Questions on 64 bit versions of Python

M.-A. Lemburg mal at
Fri Jul 25 12:35:10 CEST 2008

On 2008-07-25 08:13, python at wrote:
> Background: I'm going to be processing some raw transaction logs that
> are 30G in size. As part of this processing I may need to create some
> very large dictionary structures. I will be running my scripts on a
> version of Windows 2003 Server Enterprise Edition that supports 16G of
> RAM. Yes, I could use a database in place of dictionaries, but I'm
> looking for maximum performance.
> The following page lists two 64 bit versions of Python for Windows:
> For Win64-Itanium users: python-2.5.2.ia64.msi
> For Win64-AMD64 users: python-2.5.2.amd64.msi
> 1. It looks like the 64 bit versions of Python for Windows are CPU
> vendor specific, eg. it doesn't look like there's a single, universal
> executable for Windows 64 bit platforms. Is this true?


But then Intel Itanium is being phased out anyway and the AMD64
build works on both Intel and AMD processors.

> 2. Are there limitations to the using the 64 bit versions of Python? I
> seem to remember reading that many 3rd party modules (especially Windows
> OS specific modules) may not be compatible with the 64 bit versions of
> Python for Windows.


The extensions usually need to be recompiled and possibly
also updated to support 64-bit architectures.

The win32 tools are available on 64-bit Windows - if that's what
you mean with "Windows OS specific modules".

> 3. If I wanted to run a 64 bit version of Python under Linux, would I
> need to recompile from source on 64 bit version of Linux or do 64 bit
> versions of Linux automatically ship with 64 bit versions of Python?
> (Any recommendations on a flavor of 64 bit of Linux for the Intel
> architecture would be appreciated)

Yes, 64-bit Linux versions ship with 64-bit builds of Python. Any
recent Linux distro should work just fine.

> 4. Is there a stable version of IronPython compiled under a 64 bit
> version of .NET? Anyone have experience with such a beast?

Can't comment on that one.

Marc-Andre Lemburg

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