i386 or amd64 – Ubuntu distribution

Modern Processors these days are built on 64-bit architecture. These processors can support applications that are packaged for processors with 32-bit architecture. On the other hand, 32-bit processors aren’t capable to run applications that have been specifically built for 64-bit architecture. This pretty much sums up application compatibility with different architectures.

Linux distribution – i386 or amd64

64-bit Processors can handle more data as compared to that of 32-bit Processors, it can store far more number of memory addresses. So, more number of memory addresses can store more data on RAM. Hence, 64-bit Processors are capable of utilizing considerable amount of RAM whereas, 32-bit Processors can utilize a maximum of 4GBs of RAM. This assists us in executing tasks that require faster processing speed.

If you bought a processor in last decade, then it is most likely built on 64-bit architecture. Although we can, but it is not recommended to install a 32-bit supported operating system on a 64-bit processor architecture.

On website of Ubuntu Releases you would notice that previous Ubuntu releases are provided with two versions – amd64 and i386. i386 version supports both 32-bit and 64-bit processor architectures whereas, amd64 only supports 64-bit processor architecture.

So, it is advisable to know your processors’ architecture before installing the operating system. It will only save your time and networks’ bandwidth.

How to check if your Processor can support 32-bit or 64-bit operating system in Ubuntu/Linux

STEP – I: Open the terminal, by using the shortcut – Ctrl+Alt+T,

STEP – II: Type lscpu in terminal;

It would return with either of the two results – CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit OR, CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit.

CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit – then its 64-bit Processor architecture.

If its just – CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit – then its a 32-bit Processor architecture.

In conclusion, we have discussed which operating system built to choose for different Processor architectures. In next article, we will compare both the processor architectures i.e. i386 and amd64 in detail.