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How can I install 12.04 on a non-PAE CPU? (error “Kernel requires features not present on the CPU: PAE”)

I have downloaded the 32 bit version of ubuntu 12.04 from the site and when I try to do a clean install on the computer it gives me the PAE error saying the processor cannot address 64 gig of memory. The 32 bit version I downloaded should not be looking for that function.


Your machine is rather old (2005?) and does not support certain extensions the recent versions of Ubuntu kernel require.

From How To Install Ubuntu 12.04 On Non-PAE Capable Hardware

Physical Address Extension (PAE) is a feature to allow (32-bit) x86 processors to access a physical address space (including random access memory and memory mapped devices) larger than 4 gigabytes.

Ubuntu 12.04 (as well as Kubuntu 12.04) uses the PAE Linux kernel by default for 32bit ISOs so old computers that don't support PAE can't boot the latest Ubuntu version. But there is a way to install Ubuntu 12.04 LTS Precise Pangolin on computers without PAE support: using the non-PAE netboot Minimal ISO (there are also some alternatives, see below).

The non-PAE netboot mini ISO lets you install the non-PAE kernel and the desktop environment you want: you can select to install Ubuntu Desktop (with Unity), Kubuntu Desktop and so on. One note though: since the minimal CD will download packages from online archives at installation time instead of providing them on the install CD itself, you need a working Internet connection during the installation.

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