To Upgrade or Not To Upgrade

As some of you may know, Ubuntu Linux 8.10 “Intrepid Ibex” is set to be released in a few days. Since I last reinstalled Ubuntu, I decided to go with the 32-bit platform, even though my hardware is 64-bit capable.

At this point, I only run with 3.5Gb of RAM, so using 64-bit isn’t a must for me, but I, like other Linux users, like to squeak out every last bit of juice that my machine is capable of. The issues that I had with 64-bit are not mine alone, and I’m not too sure whether or not the next release of Ubuntu will in fact cure any or all of these issues.

In order to stifle some of the issues I’ve had, I decided early on not to upgrade the packages that release updates on a fairly consistent basis. This may have left me open to various security bugs, but as a home user behind a hardware firewall, I haven’t been worrying too much about that.

Deciding to wait for updates when major releases come out has certainly simplified things on a user-land basis. Sure, I don’t have the latest whizbang whatsits, but I’ve learned time and again that when something works, don’t mess with it.

So, when looking forward to the release date in just 3 days, I am asking myself once again whether or not to go with the 64-bit variant, or to stick with the working-just-fine 32-bit system. Things like Flash 10 (yes, I use the proprietary stuff) were released natively for 32-bit, and as such run very well without any kind of wrapper to get things working correctly.

While not something I use on a constant basis, other proprietary stuff like Flash are deal breakers. Certainly, I could use their open-source brethren, but as a power user, they just aren’t ready for the prime time yet.

The way it looks now, in a few short days I will be downloading and upgrading to Intrepid Ibex, keeping the 32-bit variant on my box. I don’t have plans for more than 3.5Gb of RAM just yet, so I don’t really have the need for 64-bit.