A Kernel By Any Other Name

For legacy reasons we standardized our environment on Ubuntu Server. Generally when a new Ubuntu LTS release comes out, we, like many others, start deploying any new installations on the new release while we start planning upgrades for our most out-of-date servers. When 10.04 (lucid) was released, we already had everything up to 8.04 (hardy), so it it wouldn’t be terribly painful to bring everything up to the newer release. At least that was our thinking, but when we installed our first 10.04 server, we got a surprise.

Some time ago, I’d been burned by a few bugs in the x86_64 version of the kernel that weren’t in the 32 bit kernel. For years the 32 bit code had been a lot more tried and true while x86_64 wasn’t nearly as hammered out. I’d made the decision to stick with 32 bit code everywhere possible, unless I had a specific need only provided by the 64 bit capabilities, like a single process that needs more than 2 gig of RAM. The new unit going in was going to be a 32 bit instance.

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