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Google Chrome For Linux Goes 64-bit

CmdrTaco posted more than 5 years ago | from the you-really-only-need-three dept.

Google 168

Noam.of.Doom writes "The Google Chrome developers announced on August 19th the immediate availability of a new version of the Google Chrome web browser for Linux, Windows and Macintosh operating systems. Google Chrome 4.0.202.2 is here to fix a lot of annoying bugs (see below for details) and it also adds a couple of features only for the Mac platform. However, the good news is that Dean McNamee, one of the Google Chrome engineers, announced yesterday on their mailing list that a working port of the Chrome browser for 64-bit platforms is now available: 'The v8 team did some amazing work this quarter building a working 64-bit port. After a handful of changes on the Chromium side, I've had Chromium Linux building on 64-bit for the last few weeks. I believe mmoss or tony is going to get a buildbot running, and working on packaging.' Until today, Google Chrome was available on both 32- and 64-bit architectures, but it appears that the latter was running based on the 32-bit libraries. Therefore, starting with Google Chrome 4.0.202.2, 64-bit users can enjoy a true x64 version!"

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What a waste of resources (5, Funny)

BadAnalogyGuy (945258) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163613)

Come on. This is Linux, not some WIMPy GUI-based OS like Winders or Suckintosh.

I run the results of wget through a custom Perl script and then parse the results and feed image URLs back through wget and into libjpeg.

Why do I need a bloated web browser when I have such an elegant Unix solution?

Re:What a waste of resources (4, Funny)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164613)

This is a really bad analogy, guy.

Re:What a waste of resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29165155)

it's not an analogy, stupid

Re:What a waste of resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29165185)

* woosh *

Re:What a waste of resources (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165197)

I run the results of wget through a custom Perl script and then parse the results and feed image URLs back through wget and into libjpeg. Why do I need a bloated web browser when I have such an elegant Unix solution?

Ah ha! I always suspected that RMS read Slashdot. Now my suspicions are confirmed. [lwn.net] :-)

Re:What a waste of resources (1)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165511)

That's an imposter. RMS would never use libjpeg when he can just mail a hard copy of the binary out to an assistant who will send him a photograph back.

Re:What a waste of resources (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165299)

Gay. So gay.

Chromium Not Chrome (5, Informative)

thejapanesegeek (1010005) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163619)

"Google Chrome" has not been released on the Linux platform yet. From the about:linux-splash on my chromium install:

Chromium [google.com] is an open source browser project. Google Chrome [google.com] is a browser from Google, based on the Chromium project.

And "Chromium" still doesn't have things like flash and printing, at least not in a stable, usable form.

Re:Chromium Not Chrome (5, Informative)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163687)

Wrong. While still 'un-official', a developer preview of Google Chrome for Linux has been out for a long time, freely available. Link [chromium.org] .

Privacy Issues Disclaimer (4, Interesting)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163893)

Some quick research revealed that there are some missing features with regard to privacy [google.com] that stopped me from checking it out :-( YMMV.

Re:Privacy Issues Disclaimer (1)

MrHanky (141717) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164429)

That page is a bit outdated. Incognito mode certainly does provide visual cues that indicate when it's in use. It's actually the only thing I use Google Chrome for, and it seems to work.

Re:Privacy Issues Disclaimer (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164693)

I'm just curious, so I ask. I have never had a need for it. Why is incognito mode so important to you? When exactly do you use it?

Re:Privacy Issues Disclaimer (1)

ultrabot (200914) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165127)

I'm just curious, so I ask. I have never had a need for it. Why is incognito mode so important to you? When exactly do you use it?

Surely you jest. Adult entertainment.

Re:Chromium Not Chrome (1)

pizzach (1011925) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164759)

The build is labeled google-chrome-unstable_current_i386.deb from what I can see. Is a nightly really considered a genuine release? I just can't picture people saying the same thing of Firefox in the Firebird days.

Re:Chromium Not Chrome (1)

ChienAndalu (1293930) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163695)

I use this version [archlinux.org] and don't experience any problems with flash. Although I miss some plugins from firefox, chromium is much faster and I use it as my primary browser.

No One Cares What It's Called - It's Fucking Fast (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163713)

Google really hit a home run with Chrome on Linux.

It's as lighting quick on Linux as it is on Windows. And it's just as lighting quick days after heavy use unlike that outdated piece of crap Firefox.

What is puzzling about Chrome/Chromium on Linux is why Google made it look like modern desktop app and not the usual 'designed by a blind person with bad taste using Windows 95 UI widgets' that appears to be the standard.

Re:No One Cares What It's Called - It's Fucking Fa (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165237)

What is puzzling is that cross platform GUI toolkits have been available for 10 years or more, yet developers still insist on coding their own which looks and operates differently to everything else, wasting loads of RAM in the process.

Re:Chromium Not Chrome (4, Informative)

Jamamala (983884) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163767)

Chromium does have flash support if you start it with --enable-plugins. It works pretty well, although admittedly I haven't tested the latest 4.0 builds or the x64 version.

Re:Chromium Not Chrome (4, Informative)

pablomme (1270790) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163787)

And "Chromium" still doesn't have things like flash and printing, at least not in a stable, usable form.

Wrong about flash. Add '--enable-plugins' to chromium-browser's command line, and soft link the flash library into chromium's plugins directory (which they fail to tell you to do), e.g. in Ubuntu you would do:

  sudo ln -s /usr/lib/flashplugin-installer/libflashplayer.so /usr/lib/chromium-browser/plugins/

Works well, is stable and is usable, despite the warnings that it may melt your computer etc. Printing is still unavailable.

Re:Chromium Not Chrome (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164897)

You don't need the symlink anymore, the latest builds just work with the --enable-plugins flag

Re:Chromium Not Chrome (1, Redundant)

Mordok-DestroyerOfWo (1000167) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163833)

Wake me up when I can block ads, Flash, 3rd party cookies, and scripts. Until then it's just another browser.

Fucking Idiot (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163861)

No one give a fuck what shitty browser you still use.

Where the fuck do retards like you come up with the idea that anyone gives a fuck if you've upgraded to Chrome yet or not?

Re:Fucking Idiot (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163993)

as opposed to fucktards like you who like 'ooo new shiny'...

no one does give a fuck if they've upgraded to Chrome or not, but neither do we give a fuck about 'another browser' that has less useful features than what we use now.

You prick

Re:Fucking Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164263)

You will be dragged outside and beaten to a pulp, you filthy dog fucker.

Re:Fucking Idiot (1)

MrNaz (730548) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164369)

I wish there were a way to compare the average level of online discussion today with what it was about 20 years ago.

I used to complain that mainstream society ignored the Internet because its value was not recognized. Oh, how I now miss those days!

Re:Fucking Idiot (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164513)

Actually you can go look on google groups, it wasn't as great as you are remembering.

PS: KILL N1GG3RZ

Remind me why ad companies need installations? (4, Insightful)

qubezz (520511) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164311)

An advertising company wants to install software on your computer. They profit by data aggregation and accumulation by seeing where on the map you are interested in going, what friends you chat with, what all the files on your computer are and how you search for them, and oh, everything you look at on the internet. Click here to install.

Re:Remind me why ad companies need installations? (1)

operator_error (1363139) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165153)

They'll also provide you with free software that you can catalog all your images & videos, including facial recognition; and provide hosting.

And manage all your phone calls, and SMS, providing free transcription and search based off the transcription.

If you're a website operator, you can sign up for Google Analytics, then you can collect all the IP addresses, browser-type-info, etc. of your visitors and send that info to Google. When lots of Google Analytics website owning client/aggregators send in the IP addresses of their visitors too, Google has a pretty good idea where even people not using any google 'assets' are going; as your visitors' surf the web, without your visitors' knowledge or consent of this practice.

This is an ad company after all.

Wake up (2, Informative)

cecil_turtle (820519) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164323)

Chrome supports user scripts, and scripts for all of those things already exist. Check out http://www.adsweep.org/ [adsweep.org] for one. And it is still "just another browser" like Fx, Opera, IE, etc.

Re:Wake up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164401)

Due to lack of time, lack of technical support, and despite repeated requests with no feedback, I sadly had to discontinue the AdSweep project.

The "About" screen says it all: "Chrome 4.0.202.2" (1)

yet-another-lobbyist (1276848) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163987)

OK, I don't know a lot of background and politics of this all. I just downloaded and installed it (kubuntu jaunty 32bit). It works. Clicking on "About Google Chrome" in the settings pop-up menu (clicking the little wrench), it shows the "About" screen with the "Google Chrome" name. It mentions "made possible by the Chromium Open Source project...".
And, by the way: yes flash plugins can be enabled as described in the posts above. Testing a single youtube video it worked. However, the first flash ad on slashdot crashed! Remarkably, this didn't bring down the browser (still typing this post), just the ad (feature?). Looks like a nice programming job!

Re:Chromium Not Chrome (1)

Rinisari (521266) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164463)

Flash works great in Chromium for me. I've used it on YouTube, Scribd, and even some Flash-heavy movie and band web sites.

It works even better if you get the 64-bit version of Flash from labs.adobe.com.

Re:Chromium Not Chrome (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165187)

Wait, you visit scribd on purpose? I've been thinking how I can ban them (and a few others) from my google search results without typing -scribd every time.

!x64 (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163663)

Can we please remember that x64 is a nonsensical Microsoft marketing term? Even Microsoft uses amd64 internally (eg, check the downloadable file names here [microsoft.com] ). x86-64 is fine too.

Re:!x64 (3, Informative)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163773)

From Wikipedia [wikipedia.org] :

The terms x86-64 and x64 are often used as vendor-neutral terms to collectively refer to x86-64 processors from any company.

Re:!x64 (1, Insightful)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163917)

From common sense: Editing the wikipedia doesn't automagically change reality.

Re:!x64 (1)

NervousNerd (1190935) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163977)

The "The names x86-64 or x64 are sometimes used as vendor-neutral terms to collectively refer to the two nearly identical implementations." line has been included in the article since at least October 1st, 2006 [wikipedia.org] .

Re:!x64 (2, Interesting)

macshit (157376) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164147)

The "The names x86-64 or x64 are sometimes used as vendor-neutral terms to collectively refer to the two nearly identical implementations." line has been included in the article since at least October 1st, 2006 [wikipedia.org] .

What you quote as the "since 2006" phrasing is "sometimes used", which is certainly true (I've certainly heard people use the term "x64"), but the phrasing you originally used was "often used", which is a quite different. Personally I've only ever heard "x64" from microsofties, but it does seem fairly widespread there, at least in MS development.

If looking for a term which is generally understable, however, "x64" doesn't really work, as it seems to be in widespread use only in certain communities. "x86-64" is a bit better since it has an obvious connection with the term "x86", which is much more widespread than either of the others; so it stands a better chance of being understood even by someone who hasn't seen it before.

Re:!x64 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164421)

Yes, and it got there thanks to someone editing the page.

Re:!x64 (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165567)

The terms x86-64 and x64 are often used as vendor-neutral terms to collectively refer to x86-64 processors from any company.

For how many years has the "vendor-neutral" term been Intel compatible? It would only be fair to call this architecture for AMD compatible CPUs.

amazing work indeed (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163763)

It might have been amazing work to build a 64-bit port, but it's really a sign of shoddy coding for Chrome to have needed any porting at all. Any decent developer should have been writing 64-bit clean code since before Chrome was ever started.

Re:amazing work indeed (3, Insightful)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164197)

I believe it's the JIT engine for javascript, which by it's very nature needs to generate native code and is therefore not so simple to port. The rest of it should compile cleanly on 64, at least webkit does anyway.

Re:amazing work indeed (2, Insightful)

kamatsu (969795) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164587)

Right, so you're going to make a machine-code emitting JIT emit code that works on two different architectures without porting? wow! i'd love to see that.

chromium? (1)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163765)

I can't really see using a closed-source browser when there are plenty of perfectly good open-source ones available. I'd be interested in trying chromium (the open-source version of chrome), but the last time I checked, it didn't seem mature enough to want to mess with. When it shows up in the ubuntu repos, I'll certainly be interested in giving it a spin. The thing is, Firefox is very feature-rich, and I've gotten used to/dependent on a bunch of its features, including mathml, ad blocking, flash blocking, and emacs keybindings (the firemacs add-on). I can see how chrome or chromium could be fun to play with if you're interested in browsers as technology, but for everyday use, what's the attraction...?

Re:chromium? (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163815)

Speed. If you're running it on Ubuntu I'm not sure how noticable it will be, but on Windows it is so absurdly faster than any browser you've ever ran that you'll be amazed at what its capable of. Also true on Macs, but Safari4 is not much slower.

When you can keep the entire google suite open in tabs, with other rich web2.0 sites open at the same time and have none of them be any less responsive than a desktop app would be, it really changes how you view the web.

On top of that the tab seperation is a killer feature in and of itself. If you're playing a flash game in one tab and click a link on irc that crashes in another tab, the first tab is completely unaffected.

The only thing still missing is a good addon engine, but for day to day browsing I just can not go back to Gecko, and thats after using Gecko since the days of Mozilla M11.

Re:chromium? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163829)

It isn't closed-source

Re:chromium? (4, Insightful)

rumith (983060) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163831)

You have been misinformed. Aside from the Google Update aka Omaha, Google branding and RLZ tracking (http://niichavo.wordpress.com/2009/04/03/construction-complete/ [slashdot.org] ">source), it's still the same:

Chromium is the name we have given to the open source project and the browser source code that we released and maintain at www.chromium.org. One can compile this source code to get a fully working browser. Google takes this source code, and adds on the Google name and logo, an auto-updater system called GoogleUpdate, and RLZ (described later in this post), and calls this Google Chrome.

It's like calling Firefox proprietary because you've been shipped an actual binary that uses their TM'd logo, not the one you'd get by default when compiling it from source. And the auto-update mechanism is Windows-only as far as I know (my Debian install of Chrome correctly integrates into the APT system, as it should be) so it shouldn't worry you a lot if you're an Ubuntu user.

Re:chromium? (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163847)

Ouch, sorry. Bad link. Here's [chromium.org] . the correct one.

Serious question (4, Interesting)

Thatmushroom (447396) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163785)

Can someone explain the particular benefits of having a 64-bit browser? I particularly appreciate the fact that Firefox currently can't hog all of my RAM when something (oftentimes Flash) spirals out of control. Do web developers use memory beyond the 4 gig limit, and is this a godsend for them?

Re:Serious question -- Possible explanation (1)

bogaboga (793279) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163851)

In cases like these Wikipedia is always your friend. Never forget! Have a read. [wikipedia.org]

Re:Serious question -- Possible explanation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163985)

Except, Wikipedia doesn't answer his question. In fact, the word "Browser" isn't used once anywhere in the link you provided. He wants to know what specific advantages there are to using a 64-bit browser. You are quick on the draw, but next time be sure the gun is loaded.

Re:Serious question (1)

Lennie (16154) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163887)

I think it's because 32-bit "Intel Architecture" does not have as much registers available, but AMD64 does. So the compiler has more registers it can use. I guess a lot of 32-bit applications need to use 32-bit libraries, although from summary I gather it didn't need that.

I could be wrong ofcourse.

Re:Serious question (4, Interesting)

faragon (789704) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164637)

Cons:

- The benefit from passing from 8 to 16 general purpose registers is very little, and often, counterproductive, as total "true registers", the ones used for register renaming in OoOE [wikipedia.org] remain the same, so with twice the general purpose registers, you halve the renaming register pool. That was specially noticeable in firsts AMD64 CPUs, and *very* noticeable on Intel Pentium D CPUs (Pentium 4 with x64 support and other minor changes), acusing of insufficient register pool volume for the OoOE operation in x64 mode. Newer CPUs, having a higher pool of registers, have less impact when executing x64 code.

- Memory and data cache wasting: Pointers take 64 bits, so unles you're doing your own memory management, with 32-bit offsets instead of using the bulk 64-bit space for adresses, you're wasting more memory, and what is worst: higher data cache usage for the same purpose, with unnecessary CPU-RAM bus overload (remember that OoOE implies data fetching! -imagine a contiguous 32 64-bit pointer vector, taking 2048 bits instead of the 1024 bits that it would take with 32-bit pointers-).

Pros:

However, for some things there is true benefit, and is that the number of registers for SSE operations have been also doubled, from 8 to 16. And because of the nature of the SSE code, which is usually less prone to jump misprediction and with less register aliasing, because of the nature of vector processing code.

Corollarius:

In my opinion a 64-bit operating system makes sense, but an application that doesn't need more than 2GB of RAM, and doesn't need to gain an extra 10% of speed up when running optimized SSE vector code, should be compiled in 32-bit mode.

Re:Serious question (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165703)

64bit also vastly speeds up long and double math. It doesn't really apply to a browser, but if you were using 64bit integers to store currency amounts, you'd notice a huge speedup. Adding/subtracting from longs is one thing that SSE probably won't help. ;)

Re:Serious question (4, Funny)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163981)

Can someone explain the particular benefits of having a 64-bit browser?

Not much really. If you frequently browse for porn, I suggest holding out for the TOPS-20 port which will be 69-bit.

Re:Serious question (2, Interesting)

dagamer34 (1012833) | more than 5 years ago | (#29163995)

Mainly anything to do with number crunching, 64-bit is a LOT faster. Supposedly also JavaScript in 64-bit will get a boost (as Safari 4 on Snow Leopard seems to show).

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29165171)

not true

the main benefit of 64-bit is the extra registers AMD added to the 64-bit version of x68 and the ability to access more memory. other than that, it reduces the number of instructions you can fit in your instruction cache. for number crunching, some code that uses 64-bit integers will take less instructions.

Re:Serious question (3, Insightful)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164019)

Can someone explain the particular benefits of having a 64-bit browser?

For the same reason that text editors might be 32 or 64-bit and not 16-bit. It's what the OS and hardware directly supports. Most computers shipped in the last four or five years are 64-bit and can support 64-bit operating systems. Even Microsoft has said that Windows 7 will be their last operating system to support 32-bit. It makes sense to start developing native 64-bit versions of software instead of sticking with 32-bit and using a compatibility library or layer to further complicate things or possibly screw up or need to debug. There's no direct benefit other than it's the native number of bits for your hardware, but that makes it the right thing to do.

This is why I think leading edge distros like Ubuntu should stop supporting 32-bit and only distribute 64-bit versions of their distros. The only computers that still are 32-bit are either embedded systems or older legacy computers. We need to move on.

Re:Serious question (0, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164089)

There are simply too many applications that still do not support 64bit. Maybe once Adobe gets off the behind and gets flash working in 64bit, then the general user base might agree with you.

Re:Serious question (0, Redundant)

Tubal-Cain (1289912) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164385)

Like Bert64 said, there is a 64-bit version of Flash. It works fine.

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164563)

what I can't understand is why someone would want to run a 64bit version of flash, let alone a 32bit one. ? YouTube (etc) needs can be dealt with using youtube-dl (etc), what else is there of value besides blinking advertisements, lame yet cute games, and by definition sizzle-not-steak marketing junk? what's in it for someone who just wants to use the net as a means to get information and get out, bypassing as much of the useless bandwidth wasting flashy gloss as possible? Maybe some subset of people like the blinking lights, but as for me, I don't get it.

Re:Serious question (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164731)

I'm using 64-bit Ubuntu with Adobe 64-bit version of Flash and it works just fine.

Re:Serious question (1)

andre_pl (1607319) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164129)

i think you might be jumping the gun a little, I have 3 computers in this house, none of which is more than 4 years old, and none of which are 64-bit. if ubuntu stopped supporting 64-bit any time in the next 4 or 5 years, I would be forced to stop using it.

Re:Serious question (1)

andre_pl (1607319) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164187)

of course I meant to say "If ubuntu stopped supporting 32-bit..."

Re:Serious question (4, Insightful)

FlyingBishop (1293238) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164167)

Really? I'm posting this from a 32-bit legacy computer that runs 32-bit Ubuntu just fine. I've got a 'legacy' machine on the right with XP and an Nvidia GForce 5600, also 32 bit, that is even more useful, being a Pentium. You are about 4 years too early to even begin to talk about end-of-life for 32 bit.

I couldn't really find numbers, but I supect ditching 32 bit would entail throwing out at least half of the computers currently in use...

I don't have the numbers to back it up, but I'm fairly certain that a sufficiently large portion of computers use 32-bit to make your presumption completely infeasible for the next few years. They were still selling 32-bit machines two years ago, and people can't reasonably be expected to retire those machines until 2011, and many will still be perfectly useful until 2013 or even 2015 with a few repairs.

Meanwhile, you can keep on living in your fantasy world where hardware can magically upgrade itself to run the latest and greatest software.

Re:Serious question (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 5 years ago | (#29165167)

Really?

Really!

I've got a 'legacy' machine on the right with XP and an Nvidia GForce 5600, also 32 bit, that is even more useful, being a Pentium.

Windows XP is not a leading edge linux distribution. It's not even linux which is what I was talking about.

You are about 4 years too early to even begin to talk about end-of-life for 32 bit.

I didn't say anything about end-of-life for 32-bits. I only mentioned dropping support for 32-bit in distros that are leading edge such as Ubuntu. Those distros really seek to push the state of Linux desktop environments. The software they include is always the latest which invariably means greater hardware requirements. They are experimenting with new ideas. Moving to 64-bits-only fits well with that philosophy of pushing the state-of-the-art in Linux distros. There are plenty of more conservative distros that may support 32-bits for many years to come.

I couldn't really find numbers, but I supect ditching 32 bit would entail throwing out at least half of the computers currently in use...

Then run a 32-bit operating system on those computers such as the non-Linux XP you mentioned or a 32-bit linux distro.

I don't have the numbers to back it up, but I'm fairly certain that a sufficiently large portion of computers use 32-bit to make your presumption completely infeasible for the next few years.

Please explain how. All 32-bit operating systems will not disappear overnight nor have I proposed that they do so.

They were still selling 32-bit machines two years ago, and people can't reasonably be expected to retire those machines until 2011, and many will still be perfectly useful until 2013 or even 2015 with a few repairs.

No one is asking them to retire them. The linux landscape is vast. There will still be 32-bit operating systems for quite some time.

Meanwhile, you can keep on living in your fantasy world where hardware can magically upgrade itself to run the latest and greatest software.

Are you implying that you've never had to upgrade hardware before to run the latest and greatest software? I know the Ubuntu of today uses more resources than the Ubuntu of five years ago. Since Canonical only supports their desktop versions of Ubuntu for a maximum of three years, it's very likely that some computers that ran Ubuntu fine in 2004-2005 will be unable to run the latest version while providing adequate usability for the user. As time moves on, users of that hardware may be forced to seek a distro that uses less resources and will work better for them.

Yes, hardware doesn't magically upgrade itself, but if you want to run the latest and greatest, state-of-the-art distro, chances are you're going to have to upgrade your hardware to keep up with the resource requirements of that distro. In that light, requiring 64-bits for, say, Ubuntu 10.04 does not seem like an unreasonable requirement.

Re:Serious question (1)

andre_pl (1607319) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165553)

I think you're making some very wrong assumptions... firstly, ubuntu is not a "Leading Edge" Distro, whatever that means, its goal is to bring linux closer to the masses, they chose debian as their base partly because of the broad range of architectures it supports. dropping support for 32-bits goes against that goal.

You're also completely off base in implying that ubuntu is unfit for older computers, it runs as well as most linux distros on older hardware. Yes ubuntu offers the latest eye-candy features, but many of its users disable them, I use ubuntu because it's a breeze to maintain, it stays out of my way, and its very popular and well supported, so I know I'll be able to find help when I need it.

I think requiring 64 bits is a completely unreasonable requirement, and would affect WAY more people than you realize. Sure there are other distros that will support 32 bit, but tbh, I dont want to run them, I've tried many of them and none are as pleasant as ubuntu, I'm not about to give that up because of your dim-witted notion that 32 bit computers are obsolete.

On top of that, the whole idea dropping support for an architecture seems downright stupid unless you're totally sure there are only a handful of them in existence. that is clearly not the case with 32-bit x86 cpu's, and it wont be for a VERY long time.

TL;DR you can pry my 32-bit CPU's from my cold dead hands.

Re:Serious question (1)

BikeHelmet (1437881) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165757)

Are you implying that you've never had to upgrade hardware before to run the latest and greatest software? I know the Ubuntu of today uses more resources than the Ubuntu of five years ago. Since Canonical only supports their desktop versions of Ubuntu for a maximum of three years, it's very likely that some computers that ran Ubuntu fine in 2004-2005 will be unable to run the latest version while providing adequate usability for the user. As time moves on, users of that hardware may be forced to seek a distro that uses less resources and will work better for them.

Yes, hardware doesn't magically upgrade itself, but if you want to run the latest and greatest, state-of-the-art distro, chances are you're going to have to upgrade your hardware to keep up with the resource requirements of that distro. In that light, requiring 64-bits for, say, Ubuntu 10.04 does not seem like an unreasonable requirement.

Right now my HTPC/NAS is a crappy old 1.33ghz Via Eden with onboard video. Not 64bit, but it does support SSE3. I'll be bummed if they drop 32bit support.

Re:Serious question (1)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164241)

This is why I think leading edge distros like Ubuntu should stop supporting 32-bit and only distribute 64-bit versions of their distros. The only computers that still are 32-bit are either embedded systems or older legacy computers. We need to move on.

Although future netbooks will have over 3 GB memory, I believe at least one manufacturer (Asus for now) will offer cheaper netbooks, lower than the current US$300 market price. I think there will be demand.

Wouldn't it be great to have a 32-bit version of Ubuntu to run on these systems (sub-netbook, smartbook, whatever you call them)?

Re:Serious question (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165235)

Wouldn't it be great to have a 32-bit version of Ubuntu to run on these systems (sub-netbook, smartbook, whatever you call them)?

There already is. It's called Ubuntu Netbook Remix. [ubuntu.com] The Ubuntu dsitro could be 64-bit only while the Ubuntu Netbook Remix distro could be 32-bit.

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164481)

Uh, I use tons of legacy 32-bit machines. My PVR, my arcade machine, etc. They do what they are suppose to do and will never need upgrading unless the hardware breaks. I like being able to run an updated OS with security and bug fixes.

Re:Serious question (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164631)

I laugh at your 32-bit arcade machine.

You will bow before Z80!

Re:Serious question (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164707)

Dude ... I'm all excited because I found my PDP-8 programmer's guide in the attic this morning.

Re:Serious question (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164849)

your puny Z80 can bow before my 8800 altair, made a year before in 1975.

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165617)

The arcade machine plays all sorts of games, not just Z80. Ever hear of MAME?

Re:Serious question (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164489)

I find your ideas have little merit, and if you had a blog with a RSS feed I would not like to subscribe to it.

Re:Serious question (2, Insightful)

bds1986 (1268378) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164595)

This is why I think leading edge distros like Ubuntu should stop supporting 32-bit and only distribute 64-bit versions of their distros. The only computers that still are 32-bit are either embedded systems or older legacy computers. We need to move on.

Ubuntu has nowhere near enough market share to be able to just write off a huge swath of the personal computer userbase without alienating itself. Not to mention that one of the marketing points of Linux is that it will run on the older hardware you have laying around, unlike a certain other OS. Indeed, I'd suspect a sizable portion of Linux installs are run on old "junk hardware". Removing 32-bit for no reason other than "But 64 bit is newer!" wouldn't benefit anyone other than NetBSD uptake stats.

32-bit hardware is perfectly fine, and more than adequate for the needs of many computer users (when was the last time your grandparents needed >4GB RAM?), there's no reason for it not to be supported for the next few years at least. Do you have stock in Intel or something?

Re:Serious question (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165393)

Not to mention that one of the marketing points of Linux is that it will run on the older hardware you have laying around, unlike a certain other OS.

First, Linux != Ubuntu. Just because Linux can be stripped down to require little resources doesn't mean that Ubuntu has light resource requirements. Second, there are other Linux distros that are better suited for older hardware such as Xubuntu, Puppy, Damn Small Linux, and Ubuntu Netbook Remix. Maybe even a minimum Debian or CentOS install. The resource requirements for Ubuntu keep growing. There are a lot of daemons that are run to bring up and support a modern desktop environment and those come with a cost. Ubuntu is a state-of-the-art distro and having modern hardware is not an unreasonable expectation for getting adequate usability out of it.

Removing 32-bit for no reason other than "But 64 bit is newer!" wouldn't benefit anyone other than NetBSD uptake stats.

I don't buy that argument for a minute. Distros rip out perfectly working stuff and replace it with something else just because it's newer all of the time. PulseAudio and KDE 4.0 are just two recent examples that come to mind. But that's to be expected. Ubuntu pushes the state of the art. Fedora does as well. You have to expect some problems and breakage with those. You also have to expect that you're not going to be able to run those distros adequately on a 2003 Pentium 3 or 4 with 512 megs of RAM. You'll need more resources, and therefore newer hardware, to really take advantage of those distros.

Contrast this with Debian which is more conservative. Debian stuck with KDE 3 for Lenny because there were problems with KDE 4. Now that KDE 4 is stable the conservative distros will adopt it. The same goes for RHEL/CentOS. More conservative distros, less likely to need bleeding edge hardware to get the most out of the OS, and more likely to work on older hardware.

Re:Serious question (2, Informative)

SSpade (549608) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164615)

64 bit binaries consume more space than 32 bit binaries. That means they make less effective use of system memory and (just as importantly) CPU cache.

All other things being equal, a 64 bit binary will run slower, while using more system resources than a 32 bit binary, so it's something that you'd only want to do if you could actually make use of huge amounts of memory in your application directly.

All other things aren't equal, though, as x86 is rather a "special" architecture. There the 64 bit binary will get access to (amongst other things) more registers. It'll still consume more system resources (ram, disk, power), but may run faster, or slower.

So it's not as simple as "64 bit good, 32 bit bad".

Re:Serious question (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164827)

"This is why I think leading edge distros like Ubuntu should stop supporting 32-bit and only distribute 64-bit versions of their distros. The only computers that still are 32-bit are either embedded systems or older legacy computers."

There is *NO FUCKING REASON* for a POS cash register to need 64 bit hardware or software. If you can't add prices and add tax with 8 bits you might as well go home, son. There is no reason for moving to solid 64-bit simply because most programmers still haven't mastered 32-bit memory addressing, not to mention people are not writing real code to take advantage of 64-bit architecture, instead they're just porting shit over, it's still reliant upon 32-bit libraries.

Re:Serious question (1)

harmonise (1484057) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164905)

There is *NO FUCKING REASON* for a POS cash register to need 64 bit hardware or software.

I agree wholeheartedly. That's why those POS cash registers shouldn't be running a leading edge distro like Ubuntu. I imagine there will still be many 32-bit-only linux distros years from now. One of those distros might be better suited for a cash register or the manufacturer might decided to compile a linux environment customized to their needs.

They pretty much have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#29165339)

Sure they still ship 32 bit binaries. But they are nigh unusable on any machine that isn't capable of 64 bit too, due to all new software being incredibly inefficient. And it is only going to get worse in 9.10 as more default apps are switched over to Mono. For example Banshee, the new default music player, uses 60%-100% CPU to play an MP3 - on a 2.8 ghz system. If your machine crawls with Vista, chances are it will crawl with Ubuntu too. This is completely unacceptable, especially when the published minimum system requirements are so low.

Re:Serious question (2, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164209)

x86-64 has more registers. v8 compiles javascript into native code, so more registers means more variables stored in registers (instead of on the stack) and faster execution.

Re:Serious question (1)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164227)

Depends on your processor really...
On Sparc, MIPS or PPC, having a 64bit browser will just consume more memory (tho it can potentially use more) and possibly run slower...
On x86-64 a 64bit browser may run faster due to having access to a larger pool of registers, as well as being compiled for a more modern architecture which is closer to the cpu being used (most x86 software tends to be compiled for a 386 as the lowest common denominator).

Re:Serious question (2, Insightful)

Curtee (60043) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164633)

If you are running 64-bit linux already, you will get some performance advantage to running as many apps as possible in 64-bit mode. This is because your shared libraries can actually be shared. Otherwise you end up loading the same shared libraries twice (once for the 64-bit version and once for the 32-bit version). There's noticably longer startup time when you do that.

Re:Serious question (1)

Roman Mamedov (793802) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164823)

Dead simple. A side-effect from going to x64, is that the quantity of General Purpose Registers in the CPU doubles (from 8 to 16). Twice more space for the compiler to put stuff in temporarily. That's akin to juggler suddenly getting four hands instead of two. Or a car, with 8 wheels instead of... hm, nevermind. The result is 10-15% speed-up for most operations. Also, there is the possibility to just use SSE whenever you need FP math, not having to bother supporting FPU fallbacks. More speed-up, when decoding and scaling images and the like. Anyways, read more about it at wikipedia [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Serious question (1)

Penguin (4919) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165619)

Besides all the other posts, this might just be a small improvement in rare cases:

The V8 javascript engine does some clever work when performing regular expression matching. Normal engines would compare one character at a time, but whenever the possibility occurs V8 matches several characters at once (eg. for /foobar/ it will try fo match "foob" instead of just first "f", then "o", then "o"), doing comparison on longer segments than just (usually) 8 bits at a time. This usually means that comparisons are grouped together as 32 bit values matching several characters at once.

I reckon the 64-bit edition would simply match up to 64 bits as well.

There are a lot of exceptions where the engine can't just simply match long segments (unicode, case-insensitive searches and so on) and there surely are operations that are a lot more cpu intensive than just comparing strings. I'm just excited about that simple optimization :)

Oblig quote (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29163991)

I for one welcome our new 64bit overlords

- give me some of that synergy to boost my user experience, yeah baby, yeah

Wonderful (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164093)

Now what about making it work well enough to be usable?

Windows app + Crossover office != Linux app

Re:Wonderful (2, Informative)

andre_pl (1607319) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164295)

I dont know about this "Chrome for linux" thing, but Chromium is not a windows app with any kind of compatibility layer, or wrapper. Its a native linux browser that actually works REALLY well (unlike all of the other apps that google
'ported' to linux)

Re:Wonderful (1)

dkegel (904729) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165475)

For the record: Google Earth and Google Sketchup have true native ports to Linux. Google Picasa used Wine for its port; it's the only one that uses any kind of compatibility layer, I think. (Disclaimer: although I work on Chrome, and worked on Picasa, I'm speaking for myself, not the company.)

mod doWn (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164413)

the future holds Don't be a sling NIGGER coomunity on slashdot.org to its laid-back accounts for less , a proud member Java IRC client Part8er. And if Due to the troubles sudden and

Everyone grits teeth, welcomes Chrome/Chromium (4, Funny)

David Gerard (12369) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164447)

Google has released its own Web browser, Chrome, with Linux version Chromium [today.com] . "We absolutely promise that we only want to completely screw over Microsoft with this, and certainly not Mozilla Firefox," said Google's Sundar Pichai. "That we put a pile of our sponsored Mozilla developers on the project is completely irrelevant. We're not evil, remember."

"We are so, so happy with Google Chrome," mumbled Mozilla CEO John Lilly through gritted teeth. "That most of our income is from Google has no bearing on me making this statement."

Microsoft was unfazed. "Browsers don't need to be integrated with online apps," said marketing developer Ian Moulster. "Certainly not like the operating system ... I'll just get back to you."

Google's new browser will give you their web and email services, photo processing, mapping, office applications that will run in said browser and will make you a cup of tea. This is all paid for by personally-directed text ads in your tea leaves, based on analysing a DNA sample taken when you sip the tea and sending your genetic code back to Google for future targeting.

Pichai stressed that Google would maintain complete confidentiality within the marketing department of whatever the browser accessed concerning your confidential business data, bank account details, medical information and personal preferences in pornography. "We're Google. We know where you live. In a completely not evil way. Sponsored link: Get Chrome Browsers on google.com. Or we'll make you use Bing."

Google-free Slashdot feed? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#29164657)

Is there a Slashdot RSS feed without news about Google? Most news about Google products are not very important (like this one) and they get mixed with the interesting ones.

Can Chrome do 'send link' or 'send email' yet? (1)

otis wildflower (4889) | more than 5 years ago | (#29164881)

Kind of silly to be missing this feature...

Tracemonkey 64-bit? (0)

HipPriest (4021) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165309)

Now when will we see the Firefox Javascript JIT compiler ported to AMD64? It's not very well documented but 64-bit Firefox builds simply ignore the javascript.options.jit.content setting. It took me a while to figure out why the much promoted feature had no affect on any Javascript benchmarks.

Pardon me? (1)

The Master Control P (655590) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165333)

This is 2009, and people are still developing/releasing for 32-bit before 64-bit? I'm typically a bit behind the curve on new processor adoption and I went AMD64 nearly 3 years ago. Do they even make 32-bit desktops anymore? This makes no sense. This headline should read "Google Chrome backported to 32 bit."

Twice as fast (1)

Zoxed (676559) | more than 4 years ago | (#29165697)

Cool: now I can surf the tubes *twice* as fast as my old 32-bit browser :-)

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