As a Linux user, knowing whether you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Ubuntu on your machine might be useful at times. The topic of how to determine the flavor of your operating system (OS) as well as the architecture of the underlying CPU emerges.
This tutorial will provide you with answers to the following questions:
- Is it a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Ubuntu that I’m using?
- Do I use a 32-bit Ubuntu on a 32-bit CPU?
- Is it true that I’m using a 32-bit Ubuntu on a 64-bit CPU?
- Is it true that I’m using a 64-bit Ubuntu on a 64-bit CPU?
Let’s start by defining 32-bit and 64-bit in the context of a CPU. In the early 1990s, processors were designed with 32-bit specifications, which meant the data bus could transport 32 bits at a time. The capacity of the data bus has grown with advancements in hardware technology, and it can currently transport 64 bits at a time; these are known as 64-bit processors. These powerful processors are capable of double the processing power of their predecessors.
32-bit CPUs can only run 32-bit operating systems, but 64-bit architecture can run both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems. It’s preferable to utilize the 64-bit version of the OS to get the most out of the upgraded hardware technologies (64-bit CPU) (64-bit Ubuntu OS in our case).
How to check the if you are using 32-bit or 64-bit Ubuntu?
Ubuntu provides you with two ways to check the flavor of your operating system:
- Using Ubuntu GUI
- Using Ubuntu Terminal
Note: We are running this tutorial on Ubuntu 18.
Using Graphical Interface
In order to test if you are running a 32-bit or a 64-bit Ubuntu operating system:
Open your system settings through the following two ways:
Click the down arrow drop-down located at the top right of your screen. The following window will open:
Now click the settings button located at the down left corner of the window.
Open the Settings application from the Ubuntu application menu as follows:
The following Settings window will open, displaying various system settings in tabbed form. The default tab open would be that of Wi-Fi.
Click the Details tab from the left panel.
The following Details tab will open in the Settings window with the About details displayed in the right panel as follows:
Here you will be able to see your system details including the OS type. This field tells you if you are using a 32-bit or 64-bit Operating System.
Note: Please note that this window will not provide any information about the underlying architecture of your CPU. In order to view that, you will need to use the command line(the Terminal)
Using Command Line
You can also test the flavor of your Ubuntu OS through the command line-the Terminal.
- Open the Terminal.
- Use the following command to fetch CPU details from the files sysfs and /proc/cpuinfo:
This command will display the following output:
The following entries are important for you to check the type of OS and the architecture of CPU:
Architecture: This entry tells you about the architecture of your CPU; x86_32 means you have a 32-bit processor and x86_64 bit signifies that you have a 64-bit processor. In the above output you can see that it is a 64 bit CPU.
You can also use the following command to only display the architecture of your CPU:
CPU op-mode(s): This entry tells you about the flavor of Ubuntu you are running on your system; 32-bit means you are running a 32-bit Linux OS, 32-bit, 64-bit signifies that you are running a 64-bit OS. In the above output you can see ‘32-bit, 64-bit” op-modes because the CPU architecture of 64-bit can run both of these flavors.
You are now able to know exactly what Ubuntu flavor and CPU architecture you are on!
Knowing whether you’re running a 32-bit or 64-bit version of Ubuntu on your machine might be useful at times. This tutorial explains how to determine the flavor of your operating system (OS) as well as the architecture of the underlying CPU’s underlying CPU.