> The first major decision is whether to run in 32 or 64 bit mode.
If raw performance is what you are after, use 32-bit. Sad, but true.
> (...) I can't expect SKAS3 to do so.
Correct, it doesn't work on 64-bit.
> Running in 32-bit mode works almost as well. Chances are SKAS3 would work,
> but I'd have less functional memory shuffling. However, perhaps the gain
> by using SKAS3 would counter the performance loss in memory shuffling?
Yes, it does.
> So questions.. With a machine I expect to not upgrade host kernel on for
> the foreseeable future:
Now, that's something I can't agree with... Why not upgrade the host?
You will have to upgrade/reboot anyway to patch your kernel.
> * Should I use 32 or 64 bit host system?
> * Which host kernel + patch set should I use?
on x86: skas3 without a doubt.
on amd64: none
> * Which guest kernel + patch set is most likely to hold for some time with
> this configuration?
bs/bb patchsets have worked fine for me, but now that a lot of the
work has been merged into mainline, x86 shouldn't need too many patches.
(I personally like to have the mconsole_exec patch which is in bs/bb)