64-Bit Is Like…

...a new operating system.

Here's how I think about 32 vs. 64 bit: supporting both 32 and 64 bit ABIs in X-Plane is like supporting Mac and Windows.  It means a little bit more work for programmers to cover more executable types but it lets users get more out of X-Plane and add-ons on a wider variety of hardware.

We're not switch from 32 to 64-bit.  We're adding 64-bit native execution to our list of supported configurations.  (Linux nerds have been asking us for this for years! 🙂

So I view the question of "when will my add-ons support 64-bit" as similar to "when will they support a different OS."  It will come with time, but no one is dropping the existing setup.

Developers don't have the choice to pick 32 or 64 bits; the question is whether to extend support to 64 bits.

Did any plugin developers drop Windows support when they ported their plugins to Linux?  I am guessing no.  And I am guessing that 64-bits will be the same way.

This is already covered in the X-Plane 64-bit FAQ, but at a minimum we will maintain 32-bit support all the way through the v10 run.  My guess is 32-bits will be around for the next major version too, but we'll figure out those system requirements when the time comes.

BTW: beta 2 is out.  Mac users, you have keyboards and mice again.  (The bug only happened when you start the sim in full-screen mode.)  Windows users, no spinning balls.  And GeForce 200 users, your shaders compile.  So at a minimum most of the face-palm bugs from beta 1 are fixed.

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About Ben Supnik

Ben is a software engineer who works on X-Plane; he spends most of his days drinking coffee and swearing at the computer -- sometimes at the same time.
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17 Responses to 64-Bit Is Like…

  1. Nenad Jankovic says:


    Nice work on 64 bit!
    As Linux user I must admit that 10.20b1 was real success!!! Everything worked like charm. Performance was really good and I also experienced fps increase compared to 10.10.(Everything maxed, I got approx 30-40 fps on HDR FXAAx4).
    Unfortunately, 10.20b2 did not bring anything good to me and I experienced halving of fps with same settings. 15-20fps on 10.20b2.

    My config:
    Latest Nvidia Linux drivers for GTX580
    Intel i7-3930k
    64Gb RAM
    OS: CentOS 6.3


    • cestomano says:


      In Ubuntu 12.04 @64 I noticed than X-Plane 10.** (all versions) runs strange in fps. In the same airport, same plane, same weather, same options, I saw 29-30 fps in first x-plane execution. I close it, use WED, close WED, re-run X-Plane and then, 23-24 fps. Another execution, 19-20 fps...

      ...sixth or seventh x-plane execution, about 9-10 fps. Why? I don't know. Maybe Ubuntu, maybe Unity, maybe nVidia drivers (310.19 at this time), maybe X-Plane...

      If I want to fly, I reboot computer and cross fingers 😀

  2. Ephendi says:

    Hello Ben, when will be recompiled xsquawkbox for use with 64bit xplane? I tried to find developer if this plugin and on xsb site is your name, then use this way to contact you. Thans. Peter

    • Ben Supnik says:

      I have no idea. Wade and I are the authors of XSB, and neither of us have any time. So it could be a very long time. Maybe Wade and I can find a new developer to help us get the port done sooner.

      • Mike Burke says:

        Might be a bit outside of my level of expertise, but I'd be willing to take a look and see if I can give this a shot as there are a few other fixes I was looking to see if I could contribute. Checking on the plugin's site, I'm seeing the multiplayer source seems to still be offline (has been since the move to WordPress, I believe)?

        Any direction on where to start here would be most helpful.

        • Paul says:


          Although I would not be able to help at all, you would have my absolute support in this. I have only just gotten on board with VATSIM. Flying online seems to be the next stage for me, but it would be a great shame if I had to stick to an old version of x-plane (in the future) to enable this.

          I'm sure there are many others in the same boat too.

          • Mike Burke says:

            Agreed. I fly almost exclusively on VATSIM and I'm a controller on there as well - getting this working again and possibly adding some improvements would only help both communities.

          • Stephen Roger says:

            It would be very disappointing if xsb were not moved 64bit for any length of time. Could there be encouragement to help someone to take this task on? I would gladly make a financial contribution.

          • Ben Supnik says:

            I'm not sure if VATSIM developers are barred from taking money.

            Honestly, the most useful thing would be for VATSIM to loosen their restrictions on development. The fact that Wade and I have to get anyone who works on the code 'registered' is a giant PITA.

  3. chris says:

    Hey Ben,

    I noticed theres two Mega Planes folders inside the aircraft folder of X-Plane when updating.
    Mega-Planes Mega-Planes! Both contain the B-52 & SR-71

  4. chris says:

    Alright, I figured that but wanted to make sure before I cause a issue with the files

    Thanks , and will do if so.

  5. Jeff says:

    Just curious, why did you decide to make the 64-bit binary the default executable (X-Plane.exe)? Is this merely for testing, or is the 64-bit version going to be the default executable from here on out?

    • Ben Supnik says:

      We believe that in the long term the 64-bit version will become the default. Already most of our users are on 64-bit capable operating systems, so we figured by setting the names up this way now we won't have to go through a second round of confusion when we change the names later.

  6. Tom Knudsen says:

    Found my self having more Nvidia display driver failour when using the 64bit version
    Hopefully there is not an XPX issue, but nevertheless a fix for this is to edit the register on Windows 7

    Look for this

    Change TdrDelay: REG_DWORD to 8
    Default is 2

    This will allow your GPU to render more scenery before it dies (blackscreen of death. and error message below)


  7. Hi Ben

    No offence but I bought xplane with the specific purpose of having a better sim and flyuing on VATSIM was a major reason for the expenditure hearing you say that your not going to 64bit Xsquawkbox is a massive dissapointment. As it wil be to countless hundreds of xplane users. I know your busy but I really think you should reconsider.

    You will ultimately hurt Xplane itself by neglecting your addon and force many of us back to FSX.

    As a member of VATSIM since 2005 I can say with some certain knowledge that any effort made by yourself would be morethan appreciated.


    • Ben Supnik says:

      Hi Wycliffe,

      Please see my post on xsquawkbox.net re: 64-bit. I do not have time to deal with XSB anytime soon myself, but I also have no desire to 'take my ball and go home' - it doesn't have to be "my add-on" - in fact, the most recent versions are really "Wade's" add-on because he did all of the heavy lifting.

      Unfortunately, VATSIM policy prohibits me from simply posting the entire plugin and going "anyone who wants, take a swing."

      But I was able to identify at least two development tasks that developers can take on _now_, without even having to do any VATSIM NDA/registration stuff, that will advance progress toward a 64-bit XSB. The code and tasks are already out there and described.


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