The last time I upgraded this machine it failed because I have a non-PAE processor. I was forced to reinstall the last, old version of Xubuntu.

Now I fear I'm stuck with a discontinued distribution.

I don't know whether I can upgrade, whether I should and how I should. E.g. can I happily carry on with this old distribution forever? I need to install Skype. It should be okay, shouldn't it? But for how long? Is this the end of the relationship between me and Ubuntu? Or is there a way I can carry on using it with my old processor?

This is what I've got:

Linux version 3.2.0-58-generic (buildd@akateko) (gcc version 4.6.3 (Ubuntu/Linaro 4.6.3-1ubuntu5))

vendor_id   : GenuineIntel
cpu family  : 6
model       : 9
model name  : Intel(R) Pentium(R) M processor 1200MHz
stepping    : 5
microcode   : 0x7
cpu MHz     : 600.000
cache size  : 1024 KB
fdiv_bug    : no
hlt_bug     : no
f00f_bug    : no
coma_bug    : no
fpu     : yes
fpu_exception   : yes
cpuid level : 2
wp      : yes
flags       : fpu vme de pse tsc msr mce cx8 apic mtrr pge mca cmov clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 tm pbe up bts est tm2
bogomips    : 1196.12
clflush size    : 64
cache_alignment : 64
address sizes   : 32 bits physical, 32 bits virtual

Chances are your laptop DOES support pae, but it doesn't show up. Try to install the fake-pae package:

sudo add-add-repository ppa:prof7bit/fake-pae && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install fake-pae

after a reboot, cat /proc/cpuinfo will list 36 bits physical. You can then install newer pae-only kernels, or update to a new Ubuntu version.

I've had the same on my Pentium M laptop, and it worked. I was very happy, because the laptop was still working good, and it's still able to run the latest full Ubuntu version. Good Luck!

(Don't remove old kernels yet, because if your laptop doesn't support pae, the pae-only kernel will panic. In that case, you can boot the old kernel with grub.)

(If fake-pae doesn't work for your laptop, I would advise to use Ubuntu 12.04 LTS, which is supported until April 2017.)


This is Xubuntu 12.04.4 LTS, still supported and ok for any non-PAE machine. By the way, speaking of PAE, I am using right now some PAE version of ubuntu on my non-pae machine. It is Ubuntu LTS but still, it is working. I even managed to upgrade the kernel, no harm done so far.

  • The damage was already done. Xubuntu was running very sluggishly on my laptop. Something needed to be done. I had previously followed prompts to upgrade only for the upgrade to break cos non-PAE machine: Hours of heartache for nothing. I have since installed opensuse, which claims backwards compatibility as a badge of honour. I have zero trust that U/Xubuntu won't ditch non-PAE without warning after 14.04 like it did with the last upgrade and leave me without an operating machine. So migration was necessary, desperate act of self-preservation. Still dedicated to Xubuntu on desktop. – markling Aug 25 '14 at 13:26

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