[CentOS] i386 or x86_64 installation

Sun Jan 21 21:56:11 UTC 2007
Ted Miller <tedjeanmiller at sbcglobal.net>

While commenting on the subject of:
"Re: [CentOS] Risks of installing i386 rpms on a x86_64 CentOS 4.4 
Johnny Hughes wrote:


> Personally, I would only install the x86_64 distro if I was reasonably
> sure that I would not require i386 RPMS (or minimal i386 RPMS).
> I just use i386 on all workstations and I use x86_64 on servers ... and
> even on servers, only ones that will really be under heavy load or will
> definitely not need i386 packages.

If you wouldn't mind Johnny, could you elaborate on your "Personally..." 
recommendation?  I am running 4.4 x86_64 on AMD hardware (x64 3500+, 1G, 
3x160G SATA, Gigabyte nvidia nForce-4 Ultra chipset MB w/ Gigabyte 6200 
series pci-e graphics) for a "personal workstation" (otherwise known as a 
heavily used home computer).  I just counted in yumex and I have about 77 
packages with both 64 and 32 bit versions installed.  One (of several) 
reason I switched to Centos from Mandriva is the poor support Mandriva had 
for 64 bit versions.  Most packages in their repos were only available in 
32 bit versions, and some minor OS upgrades came out only in 32bit.  Centos 
seems to be very even-handed about the architectures (at least i836 vs. 

So far the 64/32 bit issue has only come up a couple of times, and I was 
able to resolve it leaving any blood (from my head) on the wall.  Should I 
be looking at switching to 32 bit?  If so, how on earth does one do that 
without rebuilding the machine from scratch?  I still don't have this one 
tweaked very well, and don't have all the programs I want installed.  I'd 
rather not start over AGAIN.

If it helps, my use is the usual email, web surfing, OpenOffice, plus 
desktop publishing (scribus), graphics (gimp, cinepaint, and others), and 
audio editing (audacity, etc) and I am trying to learn C++ (eclipse based). 
  I run VMWare server for those programs which I am forced to use in other 
operating systems (and also to isolate ipcop).  I am not a newbie, but 
neither am I an experienced old hand.  I have been using Linux for my 
personal computing for about a year (since I got this hardware).  I have 
had a Linux file server in my basement for about four years, but I set it 
up once and mostly ignored it (I think it runs RH8).

Your personal comments on my situation are welcome, as well as anyone else 
who wants to chime in.

Ted Miller
Indiana, USA