32 bit vs. 64 bit?

  • I want to use Vivaldi on a 32 bit computer. Vivaldi download page says 64 bit is recommended. Can I use a 64 bit version on a 32 bit computer, or are they saying 64 bit is preferred assuming you have a 64 bit computer? If not, I should download the 32 bit version, correct?

  • Moderator

    You can't run 64-bit software on a 32-bit OS.

  • Almost all AMD CPU since 2003 are AMD64 capable, Intel started to make AMD compatible CPUs in 2006.

    Since then only few Atoms and Duron/Semprons are 32bit only.

    So yes, usually speaking about x32 v.s. x64 is intended the OS rather than the CPU itself.

    If you are on 32but cpu you have no choice: it requires a 32bit OS, which in turn can run only 32bit programs (old 16 bit programs are supported as well, but given there isn't a 16bit version of Vivaldi…)

  • Moderator


    I want to use Vivaldi on a 32 bit computer….

    The uname command line shows your architecture.

    uname -m
    ```The result will look something like x86_64.
    > …....... Vivaldi download page says 64 bit is recommended. or are they saying 64 bit is preferred
    I had the same doubt. Check [this](https://twitter.com/ruari/status/723565374952722433)

  • When I enter "uname -m", it returns "i686".

  • @mlt1:

    When I enter "uname -m", it returns "i686".

    That means your OS is 32 bit… as you told us in the first post.

    Use have to use the 32 bit version of Vivaldi.

    If your hardware is 64 bit capable, you might consider using a 64 bit OS during your next OS reinstall. Linux, contrary to Windows, is 64 bit centric nowadays.

  • Moderator

    That just means your installed operating system runs a 32-bit kernel. And because that is the case, you have to run 32-bit software in all cases within that operating system. You can look in your system specs to get the name/number of your processor and then Google that to see if it is CAPABLE of running a 64-bit system and, if it is, you could install 64-bit Linux on it. If you did so, it would then be recommended to run the 64-bit version of Vivaldi for Linux. Why? because modernly, MOST (I think almost all) Linux systems are 64-bit, and so the natural first-choice in developing Linux software is 64-bit.

    There are any number of machines which are CAPABLE of having a 64-bit operating system installed, because they have dual-core or more processors, but they still have 32-bit operating system installed on them. This is true for both Linux and Windows.

    In Windows, if you have a 64-bit system you can (and often should) still run 32-bit software. Windows automatically installs 32-bit software on 64-bit systems, in a compatibility mode called WoW64 (Windows on Windows 64-bit) which is a 32-bit subsystem built in to all 64-bit Windows versions. In fact for Windows, irrespective of architecture, the 32-bit version of Vivaldi is still recommended, although the 64-bit version is perfectly fine to install and run.

    In Linux, if you DID have a 64-bit system you could make special arrangements (install i386 or i686 compatibility libraries) to be able to run 32-bit software, so long as you installed those packages with a trailing :i386. But normally in Linux, if you have a 64-bit system (again, the vast majority of Linux systems now), you would install and run ONLY 64-bit software.

  • Thank you, Ayespy, for the very thorough answer. Since my previous post, and before I saw your reply, I installed I-Nex. I have attached screen shots of my processor (from an old Dell Dimension 8300 desktop previously running XP). I don't fully understand what I'm seeing, but it looks like what you described - a 64 bit architecture running 32 bit software. Anyway, ignorantly or not, Friday, I installed Linux Mint 18 Xfce, 32 bit. As advised earlier, then, I should probably install 32 bit Vivaldi, correct?

  • Thanks, RedWizard. I missed your reply. Still getting used to the forum. I see - 32 bit OS, 32 bit browser.


  • Moderator

    You have a P4 Northwood 3GHz processor. The rule of thumb on these is that they can NOT run 64-bit OSes. Oddly, however, there was a SINGLE Northwood processor (600 series) socket 478 which accepted a 64-bit instruction set although it was physically built on single-core X86 (32-bit) architecture. It other words, it was technically a 32-bit processor that was "tricked" into running a 64-bit instruction set, and it was released specifically to try to compete with AMD processors which had already come out, that were true 64-bit processors.

    The specs you show SEEM to indicate you have one of these Intel processors - rare as hen's teeth. Your actual model number is not shown, so one can't be sure, but it sure has all the earmarks.

    And, yes, you HAVE TO install 32-bit Vivaldi. 64-bit will not install.

  • Understood. Will do. Thank you again.

  • I would encourage you to retire that Pentium 4 for something newer. It uses a lot of electricity relative to its computational performance and the integrated graphics do not have fully working hardware acceleration in Linux (Intel hadn't open-sourced their IGP code back then).

    My father had a HP 2.4GHz Pentium tower. We bought a circa-2008 HP AMD tower from the local community college's computer lab sell-off for $20 to replace it and it was well worth it. The newer computer had SATA internally so it was able to take a hand-me-down SSD and then it really became impressive relative to the old P4… even I would probably be content using it.

    I would say anything older than an Intel Core2Duo or an AMD K10 should be retired from normal use nowadays. Craigslist or business/library/college old equipment auctions can get you something much better for very little money.

  • 32-bit vs 64-bit browsers
    Most web browsers are offered as 32-bit or 64-bit versions. It is usually the case that the 64-bit versions are not offered directly, and that one has to click on an extra link to display 64-bit download links.

    The two exceptions are Microsoft Edge which is only offered as a 64-bit version and the "new" Opera browser which is only offered as a 32-bit version.


    Personally I have not noticed any speed increase using a 64-bit web browser, and I have 16 GB RAM.
    Vivaldi has 64-bit, which is great, but I was wondering why the latest Opera version is only available in 32-bit. What might be the reason for this?

  • Moderator

    @Dietrich: 32 is all you need. 64 doesn't help anything. Vivaldi offers 64, just because they can.

  • @Ayespy said in 32 bit vs. 64 bit?:

    @Dietrich: 32 is all you need. 64 doesn't help anything. Vivaldi offers 64, just because they can.

    That is just not entirely right. Especially in the linux world as you can spare installing any 32bit libs by only using 64bit software. (yes, this is what i do, i do not care about software like steam that is not available in 64 bit.)
    Also read i.e. this. The downside is that 64bit needs some more memory but that shouldn't count much on a modern system.

  • Moderator

    @sophos02: Not wrong, just fact. Of course almost all Linux now is 64-bit, (tho I do have a 32-bit Mint install on a machine that doesn't speak 64-bit) so the default/recommended choice for Vivaldi on Linux is 64-bit. Building Windows 32-bit, OSX 64-bit, and Linux 64-bit is the "normal" course. Additional bit-width version for Windows and Linux is gravy. Interesting, Vivaldi pretty much came out of the box like this. It took over a YEAR for Opera to offer more than one bit-width for any platform.


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