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I built myself a computer a couple of years ago and run it now with Ubuntu 9.04 under Xen 3.0. I'm not a hardware expert by any means, but I managed to make it all work. However, due to the lack of support for Xen by Ubuntu, I can't easily upgrade to more recent versions of the operating system. I have therefore decided to switch from Xen to KVM, which is supported by Ubuntu.

My current CPU, an Intel Pentium 4 Processor 640, is not KVM-compatible (i.e. does not provide VT-x or AMD-V). My motherboard is an ASUS P5LD2. I have looked for other processors which work with the ASUS P5LD2 motherboard, implement VT-x or AMD-V, and are available in shops near me.

The Intel E6700 seems to fit the bill.

If I switch off my computer, replace the Intel 640 with an Intel E6700, update the BIOS for the E6700, and switch it back on again: will it still work with the existing installed software (Xen 3.0, Ubuntu 9.04 etc.)? Or do I have to reinstall everything from scratch?


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migrated from Nov 25 '10 at 17:29

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Assuming the new CPU fits the motherboard, absolutely. Of course, it could probably survive even a motherboard replacement as well.

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Yes. The only hardware change that requires a reinstallation (with most Linux distributions, or other unix variants) is a processor architecture change, e.g. going from Intel to ARM processors, or changing between a 32-bit and a 64-bit operating system (even if the processor remains the same). Merely changing an ix86 CPU for another (including for an x86_64 one, as long as you keep using it in 32-bit mode) doesn't require any configuration¹.

Except for a kernel change with some distributions if you go to a very old (as in, last-century old) or very different (e.g. VIA) CPU.

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