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64 Bit Linux: the good the bad the flash-less

Recently I assembled a 64 Bit system thrilled to be able to run Fedora Core in 64 bit mode (if for any other reason than to be able to say "I'm running 64 bit Linux".) 

After much sweating (after having to exchange a bad motherboard) the machine was done and ready. I had already downloaded the ISOs and was ready to go.

I put in the first CD and started the install. The installation was flawless! And finally I had 64 bit Linux running and it was running quite well. Graphics were snappy (even though the graphics chip was on board 64 MB nvidia 6100). Sound was good. Applications opened quickly and closed cleanly. It seemed to me Linux on the 64 bit architecture was (as The Cars said) "just what I needed."

But then the bottom dropped out. During the configuration of the desktop (this was a desktop machine) two things happened. First: I couldn't install the Enlightenment Desktop Environment. Second: Flash would not work.

Believe me, I tried to over come these issues. I did everything I could to get Enlightenment to install but the make file wouldn't (no matter what I did) recognize imlib2. And flash - well that's an even bigger nightmare. The closest thing I could find for a solid solution was to attempt to install the 32 bit version of Firefox and then install flash. Did that - but no matter what I did (even removing the 64 bit version and installing the 32 bit version), flash would not work.

I know - most would say these aren't good reasons to drop 64 bit Linux. But they were. Over the years I've tried every desktop environment known to Linux land, and Enlightenment is the tops for me. I really enjoy using this DE. It's fast, it's clean, it's HIGHLY configurable, and it suits me to a "T". I like it so much that I don't enjoy working within KDE or GNOME (or Windows or OS X for that matter).

And flash? Well that causes a bit of a problem. I use and visit a TON of sites that require flash. It's hard to think of using a browser that's not flash compatible.

And it's that last bit that throws me. 64 bit Linux has been around for quite some time. And 64 bit architecture has really come a long way. With the advent of the dual core processors that have sprouted up all over the stores - it amazes me that Macromedia has NOT worked harder to get this running.

Do it. Macromedia - you have an incredible product. But you're keeping a lot of people from taking advantage of the advancements of PC hardware. I don't want to be stuck in i386 land forever! And as soon as flash becomes readily available in 64 bit mode (and I can get enlightenment working in 64 bit), I'll be switching back.

Until then - I'm working in 32/24/7. 

About

Jack Wallen is an award-winning writer for TechRepublic and Linux.com. He’s an avid promoter of open source and the voice of The Android Expert. For more news about Jack Wallen, visit his website getjackd.net.

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