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I look at the intel spec sheet. It says that the processor has a 64 bit instruction set. However, running

uname -m 

results in i686, and running

grep flags /proc/cpuinfo

indicates that each processor has a tm flag and not an lm flag. So does this processor support 64 bit operating systems? If not, then what's the difference between what's being said and what is actually the case?

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up vote 5 down vote accepted

The official Intel specs indicate that the processor is 64-bit.

However, you are running a 32-bit operating system, which explains i686 and the absence of the lm (long mode—the 64-bit operating mode of an x86-64 processor) flag. tm refers to thermal monitor support and has nothing to do with 64-bit support.

In your case, it looks like the manufacturer of the computer has disabled 64-bit support, which means you probably need to purchase another computer to be able to install a 64-bit operating system.

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I tried installing a 64 bit operating system. It failed because the cpu was not somehow marked as "x86_64". – anonymous Jun 21 '12 at 3:54
Is your BIOS configured to enable 64-bit support? – bwDraco Jun 21 '12 at 3:59
It says EMT64 is not supported. – anonymous Jun 21 '12 at 4:09

I have an Asus eeePC 1025c. It has an atom N2600, but will not boot a 64bit OS. According to this forum thread, the manufacturer has disabled it in the BIOS:

I didn't try to flash the replacement, but at least I know why I'm stuck with 32bit processing.

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