So let's say I download the 64-bit version (amd64) iso from official download page, then I boot at a 64-bit pc and start the installation to my 128GB USB.

Let's say we all got both 32-bit and 64-bit pc running on UEFI mode, can my USB disk (installed on 64-bit platform with amd64 iso) run on my 32-bit pc?

1 Answer 1


Not possible. You will probably get the following error message(or some message that is similar to this one):

enter image description here

If you have 32bit machines, it is safer to download a 32bit OS to boot on both architecture options.

Note also that when talking about EFI, there are some machines that have 32bit EFI, but run amd64 processor so, there are some tweaks that need to be made to make this kind of "boot freak machines" work. Take a look at the related stuff section of this answer.

There is also this question on AskUbuntu where you can find interesting stuff about dual booting Ubuntu 32-bit EFI and 64-bit EFI. Since Kali Linux is based on Debian, some of the tips could apply to your scenario. As said in the comments, this setup should be possible if using a 32-bit EFI to chainload both kernels, and isolating the / on 2 different partitions, making 2 different installations on the same disk.

It should be possible to share swap partitions although you could break your system if you "suspend to disk" and then boot on another of your Linux installs. The same way you could share your /home partition but you could break software that use files that are architecture dependent like rrd database files, getting the ERROR: This RRD was created on another architecture error.

Related Stuff:

My opinion: If you really want an OS that will be able to boot on i686 and amd64 i suggest you to use an i686 Linux distribution.

  • Then is it possible to have two kernel and grub to boot on 32 and 64 while other data using the same destination (install both grub in different partition with different bootloader id but using the same / partition)? Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 13:14
  • Using the same / partition i think no, cause you will "blend" 32bit and 64bit software on the same partition. But i think that if you use a 32bit EFI loader to both Linuxes, and keep them on separated / partitions you could even share their /home directories on this kind of setup... I never did this setup, but these are my 2 cents on this matter :) Basically, they will share the bootloader, will not share the / partition, and COULD share the /home
    – user34720
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 13:18
  • Then is it possible to have 2 kali (5 partition, 2 /, 2 /boot, 1 swap) on my 128GB USB to run both on 32 bit and 64 bit? Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 13:19
  • Should be possible with this layout. Will not be possible if just following your question like "booting with no kernel changes on amd64" or sharing the same /
    – user34720
    Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 13:30
  • @municial That won't work, since the amd64 kernel will be expecting amd64 libraries and binaries, which the x86 can't work with, and I'm not confident in Kali's ability to set up proper multiarch support. Commented Feb 26, 2018 at 13:32

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