FreePBX Distro/Asterisk 64bit vs 32bit installs

I have seen various other discussions on using the 64bit releases, and I know more 32bit is installed by far, but am not sure I ever saw any candid discussion on why you would chose one vs the other.

Sure if you only have a 32bit machine, the choice is clear, and is not really the point of my question.

Now days, most CPU’s you would put in a server are all 64bit capable, and of course 64bit gives you some nice advantages in general, from putting mapped I/O way outside of the 4G memory range, so a much larger linear address space, and so on.

My guess is that most modern server purchases will be 64bit ready, heck even the current Atom CPU’s I have seen some users here say they are using support emt64 addressing. So the question becomes, if you are using a server that supports 64bit access, why wouldn’t you run an OS that matches that processor, and runs in the chips native mode??

I have recently started working more with the FreePBX Distro, and I love the way it’s being handled and think the future of the project looks great. I have also actually been running an AsteriskNow install in 64bit mode for a year or two, and it’s worked very well for us. I think at one point I had a quirk with MOH, but it was fairly easily sorted out, and the PBX has run like a charm for what we needed.

So is there any real reason, I would want to use 32bit at this point in time on a new install, and not 64bit as I am sure all servers will support it? I know I probably tend to build beefier hardware than many use, Xeon processors, mirrored memory, hardware RAID, and so on. So in my mind unless there is some big reason against it, I suspect my future builds/installs will be FreePBX Distro, running in x64 mode.

I am for sure open to any comments, suggestions, flames and so on…

I am surprised, no opinions from anyone?

I just attempted to install the 64-bit version (1.1009.210.62) , and there is still some major work to be done. I think this is mostly because 64 bit libraries get installed into /usr/lib64 instead of /usr/lib and things like that. In my install, none of the modules would install from an out-of-the-box installation, so I’m going back to the i386 build.

Surprised your having so much trouble, I have been using 1.8 with FPBX for a good while, and it all seems to be working. As stated before, I had a small gotcha with MOH, but that was easily fixed.

Maybe there is some issue with the 1.10 release, but I just loaded up 1.11 over here, and it seems to be working, granted I still have a bunch of configuring to do, but still haven’t really been hammered by any lib64 issues.

As far as I understand it Digium still do not provide formal support for 64-bit systems. As I tend to be installing system for customers who I need to support I tend to play safe and stay with 32-bit installs. Anyway, I’ve not yet installed an Asterisk system which would really require more than 4GB or RAM or any of the other performance benefits of 64-bit computing.

Interesting point, I actually thought 64bit was supported now, as they do put up 64bit versions of everything, even the paid add-on’s to Asterisk, so it would seem strange they build all the code and not consider it official.

I know 32bit runs fine on new processors, but I have always felt it was best to run a processor in it’s native mode if at all possible. That said, most servers I have put into production are usually fairly high end rack mounted platforms, so not uncommon to see at least 8 if not 16G RAM in the boxes. As such I have started loading the newest releases over the past year or so as 64bit, and for the most part it’s worked out well. Lil glitch here and there, but still good solid PBX’s for sure, or has been for me…

Are you using multiple cores in your servers? If so, how did you get Asterisk to do symmetrical multiprocessing, if at all? Are you using hypervisor?

We were wandering if anyone has done this yet? I found some instructions If it works, I wonder if anyone has tried asterisk with the freeware hypervisor. We might try that.

I haven’t personally used a hypervisor as in general when I build a PBX,I believe it should be dedicated to that job, not shared. That said, remember that Linux has lots of things beside the asterisk process that run, from the web server, to cron functions, and the list could go on and on. So having multiple cores never hurts, as that way asterisk should not be starved for CPU (not that it uses much normally)when any other process is running…