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What do the flags in /proc/cpuinfo mean?

I tried installing CentOS 6.3 on my computer only to see a complaint that my computer doesn't have PAE. I am not sure if my computer has it and it's just disabled or if it doesn't have PAE at all.

I am using Mageia 2 right now and I want to check if I can turn it on (in case it's off) or if my computer doesn't have it.

My current computer is an IBM ThinkPad X32. I know it's kind of old but this (CentOS 6.3) is the first ever Linux distro to give me that error of not having PAE.

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marked as duplicate by Gilles, Renan, jasonwryan, warl0ck, Mat Sep 30 '12 at 16:34

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

    
Similar question here: sf –  don_crissti Sep 29 '12 at 14:57
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2 Answers

up vote 8 down vote accepted

When you examine the contents of /proc/cpuinfo, the flags for the CPU will include "pae".

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quite obvious but for the beginner: cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep pae –  Thiago F Macedo Nov 23 '13 at 0:58
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pae will be in the "flags" section of the output of 'cat /proc/cpuinfo'

PAE is Physical Address Extension. It's a way of addressing large amounts of memory.

Here are a couple of links about it:
http://serverfault.com/questions/85980/what-processors-do-do-not-support-pae

http://pacoup.com/2009/05/27/pae-vs-64-bit-what-manufacturers-dont-want-you-to-know/comment-page-1/

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