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Arthur Semyonov
Arthur Semyonov

64 Bit Virtual Box: The Open Source Solution for Cross-Platform Virtualization

VirtualBox can run 64-bit guests on a 32-bit host. You'll need to make sure your processor has hardware virtualization and that it is enabled in the BIOS. You can find some extra information at the VirtualBox Forums

Depends what you mean by a "32-bit host". If you mean hardware with a 32-bit processor that doesn't have 64-bit capabilities, then no, you can't do that through virtualisation - you would need an emulator rather than virtualisation and I'm not aware of one existing.

64 bit virtual

If you mean on a machine with a 32-bit OS, then again, it's not possible to run a 64-bit guest on a 32-bit OS without emulation (something would need to translate the 64-bit instructions into 32-bit instructions) unless either (a) the 32-bit OS allows 64-bit applications (like Mac OS X) or (b) you can bypass the OS with a hypervisor. I'm not aware of a 32-bit type II virtualisation product for the Mac that allows a 64-bit OS to run as a 64-bit app. In fact, I'm not aware of a type II virtualisation product for the Mac at all.

If you're using a hypervisor (type I virtualisation) like Hyper-V, VMWare ESX, Virtual Box, etc, then it should be possible, because the guest OS does not run on the host OS, but on the hypervisor. Indeed, the "host" OS actually runs on the hypervisor too.

The downside? Most of us runs VMware without preallocation space for the virtual disk. So, when we make a conversion from VMware to QEMU, the raw file will be the total space WITH preallocation. I am still testing with -f qcow format will it solve the problem or not. Such as:

I need to run a 32-Bit virtual Machine on a 64-bit Host. Is there a VMware virtual machine that does this? (VMware player) I down loaded player 12 but wouldn't run the 32-bit software. Went back and checked what I had down loaded and it was 64 bit machine. So, is it possible for a 32-bit Virtual Machine to run on 64-bit host. The Software is Mitsubishi Electric, Visual Logic Software, Ver 2.60.

This the virtual machine," VMware Workstation 12 Player ,12.5.8 build-7098237" I've downloaded the 64-bit version not realizing I needed the 32-bit player. I've been looking for the 32-bit version on the website but cannot find it. I've been through the settings of the virtual machine and cannot find any way to change system, on the existing system or starting from scratch, or am I missing something? I've got the non commercial version should I up grade?

VMware Workstation Player (formerly known as Player Pro) is a desktop hypervisor application that delivers local virtualization features and is available for free for personal use. A Commercial License can be applied to enable Workstation Player to run Restricted Virtual Machines created by VMware Workstation Pro and Fusion Pro.

VMware Workstation Player is free for personal, non-commercial use (business and nonprofit use is considered commercial use). If you would like to learn about virtual machines or use them at home, you are welcome to use VMware Workstation Player for free. Students and faculty of accredited educational institutions can use VMware Workstation Player for free if they are members of the VMware Academic Program.

I have a 64bit host with 64 bit host OS. I want to install a virtual machine (with 1GB ram or less), but I don't know which will show better performance. I've heard that the only advantage of 64 bit hardware/software is that it can address more than 2 GB memory per process and it's actually slower than 32 bit.

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Unless the system is very little stressed, the memory barrier makes 32 bit OS level wise just a bad install. Heck, I write that on a virtual machine running visual studio - with 8gb memory because it really helps debugging large stuff.

64-bit ARM has a similar address distinction in hardware: the top twelve or sixteen bits are 0 for user-space, 1 for kernel-space. Linux uses 39, 42 or 48 bits for virtual addresses, depending on the number of page table levels and the page size. With ARMv8.2-LVA, another four bits are added, resulting in 52-bit virtual addresses.

I'm running Ubuntu 10.04 and want to run Windows 7 in a virtual machine. I have a 64-bit system so I can run 64-bit Windows, but I'm wondering if this is a good idea or not for a virtual machine. Will it be faster? Will it use more resources and slow down the host oS?

A 64-bit guest OS is unlikely to slow down the host OS any more or less than a 32-bit guest, unless you allocate more memory or CPU cores to the virtual machine. However, if you install a 64-bit guest you at least have the option for the guest OS to address more than 4GB of memory; depending on the application (and your hardware), this could improve performance.

Why? I used a 32bit Windows 7 VM for development on a mac because my old Macbook (2GHz Core2Duo, 4GB RAM) would choke on the 64bit version (slightly larger memory footprint - for me just over the tipping point). On my 16GB Macbook Pro Retina, the same VM runs ridiculously fast but sometimes chokes when pushed (SQL Server 2012 + Visual Studio 2012 + Azure emulators + 25 browser tabs etc) since it sees only 3.5GB of it's 8GB virtual RAM. Given there is no upgrade path from 32bit to 64bit and that we're in 2012 (better CPU, RAM etc) err on the side of 64bit versions. Now ... I've to reinstall Win7 64bit in my VM ...

From the software perspective, 64-bit computing means the use of machine code with 64-bit virtual memory addresses. However, not all 64-bit instruction sets support full 64-bit virtual memory addresses; x86-64 and ARMv8, for example, support only 48 bits of virtual address, with the remaining 16 bits of the virtual address required to be all 0's or all 1's, and several 64-bit instruction sets support fewer than 64 bits of physical memory address.

Many computer instruction sets are designed so that a single integer register can store the memory address to any location in the computer's physical or virtual memory. Therefore, the total number of addresses to memory is often determined by the width of these registers. The IBM System/360 of the 1960s was an early 32-bit computer; it had 32-bit integer registers, although it only used the low order 24 bits of a word for addresses, resulting in a 16 MiB (16 10242 bytes) address space. 32-bit superminicomputers, such as the DEC VAX, became common in the 1970s, and 32-bit microprocessors, such as the Motorola 68000 family and the 32-bit members of the x86 family starting with the Intel 80386, appeared in the mid-1980s, making 32 bits something of a de facto consensus as a convenient register size.

Some supercomputer architectures of the 1970s and 1980s, such as the Cray-1,[2] used registers up to 64 bits wide, and supported 64-bit integer arithmetic, although they did not support 64-bit addressing. In the mid-1980s, Intel i860[3] development began culminating in a (too late[4] for Windows NT) 1989 release; the i860 had 32-bit integer registers and 32-bit addressing, so it was not a fully 64-bit processor, although its graphics unit supported 64-bit integer arithmetic.[5] However, 32 bits remained the norm until the early 1990s, when the continual reductions in the cost of memory led to installations with amounts of RAM approaching 4 GiB, and the use of virtual memory spaces exceeding the 4 GiB ceiling became desirable for handling certain types of problems. In response, MIPS and DEC developed 64-bit microprocessor architectures, initially for high-end workstation and server machines. By the mid-1990s, HAL Computer Systems, Sun Microsystems, IBM, Silicon Graphics, and Hewlett-Packard had developed 64-bit architectures for their workstation and server systems. A notable exception to this trend were mainframes from IBM, which then used 32-bit data and 31-bit address sizes; the IBM mainframes did not include 64-bit processors until 2000. During the 1990s, several low-cost 64-bit microprocessors were used in consumer electronics and embedded applications. Notably, the Nintendo 64[6] and the PlayStation 2 had 64-bit microprocessors before their introduction in personal computers. High-end printers, network equipment, and industrial computers, also used 64-bit microprocessors, such as the Quantum Effect Devices R5000.[citation needed] 64-bit computing started to trickle down to the personal computer desktop from 2003 onward, when some models in Apple's Macintosh lines switched to PowerPC 970 processors (termed G5 by Apple), and Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) released its first 64-bit x86-64 processor. Physical memory eventually caught up with 32 bit limits. In 2023, laptop computers were commonly equipped with 16GB and servers up to 64GB of memory, greatly exceeding the 4GB address capacity of 32 bits.

In principle, a 64-bit microprocessor can address 16 EiB (16 10246 = 264 = 18,446,744,073,709,551,616 bytes, or about 18.4 exabytes) of memory. However, not all instruction sets, and not all processors implementing those instruction sets, support a full 64-bit virtual or physical address space.

The x86-64 architecture (as of 2016[update]) allows 48 bits for virtual memory and, for any given processor, up to 52 bits for physical memory.[27][28] These limits allow memory sizes of 256 TiB (256 10244 bytes) and 4 PiB (4 10245 bytes), respectively. A PC cannot currently contain 4 pebibytes of memory (due to the physical size of the memory chips), but AMD envisioned large servers, shared memory clusters, and other uses of physical address space that might approach this in the foreseeable future. Thus the 52-bit physical address provides ample room for expansion while not incurring the cost of implementing full 64-bit physical addresses. Similarly, the 48-bit virtual address space was designed to provide 65,536 (216) times the 32-bit limit of 4 GiB (4 10243 bytes), allowing room for later expansion and incurring no overhead of translating full 64-bit addresses.

The Power ISA v3.0 allows 64 bits for an effective address, mapped to a segmented address with between 65 and 78 bits allowed, for virtual memory, and, for any given processor, up to 60 bits for physical memory.[29]


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