32-bit vs 64-bit

Granny Sue

Active Member
Hi,

I'm new here, but have decided Linux is the OS for me. I recently purchased a commercially marketed USB stick with many distros of Linux all ready to use on my computer. The problem is that this USB stick is for 64-bit computers and what I need is 32-bit. Unfortunately, I have 2 old desktop PC's and a netbook that are all running Windows Vista, 32 bit. Yesterday I attempted to download the Linux mint software to put on these computers. However I used a USB stick that was only two gigs and of course that was insanity because I only got partial downloads.

Obviously, I am very new to all of this. My experience with computers has always been as an end-user so I haven’t used coding or have done very little installations as far as operating system software, so I feel like I’m in over my head. I did manage to set up a raspberry pie with one of the Linux distributions although it was so long ago I don’t remember which distribution I used. I follow the step-by-step instructions and was able to get it up and running with no problems. However, I think that was beginners luck.

The first thing I want to do is get Ubuntu or Mint installed onto these computers then, I will deal with each one separately. There seems to be so many steps inside steps in the installation process that I’m starting to get confused. You’re supposed to download the image, then you’re supposed to verify that the image you downloaded is complete and correct, then you have to attempt to get it put onto your PC. Is there an easy, easy, easy way to do this? I have the time to spare to get this done but if it takes much longer I’m gonna throw up my hands and frustration.
 


Condobloke

Well-Known Member
G'day Granny Sue, and Welcome to linux.org

First nail down whether the various laptops etc are in fact 32bit or 64 bit


Scroll down the page until you come to Windows Vista: 64-bit or 32-bit?

let us know
 

Granny Sue

Active Member
I'm pretty familiar with Windows. I have checked all the computers I want to use aND each one is a 32-bit computer. I have 2 desktop PCS and a laptop and all three run 32-bit. They are all older computers, which is why I'd like to get Linux put on them.
 

Granny Sue

Active Member
I went to the page in windows where it says what operating system you’re using and all the other pertinent information. It said it was a 32 bit and it said it was 1.80 hertz. I’m going to try to attach a screenshot.
So Is it a 32 bit computer? And if it’s a 64-bit computer why wouldn’t there Linux stick work?
 

darry1966

Member
Looks like 32bit to me - stick with a 32bit distro on that machine.
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Ok thats good...it appears that the pc is indeed 32 bit. (In a way thats bad...because if you had a 64 bit system you would have far more choices)......The amount of ram you have is also limiting (2GB)

However......there are still some OS's running on 32 bit

Here is a list.... https://itsfoss.com/32-bit-os-list/

I have never used 32 bit....but the one I hear the most about is MX LINUX....i have copied and pasted some of its info for you

No doubt others with 32 bit systems will chime in

@poorguy springs to mind



MX Linux
KernelLinux 3.16 (Debian Jessie)
UserlandGNU
Referencehttps://mxlinux.org/user_manual_mx16/mxum.html#toc-Subsection-1.3
To quote the official website, MX Linux “is a midweight OS designed to combine an elegant and efficient desktop with simple configuration, high stability, solid performance and medium-sized footprint.”
If you’re looking for a Debian based Linux distribution, stable, easy to install and setup, with a smooth learning curve, and working on legacy hardware— then MX Linux is the distribution to try. It is especially a good choice when you want to “resuscitate” an old Windows laptop and at the same time convince your husband/wife of the merits of Linux.
MX-16 (the current up to date version) is based on Debian Jessie, hence still supporting the i486 processor, while its support was dropped in Debian Stretch (the current “stable” Debian version). Worth mentioning MX Linux is using the lightweight Xfce4 desktop environment, and it is systemd-free, something that could convince some of you to use it. Speaking of concerns or philosophical objections concerning systemd, worth mentioning Devuan now.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
Just because a computer can run a 32bit OS doesn't mean it is a 32bit computer. A 64bit computer can run a 32 bit OS, but not visa versa...
@arochester is right on the money. Your screenshot shows that Windows is 32-bit, and it used to be common for manufacturers to install 32-bit Windows on a 64-bit CPU system. It probably saved them a little money.

Your screenshot shows an Intel E2160, dual-core Pentium... that is a 64-bit CPU, and it came onto the market about 2006-2007. Proof is here and here. So a 64-bit Linux makes many more distros available to you, but you still should consider something a bit "light weight" unless you can/will install more RAM.

Your first post mentions you want to install Mint.... try the 64-bit XFCE version as it would be best for the low RAM. A couple other suggestions would be Linux Lite, Peppermint OS, and antiX Linux... as well as MX Linux that @Condobloke mentioned above. These are all very good distros, but some may perform better on your computer than others. That's why it's good to check out a few before you settle into any one in particular.

Good luck!
 

poorguy

Well-Known Member
Here's your computer.


I would suggest investing a few dollars in ram and increasing to a minimum of 4.0 gb which can be had from ebay cheaply.


By increasing ram you could install 64 bit Linux.
I would also recommend Xfce desktop as it is lighter on system resources then Linux Mint Cinnamon or Ubuntu Gnome desktop.

I would install Peppermint 10 Linux.
I'm running it on 13 year old desktops.



 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
4500
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
By increasing ram you could install 64 bit Linux.
RAM amount is not stopping you from using 64-bit Linux. Your best choice is 64-bit on any distro that you decide to install. Support for 32-bit systems is falling year after year... you shouldn't use a 32-bit Linux unless you absolutely have to, and you don't. :D

Cheers
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
4501
 

Condobloke

Well-Known Member
Well, there you go granny Sue....you have input from the best of the best

Read through it all

Whether or not you choose to add extra ram to the desktop is up to you....you can always give the various OS's a spin first.....and then decide !



"Burning" an OS's iso to a usb and then booting the PC from that is easy.....and you can try as many as you like....until you find the one that rocks your boat

More questions ?./.....ask away !
 

poorguy

Well-Known Member
A good way to test drive Linux distros.
Have a read and as many times as needed.


Although written for Linux Mint it works with other mainstream Linux distros.

Linux Mint Documentation.


 

poorguy

Well-Known Member
RAM amount is not stopping you from using 64-bit Linux. Your best choice is 64-bit on any distro that you decide to install. Support for 32-bit systems is falling year after year... you shouldn't use a 32-bit Linux unless you absolutely have to, and you don't. :D

Cheers
@atanere is right you should be able to install and run 64 bit Linux without any problem.

The advantage of more ram will give you a better browser experience as the browser is the biggest resource user.
 

atanere

Well-Known Member
I recently purchased a commercially marketed USB stick with many distros of Linux all ready to use on my computer. The problem is that this USB stick is for 64-bit computers
We've shown that your computer (in the screenshot) is a 64-bit computer. So, maybe the next question is why the USB you bought isn't working. At the moment, I see 2 possibilities...

1. You don't know yet how to boot up on the USB. This is how you usually get started with Linux, as described by @poorguy's links above. You can boot the computer on the USB and run it in "live mode" just as if it were installed on your hard drive (but it's a bit slower). This is how to test out different distros. When you find what you like, you boot on it again, and then from the live mode you can install it to your hard drive. To boot on a USB, you usually have to interrupt the boot process before Windows starts. When you see the HP or Compaq screen when first starting, you may see some information in one of the corners, like "F1 for boot menu" or "F2 for setup" or something like that. You want the boot menu, but you have to be very fast or else Windows will start. It may take you several tries to get it right.

2. You said there were "many distros, ready to use" on this one USB, and that is very unusual. So honestly, I don't know what you may have bought. If you do have "many" distros, I do not think you can boot on this USB as I just described. It may be a collection of Linux .iso files (what you normally would download to create a Linux USB).... and if so, you would need to pick one, copy it to a computer, and then burn it back to a clean USB so that it would be bootable. The "burn to USB" process has to be done with special software so that the USB is made bootable. In other words, you cannot simply "copy" the .iso to the USB... it will not work. You might tell us more about this USB you bought, show us a website that sells it if you can, so maybe we can understand it better.

Hang in there, @Granny Sue... you can do this. But it is often hard when folks first get started. As you found out already, you usually need a 4GB or larger USB stick to put Linux on. Amazon, Costco, and probably many retailers offer USB drives from 16GB-32GB for about $5 each. Go cheap... you don't need a large USB drive for this.

Cheers
 

poorguy

Well-Known Member
Once you've created a bootable media USB or DVD insert the bootable USB or DVD and restart the computer while holding down the Esc key and a boot menu should appear.

From there just use the arrow key to scroll down to the device you are going to boot from and press enter and it should boot into the Live mode.


And yes don't become discouraged you will catch on.
 

Nik-Ken-Bah

Active Member
@Granny Sue. Welcome to the community.
I will add my 2 kopecks in here. I have been looking at other distros and both Debian and Manjaro both have 32bit systems for their latest releases as well as Ubuntu LTS with the Mate desktop.
While I was there I looked at system requirements for Ubuntu and your machine fits the bill.
Just looking at the Linux Mint site and they also have LMDE 3 Cindy in 32 bit.
Also when you download an ISO always check its check sum ( SHA256) to make sure it downloaded correctly. I use a program called MD5 and SHA check sum utility on windows.
I be like you in some ways in that I have been more of an end user and before entering the Linux world coding what's that.
 

Granny Sue

Active Member
@Granny Sue. Welcome to the community.
I will add my 2 kopecks in here. I have been looking at other distros and both Debian and Manjaro both have 32bit systems for their latest releases as well as Ubuntu LTS with the Mate desktop.
While I was there I looked at system requirements for Ubuntu and your machine fits the bill.
Just looking at the Linux Mint site and they also have LMDE 3 Cindy in 32 bit.
Also when you download an ISO always check its check sum ( SHA256) to make sure it downloaded correctly. I use a program called MD5 and SHA check sum utility on windows.
I be like you in some ways in that I have been more of an end user and before entering the Linux world coding what's that.
Thanks for your help. As far as checking the check some seems to be a little daunting for some reason. It shouldn’t be it should be fairly simple but I can’t wrap my head around it. What do I download to do that?
 

Members online


Top