I'm going to install Arch linux yet I have to choose between several architectures my computer has.

I have an aluminium macbook pro, with a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 processor. . The intel webpage tells me this is a dual core processor.

running uname -a in the shell returns:

Darwin Romeos-MacBook-Pro.local 11.3.0 Darwin Kernel Version 11.3.0:
Thu Jan 12 18:47:41 PST 2012; root:xnu-1699.24.23~1/RELEASE_X86_64 x86_64

Which makes me believe I have an x86_64 machine, yet when executing arch in the shell it returns i386.

I'm a bit confused about what to pick:

  • i686 CPU
  • x86-64 CPU
  • Dual Architecture

What would you recommend?


3 Answers 3


You processor supports x86_64, so you can choose either a distro compiled forx86 or x86_64.

the arch command, reports which architecture your running kernel was compiled for. It does not show your CPU capabilities. So you can go either way, I prefer x86_64. I've used x86_64 from when it was Debian unofficial. Support has become very mature, you should not have problems going x86_64.


Intel Core 2 (i5) is a 64-bit processor supporting Intel 64, Intel 64 is Intel's implementation of x86-64


Your CPU is x86_64 (Intel Core i5), so either can be used; it's your choice, but I see no reason not to use x86_64.

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