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would you recommend me for small debian linux with small apache, small mysql and primary datastore with SW RAID 5 just 32bit debian or rather 64bit and why? I have only 2 GB of RAM, so could that be enough. (it will be only CLI debian without Xserver, GUI and so on!)

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It's 2013 and people are still deploying servers with 2GB of RAM? My phone has twice that amount of RAM... – jordanm Jan 13 '13 at 6:35
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Here are some pros and cons if you use 64-bit.


  • native CPU instruction set,
  • some integer counters in Linux will be 64-bit size, like those you see on /proc/net/dev which restart from 0 when reaching max value (quite early if using 32-bit),
  • some programs will run significantly faster if they make use of 64-bit calculation (usually compression and crypting are among those).


  • program binaries are usually a little bigger to store on disk,
  • running programs may use slightly more RAM.

If your not using an embedded system, nor have special needs, I would go for 64-bit. Afterall, 32-bit is getting old now, and 64-bit is the future/present...

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According to the Intel documentation your processor can handle a 64 bit OS. I don't think the only advantage of 64 bit over 32 bit is raising the RAM limit from ~3.5GB. Therefore unless you are aware of a particular reason not to use the 64 bit version I would reccomend the x86_64.


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In my experience 32-bit uses less memory. Once the install was complete I had 8MB used, which is very impressive. I think it was about 16MB with a fresh 64-bit install. So if memory is your main concern, go for 32-bit; I can't judge performance as it requires real testing.

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