I'm trying to find out if my Ubuntu install is 32 or 64-bit. The best I can find is "i686" does this mean its 32 bit?

What's the correct way of finding out if the Ubuntu installed on my laptop is 32 or 64-bit?

3 Answers 3


Go into the terminal and type in.

uname -a

If your results are similar to the one below, then yours is 64-bit; otherwise, it is 32-bit.

Linux ubuntu-tm 2.6.35-28-generic #49-Ubuntu SMP Tue Mar 1 14:39:03 UTC 2011 x86_64 GNU/Linux

If you have the x86_64 then your machine is 64-bit.

If your results are similar to this one; then you have 32-bit.

Linux Server 2.6.15-23-386 #1 SMP Tue Mar 1 13:49:40 UTC 2011 i686 GNU/Linux

Notice the i686 in the code, that means your machine is 32-bit.


Type in the following in the terminal;

uname -m

It will give you either x86_64, which is 64-bit, or something else, which is 32-bit.


uname -a

_64 will mean that its 64 bit. otherwise its 32 bit


Also, you can type:

file /sbin/init

The result is easy to read. For example, on one particular 32-bit system, I got:

ELF 32-bit LSB shared object, Intel 80386, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.24, BuildID[sha1]=0x07075fcb55b05aeb6286efabba63534fa6ecd213, stripped

So, either way, you will find what you need.

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