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This question already has an answer here:

So, does my 6-yr old Core-2 Duo 32-bit processor system work best with the 32-bit distro, or will the 64 bit version work?

marked as duplicate by psusi, karel, Eric Carvalho, Mitch Apr 20 '14 at 7:35

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I would recommend reading For better performance should I install 32-bit or 64-bit? and I installed a 64-bit OS in a 32-bit processor

But the truth is, if you do not have the following hardware specs ready, 64 bit is not for you yet:

  • CPU is 64 bit capability
  • Motherboard that supports 64 bit (It should if the CPU is 64 bit)
  • At least 4 GB of RAM. IF you have less than 4 GB it is recommended to stay on 32 bit because 64 bit will not have a optimal performance.

To test this out, simply insert the Live Ubuntu DVD/USB on your computer and see if it runs. If it runs and you see the desktop, then you have a 64 bit capable CPU. If you get a architectural error then you can only use the 32 bit version of Ubuntu.

Another way to check this is to run the lscpu command. Here is what mines look like:

cyrex@cyrex:~$ lscpu
Architecture:          x86_64
CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit, 64-bit
Byte Order:            Little Endian
CPU(s):                8
On-line CPU(s) list:   0-7
Thread(s) per core:    2
Core(s) per socket:    4
Socket(s):             1
NUMA node(s):          1
Vendor ID:             GenuineIntel
CPU family:            6
Model:                 60
Stepping:              3
CPU MHz:               800.000
BogoMIPS:              6811.87
Virtualization:        VT-x
L1d cache:             32K
L1i cache:             32K
L2 cache:              256K
L3 cache:              8192K
NUMA node0 CPU(s):     0-7

If you see the line that says CPU op-mode it shows that it supports 32 bit and 64 bit. The Architecture line shows what Ubuntu arch I am using at the moment, which would be the 64 bit one.

Lastly, I am sure (I might be wrong so please correct me) that all Core 2 Duo are 64 bit capable. I just checked all Core 2 Duo Processors and none of them were 32-bit only. I checked all 2006, 2007 and 2008. So if you could add what model your CPU is, it would help more.

If I am correct, then for your case I recommend 64 bit. You have 4 GB of RAM and a good CPU for Ubuntu 64 bit.

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You cannot install a 64-bit Operating System (or any other 64-bit software) on a 32-bit processor (System). While 64-bit processor supports any 32-bit application, reverse is not true. Hence you can run any 32-bit application(i386) on a 64-bit processor/System (amd64) but not the other way around. 64-bit Operating-Systems/Aplications are made specifically only for 64-bit processors.

That leaves you with no choice but to install 32-bit distro/version of Ubuntu IF you have a 32-bit processor.

I remembered Core 2 duo to be 64-bit and Wikipedia page 'Inter Core Family' confirms it

You can also check typing in terminal:

lscpu

and check CPU op-mode entry, if 64-bit is supported then it will be mentioned there,

Architecture:          x86_64
CPU op-mode(s):        32-bit, 64-bit
  • I think all CoreDuo systems are 64 bit. I have run 64 bit since 9.10 on these two systems from 2006. Laptop with 1.5GB RAM Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU T5500 @ 1.66GHz AND: Desktop with 4GB RAM Intel(R) Core(TM)2 CPU 6600 @ 2.40GHz – oldfred Apr 19 '14 at 21:56
  • i too think so, but just in case you can check using lscpu – Back.Slash Apr 19 '14 at 22:06

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