Ardour4-64bits to open Ardour2&3-32bits sessions, is it a good idea?

All is said in the title, but more details are that Debian8 is released, and I’ll give a try to the 64bits one. So have to choose between Ardour4 32 or 64 bits to run in it, and am not sure at all if it’s a good idea to go to 64bits version…

May someone here confirm (or not)) that it will be able to open 32bits old sessions and work on they without problem?


First off, ALWAYS make backups.

Secondly, there shouldn’t be any issues that I know of, however a few things to note. If your plugins are only compiled for 32 bit, and not 64 bit, I could see that causing an issue, meaning it will treat it as if you don’t have that plugin.


Thanks for this quick & smart reply Seablade, backups are on the line :slight_smile:

Given that a 64bits system can use a 32bits program, I see 2 other questions, if somebody have an advice:
-how can one be sure that plugins are compiled for 64bits system?
-running Ardour4 in 64bits, what kind of difference/gain between 32bits could you wait? Mean: does it worth it?


Ardour 64 bit vs 32 bit has primarily to do with memory management, specifically how much memory Ardour can address. You will get some very slight speedups in regards to specific DSP operations, but in all honesty for the most part, you are unlikely to notice a difference.

I believe GNU/Linux has a file command that will identify 32 vs 64 bit.


Nice command indeed, thanks for that tip Seablade. I put its result down here, in case someone search that kind of stuff :

how to know if a Linux program is 64 bits with the “file” command:
…/jconv-0.8.1$ file jconv
jconv: ELF 32-bit LSB executable, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.18, BuildID[sha1]=0x92a9c3e76e20749d89832f498ab06343b04fc3, not stripped

As you seems to be open to discuss as usual, may I abuse a lot to try to understand some more between 64/32 issue from your knowledge ? (let’s assume you’ll say yes, or someone else will answer, and everybody feel alright with the fact this time I don’t take any minute to search or RTFM))

The thing I don’t get is when you go to “memory management, specifically how much memory Ardour can address”. Let say one have a machine with 8 Gram. What does it change when you get the 64bits option instead of the 32 one? Get more memory with the same hardware stick???

Sorry for that kind of noob question, but sometimes this big question mark over your head is disturbing :wink:

Let say one have a machine with 8G ram. What does it change when you get the 64bits option instead of the 32 one?
WIth standard 32 bit kernels, you won't even be able to use 8 GB - the limit for 32 bit memory addressing is 4GB, so the other 4GB simply isn't used. A 64 bit kernel will let you address huge amounts of memory. There is a 32 bit kernel option called PAE (physical address extension) which enables it to use up to 64GB, but any single process still can't use more than 4GB.

Ardour usually works well in 2GB. AV Linux is currently only available as a 32 bit system and it works fine. Also I use it with a PAE kernel and 8GB. A 64 bit version is coming, but that’s mainly to support some programs (not Ardour) which will only be 64bit in future.

Thanks for being so quick to answer Anahata, you make me go to sleep less idiot tonight, and better understand how to fix some DrumGuizmo issues :wink: