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We are generating scripts for running java on RHEL or an Amazon Linux ami. The scripts all now contain the -d64 option. We are using OpenJdk 1.8 64-bit. The oracle faq question When you download the SDK or JRE, must you choose between the 32 and 64-bit versions? indicates that this option is only on Linux for compatibility reasons. It says

All other platforms (Windows and Linux) contain separate 32 and 64-bit installation packages. If both packages are installed on a system, you select one or the other by adding the appropriate "bin" directory to your path. For consistency, the Java implementations on Linux accept the -d64 option.

So it seems like -d64 is not needed for scripts running on Linux. It may be better to only add that option when running on solaris.

Is it required? What would be the harm in removing it from our scripts?

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If the system is 64 bit you don't need to specify -d64 option.

In my experience you need the -d64 when you're installing a software packaged as jar file for example Weblogic Genric , specifying that you want the 64 version of the software since it have no idea about the underlaying system and would run in 32 bit version by default.

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