Ubuntu – Can I install the 64 bit version


Ok, I've always, for some reason, thought that my cpu had 32 bit registers… so I always installed the 32bit version of all OSs that I've used. Now though I ran a lscpu, and I get:

fer@fer-lap:~$ lscpu
Arquitectura:          i686
CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit, 64-bit

Does this mean I can use 64 bit OSs?

Running these I get:

fer@fer-lap:~$ grep flags /proc/cpuinfo

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 aperfmperf pni dtes64 monitor ds_cpl est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm lahf_lm dtherm

And I have read that the lm flag means long mode, which stands for 64 bit cpus. Also, as a last test, running lshw gives, for the cpu section:

              descripción: CPU
              producto: Intel(R) Core(TM)2 Duo CPU     T5800  @ 2.00GHz
              fabricante: Intel Corp.
              id físico: 4
              información del bus: cpu@0
              versión: 6.15.13
              serie: 0000-06FD-0000-0000-0000-0000
              ranura: U2E1
              tamaño: 2GHz
              capacidad: 4096MHz
              anchura: 64 bits

It's in spanish and the last line stands for width (I guess register width).
So… can I install the 64 bit of the OS? Will it be a big diference in performance? Because that's what I'm looking for (doesn't need to be a BIG difference)

Thanks in advance.

Best Answer

In the information you posted you answered your own question, your processor is capable of running a 64 bit OS. Go ahead and boot 64 bit version of Ubuntu and if you like , go ahead and install.

IMO if you have a 64 bit processor you should run 64 bit Ubuntu. You may get other opinions based on RAM, but, IMO, 64 bit does not use significantly more RAM (it does use a bit more RAM and hard drive space).

64 bit is faster then 32 bit on most performance benchmarks, but, with typical desktop sorts of activities (web browsing, word processing, etc) you are not going to notice much difference.