Linus Torvalds: “32-bit is less important”

Hello Linux Geeksters. As you may know, many popular Linux systems encourage the users to use 64 bit (amd64/x86_64) systems. While Fedora and Chakra have already made available for download 64 bit systems as default, the Arch Linux and Ubuntu developers already intend to do the same thing.

This switch was made for performance reasons, since 64 bit systems are required for bypassing the UEFI Secure Boot. Until Ubuntu 13.10, the users were able to run 32 bit apps on 64 bit systems via the ia32-libs library, but it has been dropped from the default repositories of Ubuntu Saucy.

 Linus Torvalds also considers 32 bit systems less important, having annoying issues. His words  exactly, from  the mailing lists:

Yeah, I think the circumstances have changed. 32-bit is less important, and iget() is much less critical than it used to be (all *normal* inode lookups are through the direct dentry pointer).

Sure, ARM is a few years away from 64-bit being common, but it’s happening. And I suspect even 32-bit ARM doesn’t have the annoying issues that x86-32 had with 64-bit values (namely using up a lot of the register space).

So unless there’s something hidden that makes it really nasty, I do suspect that a “u64 i_ino” would just be the right thing to do. Rather than adding workarounds for our current odd situation on 32-bit kernels (and just wasting time on 64-bit kernels).

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