Can 32bit OS run on 64bit hardware?

Polytropon freebsd at
Wed Jun 28 17:32:00 UTC 2017

On Wed, 28 Jun 2017 19:16:46 +0200, Frank Steinborn wrote:
> Polytropon <freebsd at> wrote:
> > On Wed, 28 Jun 2017 07:31:44 -0400, Ernie Luzar wrote:
> > > I have a running 32bit system and want to move that hard drive to a 
> > > 64bit machine. Will the 32bit system work ok on the 64bit hardware?
> > 
> > Definitely. I'm doing this on my home PC:
> > FreeBSD 32 bit OS on a Intel Core 2 64 bit CPU.
> Just out of curiosity, may I ask why you do this?

Several reasons:

1. Not enough RAM (only 2 GB) to justify addressing in 64 bit,
   and no intention to upgrade the RAM (it's hardly used 50%).

2. Some software that works best with 32 bit, especially wine
   (for games) and nvidia-driver for GPU.

3. Pure lazyness due to "never touch a running system" principle.

For sure, I wouldn't do this on a new system, but this is a quite
old system (actually ca. 10 years old) and still fully functional
for my home use (gaming, video editing, web browsing, office suite,
LaTeX, programming, etc.). Also I wouldn't advise running 32 bit OS
until you have a very good reason to do so. As you can see, I have
provided 3 good reasons... ;-)

Magdeburg, Germany
Happy FreeBSD user since 4.0
Andra moi ennepe, Mousa, ...

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