i386 vs amd64 on KVM Virtual Machine

  • Hello, I am planning on migrating my pfSense box to a KVM virtual machine in the upcoming months (I'll probably wait until pfSense 2.2 is officially released).

    Anyhow I will only be giving the virtual machine 1 GB of RAM as I have never come close to going over that on my current system. I would imagine there is not a benefit to go to AMD64 unless you have more RAM?

    That said, I hear that with development on other Linux builds, AMD64 is the primary focus these days and i386 does not get tested as thoroughly. Can anyone give any thoughts or opinions on how well AMD64 vs i386 is tested with pfSense?

  • Netgate Administrator

    Chris recently posted that you should use 64bit unless you have a good reason not to. KVM might be a speacial case though, I'm not familiar enough to comment on that.
    It would be very interesting to know how the pfSense install base (or even downloads) are split between 32 and 64 bit.


    Edit: Chris was referring to bare metal in that particular case.

  • I think I will just use the 64bit version when I start messing with this. If it needs more memory I have plenty mort to give. My current version of pfSense 2.1 is having some issues and I am wondering if it is because of the i386 version. unfortunately my current pfSense box is a 12+ yr old Dell and does not support 64 bit. I may have to move up my KVM setup earlier than planned.

  • 64-bit allows for easier addressing of large memory space but it also offers protected memory space. In addition, the WAY in which memory is allocated is different.

    Overall, 64-bit architecture will almost certainly offer you AT LEAST as stable and efficient of a platform compared to what you are used to.

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