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What is the max amount of Ram that 32bit Ubuntu can see?

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November 5, 2008 3:24:32 AM

What is the max amount of Ram that 32bit Ubuntu can see?

2 Gigs?
3 Gigs?
4 Gigs?

I am building my wife a PC and I am trying to decide how much ram to buy.

We are going to be running the latest version 8.10.
November 5, 2008 6:51:10 AM

Why not go for 64-bit Ubuntu if it's a new build?
November 5, 2008 5:38:19 PM

I agree with ijack :) 

If you have a 64bit CPU you should definitely use x86_64 also known as AMD64, it will support a lot more RAM, bigger files and will run faster on most CPUs

Good luck :) 
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November 5, 2008 7:38:00 PM

Would the better question not be 'This is what I plan to do, what would be the best amount of RAM to use?' For 32Bit it will be 3Gb, I used to run 32Bit on 1Gb and for general use it was more than enough. Personally on a new build you might as well go 64Bit.
November 5, 2008 8:15:03 PM

Linux can use 4+GB even on 32bit.

Windows XP cannot and is limited to 3 - 3.5GB max, even if you physically have 4GB or more.

Either way amd64 / x86_64 is definitely the way to go if your CPU is 64bit.

Practically all AMD CPUs are 64bit.

All Intel CPUs with EM64T / x86_64 extensions can run in 64bit mode.

Good luck :) 
November 6, 2008 4:02:12 AM

^ Linux runs with 4GB+ RAM because of support for PAE, physical address extension found in some CPUs. I think it was 32GB or something???

Linux is kinda like a server OS... most Windows Server OSes support PAE I think... just go with 64 bit. It's faster ;) 
November 7, 2008 3:21:06 PM

rwayne said:
What is the max amount of Ram that 32bit Ubuntu can see?

2 Gigs?
3 Gigs?
4 Gigs?

I am building my wife a PC and I am trying to decide how much ram to buy.

We are going to be running the latest version 8.10.


It depends on the kernel configuration. Out of the box, the 32-bit version of Ubuntu can see about 3.3 GB of RAM. You can increase this to just under 64 GB of RAM by either recompiling the kernel with the PAE option enabled in the kernel config (Memory -> 64 GB) or by downloading the "bigmem" kernel (or whatever Ubuntu calls their PAE-enabled kernels) that has this already enabled.

I would also agree with the rest of the posters here and suggest that you just get the amd64 version of Ubuntu 8.10. Every new CPU except for the Atom N270 in netbooks is capable of running a 64-bit OS. The Atom N270 actually can support 64-bit operation as the other Atoms support 64-bit mode, but for some reason Intel disabled it in the N270.
November 8, 2008 9:20:58 AM

Thanks for the clarification. After I posted I did start to wonder if I had that one right.
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