Linux Commands

How to check your Linux system is 32bit or 64bit

The brain of any computer known as CPU may fall into one of the categories 32bit or 64bit processing powers. It is foreseen that; the early days of computing used 32bit operating systems, and in that era, only supercomputers functioned on 64-bit architectures. However, as the technology evolved, PCs and laptops started to deliver a CPU that supports 64-bit architectures. The computing devices operating on 32-bit architectures can handle 232 bytes of RAM; contrary to this, a 64bit operating system can process 264 bytes of RAM that is way greater than that of 32bit processors. This basic comparison of data handling makes the ground to prove that 64bit operating systems are more effective than 32bit. According to the CPU’s architecture, the software or programs that are developed today are available for both kinds of processing powers. However, it is observed that a 32bit OS can handle only 32 bit applications, whereas a 64bit OS can also run 32bit supported programs alongside 64 bit. Several representation standards are used to differentiate both; like 32but CPUs are labeled with ×86-32 or ×86, and similarly, 64bit OS can be identified by finding ×64-32 or ×64. The 64bit based OSs are more powerful and effective than 32bit OS as they can handle more data on RAM, and users can enjoy exhaustive applications on their systems. In this article, we will demonstrate the possible ways to check if the Linux system is 32bit or 64bit. First, let’s understand the basic difference between 32 bit and 64-bit architectures:

Key differences between 32-bit and 64-bit architectures

We have listed few key differences of the well-known processing architectures:

  • There is a memory limitation is 3.2GB for 32bit OS, and a 64bit processor can address a 17Billion GB of RAM
  • In regard to graphics and security, 64bit CPUs performs much better than 32bit; therefore, they are more suitable in this era for security as well as for better visualization
  • The computing devices that were manufactured in the old days are compatible with 32bit CPUs, whereas 64 bit does not support old machines

How to check the Linux system is 32bit or 64bit

Whenever users try to choose the applications or the operating system, there are few considerations that are to be noted when going through this process. You must check the specifications of your system as old machines or the CPUs with 32bit compatibility cannot run a 64bit application. We have listed ways to check the system architecture that it is 32bit or 64bit; in a broader view, you can check it using two ways that are listed below, later we will explain each of them:

Method 1: Checking Linux system is 32bit or 64bit using terminal

Method 2: Checking Linux system is 32bit or 64bit using Graphical Interface

Let’s start from “Method 1” that how terminal of Ubuntu can be used:

Method 1: How to check Linux system is 32bit or 64bit using terminal

There is a list of commands that can be used to check the CPU architecture of your Linux system; let’s dig into them one by one:

uname: uname is a command that can be used with its extensive support of flags to get the required information; uname command, when executed with the “-i” flag, will print our required detail, and you can observe that “x86_64” is printed, which means this system operates on 64bit.

$ uname -i

And the “-a” flag can also be used to fetch the relevant information; it will print a little bit of detailed information, but you can get the architecture type as shown below:

$ uname -a

arch: This command can also be used to print the architecture type of operating system you are currently running:

$ arch

dpkg: The dpkg command in the terminal helps you to show the 32bit or 64bit information on your terminal; you have to execute the following command to do so:

$ dpkg --print-architecture

lscpu: Contrary to the above commands; this will print detailed information related to your CPU, and we can get the architecture type as shown below:

$ lscpu

Method 2: How to check if Linux system is 32bit or 64bit using a graphical interface

You can also get help from the graphical interface to check the architecture type of the CPU; just follow the simple steps, and you are ready to get the information:

Right-click on the desktop and find “Settings”:

Click on the “Settings” and scroll down on the left pane of the window to look for the “About” option; click on this “About,” and you will observe that all the basic information will be displayed on the right pane of the window. Here, you will find the “OS Type” option that will show you the 64bit or 32bit related information:


The architecture type of CPU has a key role to play in using the computing devices; most of the functionality and response of the CPU depends on the architecture type of your system; if the system is 64bit, then it is understood that the device can run a range of resource-intensive applications smoothly. In this article, we have listed the ways to check which architecture type Linux system. You can use the graphical interface of the Linux system as well as the terminal support to get the relevant information.

About the author

Adnan Shabbir