The Ubuntu website is to switch to promoting 64bit builds of Ubuntu desktop and server by default from this October.
For the release of Ubuntu 13.10 the download section on the official site will automatically select 64bit builds by default, though 32bit builds will remain available from the same page.
In a post to the Ubuntu Release mailing list, Dmitrijs Ledkovs explains the reasoning behind the move:
“We believe that 64-bit image has now become more compatible for new installations, and is more advantageous for people to install.”
At present the Ubuntu website offers 32bit builds by default, but displays ‘help text’ advising those with ‘newer computers’ to select 64bit builds.
With 64bit builds now set to be the default choice that advice, Ledkovs says, will be changed to advise downloaders whose computers have ‘less than 2GB of RAM’ to select the 32bit builds.
Ubuntu flavours are also being encouraged to look at their user base to determine whether their users would also benefit from the promotion of 64bit images as default.