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Boot Your Mac on the 64bit Kernel

If you’re reading this on an Apple that you purchased within the past two years, chances are that you’re running OS 10.5 or OS 10.6. Snow Leopard (10.6) pushes the hand just a little bit lot further, promoting the 64bit architecture like 32bit was disco. But how do you know if your system supports the 64bit kernel? To determine this, launch Terminal.app and type:

ioreg -l -p IODeviceTree | awk -F'"' '/firmware-abi/{print $4}'

If the return is “EFI64,” your system supports the 64bit kernel! While booting your machine, hold down the 4 and 6 keys to boot with the 64bit kernel. If you don’t run VMware or are sure you’ll never need to run the 32bit kernel, you can make this change permanent by typing the following in Terminal.app:

sudo defaults write /Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration/com.apple.Boot 'Kernel Flags' 'arch=x86_64'

Be warned that you’ll see virtually no difference in performance between the two kernels, but it’ll sure feel faster!

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