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I have heard mixed stories about 64 Linux implementations, especially about the availability of bug free hardware drivers, and applications. I am therefore not sure to jump in the 64 bit world now, or wait a few years until most bugs have been fixed by others and reinstall the server in a few years. The server will mainly run the standard webserver tools, i.e. PHP, Perl, Apache and MySQL.
Anyone here with firsthand experience wants to share his knowledge?
What do you have on your server that you need a special driver for? It's not like you have scanners and some weird graphic card, etc.
There are some moderate to quite annoying hassles when running a 64-bit desktop for development use. (64-bit browsers and Eclipse, specifically.)
But for a server - LAMP is no problem, certainly.
The only concern I might have is if you have a Java server-side environment.
Ironic that the "runs anywhere" Java platform is where most of tghe 64-bit troubles lie.
(I run 64-bit Fedora 8 in a development environment.)
Unless there was a pressing reason to do so, in retrospect I'd stick with 32 bit until everyone else has moved ahead of me and the default install becomes 64 bit.
That makes two votes for and one against.
This server will run the basic web stuff, Apache, MySQL and PHP. Later on when the database grows, the Apache part will move to a seperate server and this beast will do only the database part. There is no special hardware or non-standard stuff planned in the server that could make the installation difficult. The main issue is that when the project gets big, a large amount of memory may needed for the database to cache and the random way of access I need to the data benefits heavily if all data fits in RAM.
Based on your input I will go for the 64 bit install. There is now still time to play a few days with library problems. That is better than when the project is running at full speed and a 32 to 64 upgrade is needed to convert a heavily used system.
The Fedora Eclipse release is evil, at least on 64-bit.
No more crashes, and it's FASTER to boot. The 32-bit Sun runtime runs code faster than the IcedTea pre-compiled version that comes with the Fedora distribution.
Other than Eclipse, I haven't encountered a single 64-bit-related problem.
(A little trouble with the stock Eclipse, due to running enforcing seLinux, but that's not a 64-bit issue.)
(You can get plain-Jane 64-bit and use a Sun 64-bit runtime, but some plugins don't support 64 bit, period.)
I installed the newest CentOS 5.1 which was relased only a few months ago. The only problem I encountered was that HP didn't have a driver available for download on their website for CentOS/Redhat 5 for the embedded SATA RAID controller of this server, but after one telephone call to their support department they sent me the driver by email. And that wasn't a 64 bit issue. Both the drivers for 32 and 64 bit werent released in the open yet.