I have run into a number of issues with installing debian, and I am at the point where I have to install it 32 bit from a DVD. My system is 64bit, so here's my question:

How would I go about installing 64 bit debian with a 32bit CD?

I should theoretically be able to do this by merging parts of the 64bit iso with the 32bit iso. I don't know however how one would go about doing so, which is why I ask you:

How do I create a debian iso wich runs as 32bit but installs 64bit debian?

  • 2
    You can install 32bit debian on a 64bit computer, it'll run just as well as on a 32bit computer. But still, why do you have to install it from a 32bit dvd ? – Levans Dec 8 '13 at 12:35
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    In theory, using a 32 bit installer to install a 64 bit OS shouldn't be a problem (I'm not even sure that Debian uses different installers for both versions), but it's certainly not straightforward to replace the installer of an installation medium. Since you're actually trying to solve a different problem, let's start there: Why can't you install Debian from the 64 bit ISO? What happens when you try? – Dennis Dec 8 '13 at 13:35
  • Can you try a NetInstall? The debian site has instructions on how to do this. – MariusMatutiae Dec 8 '13 at 15:13
  • @Dennis My PC does not support multiregister dvds. Because of this, I was left with a "choose disk: 1 2" prompt in the ubuntu LiveCD, which froze my machine. I am assuming the normal Debian CD does that too. I also can't boot from usb as my pc does not support that either. – Azsgy Dec 8 '13 at 15:55
  • Uppon reading up more about 64bit, with 2GB of ram there should be no difference whatsoever, I assume? – Azsgy Dec 8 '13 at 15:57

Nope, is not possible. The installation DVD of Debian (nor any other respectable OS) doesn't work that way. You should either install from the ground up 64-bit or just leave your system with 32-bits. There isn't any drawback using 32-bits (even if your CPU is 64-bit) so you can just install the 32-bits and when you get the 64-bit installation media, just install it on top after doing your backups.

  • There isn't any drawback using 32-bits[.] Except, of course, the fact that you might not be able to address all your RAM natively and that some applications may experience a near 50% slowdown. – Dennis Dec 8 '13 at 13:38
  • @Dennis for that there's PAE... and there's no slow downs using 32-bits in 64-bits, that is just FUD. – Braiam Dec 8 '13 at 14:03
  • PAE being the opposite of natively. While for most applications, you won't notice any speed difference, the same is not true for, e.g., cryptographic algorithms that rely heavily on quadwords. – Dennis Dec 8 '13 at 14:55
  • I only have 2GB of ram, so there should be no difference really. I have seen the ways to upgrade to 64bit post installation or with a netinstall, so I think that would be the best way to go about it. If nobody gives me a good way to do it this is the answer :) – Azsgy Dec 8 '13 at 16:00
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    This post might be informative: http://superuser.com/questions/56540/32-bit-vs-64-bit-systems/. – Hennes Dec 8 '13 at 17:47

You can not create such an ISO.

But there is one thing you can do, which is install a minimal system, set up multiarch, install from Internet the 64-bit version of the same packages already in your 32-bit system, install a 64-bit kernel, and do the switch.

Note that it is not easy task.

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