Has any other BSD or linux tackled this issue yet?
The NetBSD guys have; it's a prerequisite for the AMD K64 support.
That doesn't count really, since "long" is a 64-bit type on x86-64.
You don't need "long long" to make things work on x86-64.
Solaris (?), Linux, Windows, and UnixWare support 36-bit addressing.
None of these require special patches. Windows and UnixWare might
still only offer this memory via a special API for databases.
With the right OS support, the memory is useful for several things:
1. disk cache
2. running many 32-bit processes at the same time
3. locked shared memory regions, for a database perhaps
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