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I need to install a non-PAE kernel for a 64-bit machine that supports PAE. 32-bit 12.04 currently comes with a PAE kernel but I need to get a non-PAE kernel. An older version of Ubuntu is also acceptable as long as it runs in 32-bit mode.

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

32-bit 12.04 currently comes with a PAE kernel but I need to get a non-PAE kernel.

  • It's as simple as doing this on your existing 32-bit 12.04 installation:

    • sudo apt-get install linux-image-generic
  • followed by a this to remove the PAE kernel (so the system boots from the non-PAE by default):

    • sudo apt-get remove linux-image-generic-pae
    • Alternatively, comment out the GRUB_HIDDEN lines in /etc/default/grub and run sudo update-grub to display the grub menu upon boot, from which you can select the kernel to use.
  • If you want to install a non-PAE kernel as part of a new installation, start with Xubuntu or Lubuntu 12.04 32-bit, both of which come with the non-PAE kernel. Once running, you can run sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop to get the full Unity desktop experience.

  • In general, the two common kernel suffixes for 12.04 are:

    1. -generic (non-PAE for 32-bit; standard for 64-bit)
    2. -generic-pae (PAE and default for 32-bit only)
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I couldn't install non-pae kernel with this command (from previous answer):

sudo apt-get install linux-image-$(uname -r)-generic

But on output was a kernel version, in my case 3.2.0-27, so I modified the command:

sudo apt-get install linux-image-3.2.0-27-generic

And it worked!

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Sorry for the mistake -- please see edited answer. Just installing the metapackage linux-image-generic should be enough and will allow for seamless upgrading whenever new kernels of that variant are released. – izx Jul 30 '12 at 7:53

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