5 Command Line Ways to Find Out Linux System is 32-bit or 64-bit

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Senthil Kumar

A Linux Consultant, living in India. He loves very much to write about Linux, Open Source, Computers and Internet. Apart from that, He'd like to review Internet tools and web services.

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11 Responses

  1. hello says:

    I’d just like to interject for a moment. What you’re referring to as Linux, is in fact, GNU/Linux, or as I’ve recently taken to calling it, GNU plus Linux. Linux is not an operating system unto itself, but rather another free component of a fully functioning GNU system made useful by the GNU corelibs, shell utilities and vital system components comprising a full OS as defined by POSIX.

    Many computer users run a modified version of the GNU system every day, without realizing it. Through a peculiar turn of events, the version of GNU which is widely used today is often called “Linux”, and many of its users are not aware that it is basically the GNU system, developed by the GNU Project.

    There really is a Linux, and these people are using it, but it is just a part of the system they use. Linux is the kernel: the program in the system that allocates the machine’s resources to the other programs that you run. The kernel is an essential part of an operating system, but useless by itself; it can only function in the context of a complete operating system. Linux is normally used in combination with the GNU operating system: the whole system is basically GNU with Linux added, or GNU/Linux. All the so-called “Linux” distributions are really distributions of GNU/Linux.

  2. DostrenzasLinux says:

    Great post!

    You can also check using a environment variable:

    echo $HOSTTYPE

    Result:

    i386 -> 32 bits
    x86_64 -> 64 bits

  3. xinchuangfu says:

    You can also use:
    echo $HOSTTYPE

  4. Raghavendra Bhat says:

    Anyway your post is apt and of high value. Thanks for your posts, do keep them coming.

  5. Prasanna says:

    I know few of them.
    lscpu
    lshw -class cpu

  6. Aaron Kili K says:

    You can also use:

    uname -m

  7. Raghavendra Bhat says:

    These methods are fine but they cannot conclusively lead you to show whether your CPU can do 64 bit computing. You have to ascertain whether you have a processor that can do 64 bit before you want to do the actual installation of the GNU/Linux port. You need to do the correct installation of the OS port to match your CPU. For that the best tool would be to boot the server/system using a Live GNU/Linux distribution, drop down to the command line and do a ‘cat /proc/cpuinfo | grep flags’ at the root prompt. If you see the ‘lm’ flag then your CPU supports 64 bit computing. If so, you can proceed to install the x86_64/amd64 port of the GNU/Linux distribution.

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