I have windows 7 with 32 bit system, and previously I used CentOS-6.5-i386-minimal to run centos on my virtual box, but now I would like to run CentOS 7 and it seems (if I am not mistaken) that there are No links to download an i386 image, as there are only x86_64 which I am assuming is for the 64 bit systems.


despite the answers I got here, I was able to install CentOS 7 and start working with no problem.

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If you're running 32-bit Windows 7 on a 64-bit processor, then VirtualBox can run a 64-bit guest with a few caveats:

3.1.2. 64-bit guests

VirtualBox supports 64-bit guest operating systems, even on 32-bit host operating systems, provided that the following conditions are met:

  1. You need a 64-bit processor with hardware virtualization support (see Section 10.3, “Hardware vs. software virtualization”).

  2. You must enable hardware virtualization for the particular VM for which you want 64-bit support; software virtualization is not supported for 64-bit VMs.

  3. If you want to use 64-bit guest support on a 32-bit host operating system, you must also select a 64-bit operating system for the particular VM. Since supporting 64 bits on 32-bit hosts incurs additional overhead, VirtualBox only enables this support upon explicit request.

To check whether your processor supports virtualization from Windows hosts, use the Microsoft Hardware-Assisted Virtualization Tool.

To check whether your processor supports virtualization from Linux hosts, run:

egrep '(vmx|svm)' /proc/cpuinfo

The above checks for either vmx or svm in /etc/cpuinfo. If it finds either, it prints out all of the flags. However, if it doesn't find them, it will not print anything. The latter means you do not have hardware virtualization.

  • Hmm, I guess this answer my question. From the description I can understand, that if atleast I have visualization support (which I have, since I have been using CentOS 6.5 on a virtualbox) then I should be able to run 64bit. right? – robue-a7119895 Oct 14 '14 at 11:45
  • Only if you were running the 64-bit version of CentOS6.5. Check your processor - I've added to my answer. – garethTheRed Oct 14 '14 at 11:58
  • thanks, but are you sure that command is correct? I run it, and I get nothing. No response at all. – robue-a7119895 Oct 14 '14 at 13:27
  • Unfortunately, that means you do not have hardware virtualization - I've edited my answer. – garethTheRed Oct 14 '14 at 14:13
  • Well, actually I managed to install CentOS 7. Which I am working on right now. So, there must be something wrong with your answer, or maybe some bug or something. – robue-a7119895 Dec 22 '14 at 4:17

From the CentOS wiki:

CentOS aims to be 100% binary compatible with its upstream source, Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL)

From the Red Hat website:

Red Hat Enterprise Linux 7 will only provide 64-bit ISO's, thus allowing only a 64-bit operating environment. However, 32-bit is supported in the following ways:

  • RHEL 7 will continue to provide selected libraries in both 32-bit and 64-bit, allowing 32-bit applications to run in the 64-bit RHEL 7 OS environment. This functionality also exists for RHEL 5 & 6 as documented in the knowledge article: How to install 32-bit packages on a 64-bit system
  • RHEL 7 will continue to support the multilib toolchain, allowing applications to be compiled for both 32-bit and 64-bit.
  • RHEL 7 can host, using KVM virtualization technology, both 32-bit and 64-bit virtual guest instances of RHEL 5 and RHEL 6

While RHEL 7 will not natively support 32-bit hardware, certified hardware can be searched for in the certified hardware database.

  • I am struggling to find a concrete and tangible answer in the second paragraph, aside from the fact that their "solution" takes me the a login page. I guess, only fedora can provide CentOS 7 for 32 bit systems. – robue-a7119895 Oct 14 '14 at 11:24
  • Their solution is for 32-bit applications to run on the 64-bit operating environment. I do not know any details about an apparent community supported 32 bit edition being created. – geedoubleya Oct 14 '14 at 11:38
  • 1
    Fedora has nothing to do with CentOS, they're totally different distros. – slm Oct 14 '14 at 13:01
  • @slm I know that. I was just assuming that maybe CentOS does not have that option. (running a 64bit image on a 32bit distro) – robue-a7119895 Oct 14 '14 at 13:45

It seems there is another distribution based on RHEL called Springdale and it has both 64-bit and 32-bit versions: http://springdale.math.ias.edu/

Take it with a grain of salt though, I haven't tried it and I don't know what are the differences between this and CentOS (if there are any).

  • Actually as stated already later in the comment, it was possible for me to install CentOs7 on 32bit. – robue-a7119895 Mar 3 '15 at 19:42
  • sadly, Springdale still ships systemd, so it's out as a successor in my shop; but shipping a 32-bit version is nice. I think there were some 32-bit respins of centos7, too. – user2066657 May 28 '18 at 23:32

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