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I want to help someone upgrade an oldish laptop from 11.10 to 12.04, which requires PAE. I am not sure whether they have PAE or not.

I know it is likely that they do have it after all, but how can I tell before trying to upgrade?

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3 Answers 3

up vote 15 down vote accepted

Citing https://help.ubuntu.com/community/EnablingPAE:

To check if your processor supports PAE, try

grep --color=always -i PAE /proc/cpuinfo

If it outputs something, you have PAE support. Otherwise, the output will be empty.

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Another option (which uses a GUI) involves using Hardinfo (System Profiler and Benchmark.

  • Under devices, select Processor.
  • From here, you can see the processor's capabilities (along with their simple descriptions).
  • If PAE is not listed, your processor does not support it.

enter image description here

  • As you can tell, the processor in this example does not.

enter image description here

  • and this one does.
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Do you also want an image that does support PAE? :+ –  Rinzwind Aug 3 '12 at 7:30
@Rinzwind lol I could add one from my other laptop :P –  RolandiXor Aug 4 '12 at 2:40
oh I had one ready @roland >:) –  Rinzwind Aug 4 '12 at 7:58
@Rinzwind Core i5! Argh I only have a Core2Duo :( –  RolandiXor Aug 4 '12 at 14:08
yeah, got it VERY cheap this notebook (even let an i7 go for it: since I got 50% discount on it for it being displayed in the window of the shop). It's a real delight: 1x120Gb ssd and 1x500Gb hdd. Ubuntu starts up in 7 seconds _O- –  Rinzwind Aug 4 '12 at 15:30

From the terminal, simply type the following.

cat /proc/cpuinfo

Scroll down and check the flags. PAE will be listed in the flags if supported.

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