit is the future and therefore strategically this version is more important"

I totally disagree : I much prefer honesty than misleading marketing one-liners.. Because here, you are putting the "manufacturer" or its marketing strategy at the center of interest, not the end-user. Remember that since several years, we've evolved to a "customer-centric" paradigm... Thus, I understand the reasons as Matthew Nuzum states "We don't recommend 64bit on desktops when the simplest user experience is desired". And I would add "when such a configuration would work flawlessly for any type of system, more over when assuming that many of the average desktop "John-Doe" user will not really know about its own system capability". As such, even "marketing-wise" it's better to recommend the 32bit version since it removes potential hassles and bad user experiences...

However I MUST agree with the dilemma in regards to the wording itself : even if the "not recommended" has been removed near the 64bit selection, the word "recommended" cannot be used for the 32bit OS, since for many users having more than 4GB RAM, it's just a VERY bad recommendation (who would appreciate an OS ditching several Gig$ of RAM or CPU potential - and thus the user's money - in the toilet?)... IMHO, a LINK should be provided near this "recommendation" so as to clarify any doubt.

Here's what such a "recommendation" could fall down to : if you [have or need or plan to have] more than 3GB RAM (say you often use GIMP or video encoding/creation tools), AND you have a 64bit processor AND you don't use a specific program known to have bugs under a 64bit OS, then go for that 64bit OS version. Else, or if you don't know ziltch about the later, you should stick with a 32bit OS.

Download full text (3.7 KiB)

Actually the 32-bit version uses PAE, which is sufficient for home users:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Physical_Address_Extension,

however 32-bit Ubuntu, still has its limitations, and is not the
native format for 64-bit processors.

On Thu, Jun 16, 2011 at 12:55 AM, HawkFest <email address hidden> wrote:
> I do not agree with SDonatas who states : "From present marketing
> perspective, maybe for new users 32 bit version would be better, just
> because it is less buggy (at least some people say, but I not feel that)
> and for 32 bit versions it is easy to install native codecs, flash,
> adobe air, restricted extras etc, But 64 bit is the future and therefore
> strategically this version is more important"
>
> I totally disagree : I much prefer honesty than misleading marketing
> one-liners.. Because here, you are putting the "manufacturer" or its
> marketing strategy at the center of interest, not the end-user. Remember
> that since several years, we've evolved to a "customer-centric"
> paradigm... Thus, I understand the reasons as Matthew Nuzum states "We
> don't recommend 64bit on desktops when the simplest user experience is
> desired". And I would add "when such a configuration would work
> flawlessly for any type of system, more over when assuming that many of
> the average desktop "John-Doe" user will not really know about its own
> system capability". As such, even "marketing-wise" it's better to
> recommend the 32bit version since it removes potential hassles and bad
> user experiences...
>
> However I MUST agree with the dilemma in regards to the wording itself :
> even if the "not recommended" has been removed near the 64bit selection,
> the word "recommended" cannot be used for the 32bit OS, since for many
> users having more than 4GB RAM, it's just a VERY bad recommendation (who
> would appreciate an OS ditching several Gig$ of RAM or CPU potential -
> and thus the user's money - in the toilet?)... IMHO, a LINK should be
> provided near this "recommendation" so as to clarify any doubt.
>
> Here's what such a "recommendation" could fall down to : if you [have or
> need or plan to have] more than 3GB RAM (say you often use GIMP or video
> encoding/creation tools), AND you have a 64bit processor AND you don't
> use a specific program known to have bugs under a 64bit OS, then go for
> that 64bit OS version. Else, or if you don't know ziltch about the
> later, you should stick with a 32bit OS.
>
> --
> You received this bug notification because you are subscribed to the bug
> report.
> https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/585940
>
> Title:
>  Text reads "not recommended" for 64-bit
>
> Status in Ubuntu Website Content:
>  Fix Released
>
> Bug description:
>  On http://www.ubuntu.com/desktop/get-ubuntu/download  it shows the
>  options for 32bit and 64bit
>
>  32-bit - Recommended for most users
>  64-bit - Not recommended for daily desktop usage
>
>  Why is 64-bit not recommended? I've used it for years and aside from
>  netbooks (whose users would most likely choose UNE) I don't know if
>  any computer released in the last few years that doesn't support
>  64-bit.
>
>  Unlike Microsoft's webpage for Windows 7, Ubuntu.com doesn't ...

Read more...

Having just done a fresh install of 11.04 64-bit (where everything worked "out of the box" I find any excuses to use 32-bit invalid.

Has *anyone* saying that 32-bit is better actually have any recent experience to back this view up, or are they all just lame out of date excuses based on what was and not what actually is?

Phuah Yee Keat (ykphuah) wrote :

If the reason is to prevent people with 32bit machines having problems with the 64bit Ubuntu, then the specific download button for the specific certified hardware that we can confirm is 64 bit, like mine
http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/hardware/201004-5571

should recommend to download 64 bit instead?

description: updated
summary: - Text reads "not recommended" for 64-bit
+ Misinformation when intended to download the 64-bit edition
description: updated
summary: - Misinformation when intended to download the 64-bit edition
+ Misinformation when intending to download the 64-bit edition

Consider changing the state of this bug, since the released solution doesn't properly address it.

joy23 (shakespear-joy) wrote :

Solution for this is just changed of text nothing more

32 bit (should work on all systems)

64 bit (for compatible computers)
             ---------

Developers should concentrate more on 64 bit computers as lot of the public around are going for it.
The next realease should be able to address such issues. Only when people get stable 64 bit OSes will they even think of shifting also only then will other companies come out with things compatible for 64 bit

AFAIK adobe already has a 64 bit flash ready
java too has shifted to 64 bit.
Hopefully both of them are ready with 64 bit next gen plugins
firefox is already on forefront with new nightlys coming out.

64 bit is definitely better than 32 bit unless 32 bit offers specific speed enhancements for a particular need.
Even win 7 x64 was received by a lot of people just because everything seemed to go faster .
amount of ram will only increase in coming future.
so better to have a 64 bit version comparable in stability to 32 bit version.
In future we could see
32 bit
64 bit (recommended)

Felix Pahl (joriki27) wrote :

This bug should be reopened. The problem described in the original bug description has been somewhat mitigated, but the more serious problem on which the current bug description focuses remains the same: The download page offers no information whatsoever for the reasons behind this recommendation. That makes a *very* bad impression. I just spent half an hour trawling through outdated forum threads before I found this bug thread -- wasted time that could have been saved by a simple link on the download page providing the reasons behind the somewhat surprising recommendation not to use the newest technology.

This bug is blocked right now and no user can reopen it.

YannUbuntu (yannubuntu) wrote :

32bit iso systematically fails on UEFI computers, and the only way to use Ubuntu on such computers is to use the 64-bit iso.

As UEFI is becoming a standard and very common since 2010, 32bit iso should NOT be recommended for recent computers.

See bug #1068648

Dave Sims (drmrgd) wrote :

This bug report needs to be re-opened, or the bug needs to be fixed. I can't count the number of times a user has downloaded the 32-bit version because it's 'recommended', and only after wasting hours trying figure out why UEFI wouldn't work realized that 32-bit doesn't support it. Even worse scenario is the user who spends a lot of time setting up their system only to find out that their total amount of memory wasn't supported by 32-bit, again because of a recommendation that's not based on anything related to their system. If they see recommended, they're going to assume that there was some data (a system scan or something) that supports the claim. This really should be fixed soon.

oldos2er (oldos2er) wrote :

It's really shameful this bug hasn't YET been fixed. I just now answered yet another post in ubuntuforums.org from a potential new user, asking whether they should install 64- or 32-bit.

bwat47 (bwat47) wrote :

If anything it should be changed to recommending 64-bit, as these days only people with legacy hardware should be using 32-bit. There are no longer issues with flash and such, it all works fine with 64 bit now.

Colin O'Brien (insanitybit) wrote :

Still 32bit.

There are two options:
 It should present 64bit as default, or show them side by side with a "Don't know which one to choose? Click here!", giving instructions to determine whether you're running 32bit or 64bit.

32bit is less secure, 32bit can't address as much RAM, and 64bit systems are beginning to outnumber 32bit if they have not overtaken them already.

oldos2er (oldos2er) wrote :

"Fix Released" but nothing on the download page's changed yet?

Tanya Edwards (tanya-edwards) wrote :

The review of these pages will be done as part of the 13.04 release. All your comments will be taken on board. Hopefully you will see an improvement to the page in 13.04 release.

oldos2er (oldos2er) wrote :

This bug is going on three years old! Do you know how many posts (since May 2010) on ubuntuforums.org have asked what is wrong with 64-bit Ubuntu that it is not recommended? And if something's wrong with 64-bit, how can 32-bit be much better?

"Hopefully" a warning will appear directing UEFI users away from 32-bit.

Hi all

I am looking for direction on what the best approach to this may be. I agree with all the comments about 64bit, but how would we direct novice users to the correct version? As expert users, it is easy to choose the 64-bit where it is needed. For novices, who may not know what the difference is, or what their computer supports, 32bit is safer to recommend as it will work on both 32 and 64 bit machines.

I am really interested in how we could solve this problem. Could we provide novice users with the information that need to figure out what is best for them without being overly technical? Is Colin's approach (post 133) the best solution?

Amrit

Alan Bell (alanbell) wrote :

Amrit, are you in a position to work on this? There is a discussion on ubuntu-devel list about it that you might like to join in. Personally I would recommend novice users just use the 64bit CD. This way it will work on modern computers with EFI or BIOS and anything back to the very early Atom netbooks (N200 series, the first round of netbooks). Anything it doesn't work on is way below the recommended spec anyway. Expert users who want to get something up on a really old (pre 2006) computer can choose the 32 bit option if they want - but their machine is not going to give a good experience if it doesn't have hardware 3d and ends up doing unity with llvmpipe. In short, we don't run well on anything that can't do 64 bit so novices should not be going for 32 bit at all.

Tanya Edwards (tanya-edwards) wrote :

Amrit, Alan
As posted above, we (WebTeam inlcuding Amrit) will address this as part of the next release. This will be handled as part of a 'project' and no longer managed through this bug.
Many thanks.

oldos2er (oldos2er) wrote :

It would appear this bug is fixed, and it only took three years! :)
Thank you for finally acting on this.

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