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I don't know anything about CPUs. I have a 32-bit version of ubuntu. But I need to install 64-bit applications. I came to know that it is not possible to run 64-bit apps on 32 bit OS. So I decided to upgrade my os. But a friend of mine told me to check CPU specifications before the new upgrade. I run this command as was suggested on a website. lscpu command gives the following details

Architecture:        i686
CPU op-mode(s):      32-bit, 64-bit
Byte Order:          Little Endian
CPU(s):              2
On-line CPU(s) list: 0,1
Thread(s) per core:  1
Core(s) per socket:  2
Socket(s):           1
Vendor ID:           GenuineIntel
CPU family:          6
Model:               23
Model name:          Pentium(R) Dual-Core  CPU      E5300  @ 2.60GHz
Stepping:            10
CPU MHz:             1315.182
CPU max MHz:         2603.0000
CPU min MHz:         1203.0000
BogoMIPS:            5187.07
Virtualization:      VT-x
L1d cache:           32K
L1i cache:           32K
L2 cache:            2048K
Flags:               fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe nx lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts cpuid aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm xsave lahf_lm pti tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority dtherm

In one word what does this mean? I want to know whether I can install 64-bit Ubuntu in my pc. My installed RAM is 2GB. Since my system is more than 10 years old I expect some expert advice on my CPU status. Should I buy a new pc? Or can I stick with my old one? I already checked this. But I expect some thing easier. https://unix.stackexchange.com/a/77724/413713

(I can share any information regarding my hardware, only tell me how to collect them). Thanks in advance. Sorry for bad english

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    You can boot into live system using the (64bit) installation media to check if there are any hardware compatibility issues. If there are, it is unlikely a CPU compatibility issue (can boot the system) – sebasth May 21 '20 at 5:10
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    You might price up another 2GB RAM, and check you have a spare slot for it. – Paul_Pedant May 21 '20 at 8:55
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    @sebasth Thanks a lot. I could boot into live system using 64-bit. – ACA May 21 '20 at 16:44
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    Crucial is one company that sells RAM guaranteed to work with your system if you buy what they recommend. They have a memory advisor tool on their website, or you can just specify make and model and they'll tell you the max you can buy. It should be cheaper than getting a new computer. I'm not linking to the website in case it's considered spam, but it's crucial dot com. Good luck! – Matt Obert May 21 '20 at 17:25
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    @MattObert Well, that got me hooked too. Extra 4GB for £28. When I started in 1968, memory was knitted from ceramic cores and wire by hand, and there was not 4GB in total in the world. – Paul_Pedant May 21 '20 at 20:12
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Intel’s summary of your CPU’s features confirms that it supports 64-bit mode, as indicated by

CPU op-mode(s):      32-bit, 64-bit

in lscpu’s output.

This isn’t an Atom CPU either, so the rest of your system is, in all likelihood, capable of supporting a 64-bit operating system.

You can re-install a 64-bit variant of your operating system, or you could use Ubuntu’s multiarch support: install a 64-bit kernel, add the amd64 architecture, and you will then be able to install and run 64-bit software without re-installing everything:

sudo dpkg --add-architecture amd64
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install linux-image-generic:amd64

(followed by a reboot).

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    Is it enough to check CPU architecture to say entire machine is 64 bit capable? I think about other limits, both hardware e.g. motherboard bus and software e.g. motherboard BIOS – mattia.b89 May 21 '20 at 8:38
  • @mattia.b89: I don't think any vendors have sold motherboards for x86-64 CPUs that aren't capable of running in 64-bit long mode. Even if you have to boot in legacy BIOS mode on a board that predates UEFI or doesn't have good support, the Linux kernel knows how to switch the CPU into 64-bit mode. Usually no BIOS code has to execute after that happens; Linux talks to hardware with its own drivers. – Peter Cordes May 22 '20 at 3:46
  • @StephenKitt I'm aware of at least one computer with 64-bit CPU which is limited to 32-bit by motherboard: Acer Aspire One D257. – gronostaj May 22 '20 at 6:37
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    @gronostaj what happens when one tries to initialize IA-32e mode there? – Ruslan May 22 '20 at 12:12
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    here is a source which points out this issue: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_Atom#Intel_64_software_support – mattia.b89 May 23 '20 at 7:44
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Here is a guy with the same CPU running 64-bit Ubuntu:

https://askubuntu.com/questions/622269/for-an-old-machine-with-4-gb-of-ram-is-a-32-bit-or-64-bit-system-faster

So the answer is yes: You can run 64-bit Ubuntu on your CPU.

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Yes, it will work.

E5300 is an x86-64 CPU, and AFAIK no vendor has made a motherboard or laptop for an x86-64 CPU that somehow stopped an OS from switching into 64-bit mode after the kernel loads.

You might have to boot with pure legacy-BIOS 16-bit booting, not UEFI, but once the kernel loads it's only limited by the kernel's drivers and what the CPU can do.

Should I buy a new pc?

Yes, if you want good desktop GUI performance, or any kind of number crunching. Also yes if you care about energy efficiency; modern systems idle at significantly fewer watts than an old Core 2.

E5300 is 2nd-gen (45nm) Core 2 (Penryn / Wolfdale) which should help the power budget some compared to an old E6600 I have lying around as a home server. (And 2nd-gen means that it has SSE4.1 SIMD extensions, and its SSSE3 shuffles are faster, which matters for a few tasks, e.g. video encoding.)

Memory bandwidth is much better in a new system (AMD Zen 1 / Zen 2 or Intel Skylake-derived) compared to Core 2 Duo (like factor of 4). The clock-for-clock single core performance is also probably close to a factor of 2 faster in a lot of things even when not memory bottlenecked, probably including running a web browser.

And there's also the ratio of clock speeds between that 2.6GHz Core 2 vs. a new CPU that can turbo up to 3.5 or 4.5 GHz (depending on CPU model) for bursts of performance (like rendering a web page), so you're looking at a large performance gap, definitely noticeable for interactive use.

Even with 8GiB of RAM, that Core 2 system won't be nearly as snappy for web browsing as a new-ish system based on at least Haswell, preferably Skylake or Zen.

I used a Core 2 Duo E6600 (first-gen 65nm Core 2) with 5GB of RAM at DDR2-533 for a while until about Dec 2016, and it was really not fun to have a lot of tabs open in Chromium. Even without swapping, it was pretty laggy.

Think twice before investing money into new RAM for that old clunker.

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  • I thought twice. Doubling memory for 10% of the cost of replacement for my clunker hits a warm spot. – Paul_Pedant May 23 '20 at 9:52
  • @Paul_Pedant: Only 10%? Keep in mind other options, like a used Haswell or even Sandybridge / Ivy Bridge desktop, with maybe a RAM upgrade for a DDR3 used machine. (Zen 1 would be fine too, but you're less likely to find those used.) If that's still much more expensive than the cost of new RAM for a really ancient machine, then sure. Also remember you only need to replace the CPU/RAM/mobo; you can keep using your disks, and probably case / power supply, if a used machine doesn't come with those. – Peter Cordes May 23 '20 at 15:53
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In terms of CPU, yes, yours supports a 64-bit Ubuntu and should be OK.

Now, you should also consider a minimum of 2 GB ram (do you have as much ram?), and 20 GB hdd (this is probably not an issue).

If you meet the RAM and HDD requirements, the CPU will be sluggish a bit but not bad. Below the 2 GB RAM mark, the OS can become really slow, as soon as you start opening two or three apps: Chromium, Firefox, etc. consume a lot of RAM. And, if you have 4 GB RAM, that would be quite decent to be honest.

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  • Currently installed ram is 2gb. I don't know about hdd. How to check it? – ACA May 21 '20 at 16:41
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    sudo hdparm -I /dev/sda will tell you hard drive parameters for /dev/sda. But first, you might want to use df to ensure that you specify the correct device. – Matt Obert May 21 '20 at 17:41
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I have a similar system. At one stage I had upgraded the kernel to PAE and upgraded RAM from 3GB to 8GB. However (at the time) all attempts to install a 64bit OS did not work. The firmware refused to boot it.

Later I discovered that I could install the 64bit kernel into an existing OS. And boot it. I then discovered that I could install multi-arch, and some individual 64bit programs.

Much later I discovered that Debian had improved their installer, and I could not install 64bit Debian on this system.

I think the problem was with the boot-loaders. I think the firmware did not know how to switch to 64bit mode. Now is is probably grub, that switches to 64bit mode.

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