Debian 64bit only allows 32bit install.

I am new to Linux ... I have installed Debian 6.0.5 server, ended up with a 32bit version which is only seeing 3g out of the 4g seen in the bios. Which I would like to have the 64bit and seeing all 4g of memory. But, no amd64 ios install has ever detected a 64bit processor. All info points to that is it. Was running Vista 64 on it long ago.

cpu: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU E6850 3.00GHz

board: p5n32-e sli plus

uname -m shows: i686
cat /proc/cpuinfo : flags ... lm ... ... ...etc;

Why am I unable to install a 64bit Debian 6.0.5?
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More about debian 64bit 32bit install
  1. On Linux, you should just need to enable PAE (Physical Address Extension). A quick google search suggests you just need to install a different kernel with PAE enabled, or compile your own. Also looks like this isn't done by default because it may cause problems with proprietary drivers like nVidia's.

    linux-image-686-pae looks to be the package name.
  2. cl-scott said, ". . . you just need to install a different kernel with PAE enabled . . ."

    Try installing the smxi script, which will make this easy --
  3. I checked and PAE is NOT enabled, Nor do I have a 64 bit kernel running. I looked at the link you provided and I can install inxi, but unable to install smxi as of this post. I am still missing the link between how this scripting and upgrading the kernel work. I will follow any steps that will work on Debian system. By the way, thanks for your replies. It means a lot. New to posting to forums. =)
  4. Just a guess -- see

    BTW, with a server, what does 64-bit gain? I think I'd stick with 32-bit and set CPU options accordingly for now.

    "still missing the link between how this scripting and upgrading the kernel work": go to kernel options after dist-upgrade within the smxi script
  5. What install media are you using? If you use the i386 version, you get a 32-bit debian. If you use the amd64 version, you get 64-bit. And64 works fine for Intel cpus. It's just named that, because AMD pioneered that architecture.

    You can get the whole distro on CD/DVDs or just the minimum needed to start the install and then download just what you need to finish over the internet. Try starting at and click an network install.
  6. As for Media: I have tried to install Debain 6.0.5 64-bit via CD, USB and Network. None will see the processor as 64-bit. Links to what I have used below. The point of this is to install a 64-bit Debian Server that will see and use all 4g of ram. 32-bit server is unable to see and use anything past 3g from what I have read on the 32-bit kernel. I assume that the installer is unable to detect that Intel chip is a 64-bit or it really isn't and all the website from Intel and Asus are wrong, which I don't think that could be the case



    This adventure started from playing with VMware. Which wouldn't install cause of my Intel duo 2 core. So, I installed Ubuntu 12.04 which Xen didn't install well. So Debian was the next option and KVM. Which is working very well. just would like to get more memory....but, the memory I have isn't being fully utilized as is.
  7. apt-get install amd64-libs linux-image-2.6-amd64


    select new kernel

    This only fixes the kernel. Not the 32-bit file system. See the following. Maybe this will help others.
  8. So if the amd64 kernel runs on your machine you have a 64 bit machine. That 32to64 looks like an ugly way to do something that should be automatic.

    Very interesting.
  9. Yeah, the apt-get command worked very well. But, the process to change over the 32-bit files system to a 64-bit is messy. I will keep looking for a different way.
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