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Is it possible to install CentOS 64-bit on a 32-bit machine?

Is it possible? If not, I would like to know why. Please explain.

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    It depends on precisely what you mean by a "32 bit machine". If you mean "a machine that's running a 32-bit operating system", then maybe. If you mean "a machine that can only run a 32-bit operating system", then no. Jun 15 '14 at 11:12
  • For more information about the differences between the two systems, see superuser.com/questions/56540/32-bit-vs-64-bit-systems.
    – Pylsa
    Jun 15 '14 at 11:15
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No, it is not possible.

A 32 bit machine refers to a computer with an ancient 32 bit only CPU. (On a modern PC that is usually a 10+ year old computer. Anything more modern and not configured for ultra-low power has a 64 bit capable CPU).

A 64 bit machine is a a computer with a CPU with usually supports both the old 32 both mode and the 64 bit mode of operations.

Now of you try to install a regular 64 bit OS on an old computer which does not have the modern 64 bit instructions then it will simply not run. It is as if the OS speaks in a language which is not understood by the CPU. It will simply not be understood.


[Edit] Two notes:

  1. This is true for any 64 bit OS.
  2. I specifically mentioned machine as in the hardware. David is right that if you have 64 bit hardware and currently use a 32 bit OS then you can wipe the old OS and install a new one (either 32 or 64 bit).
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  • Beat me to it by a few seconds! ;p
    – Pylsa
    Jun 15 '14 at 11:11
  • It was a trivial question. So quick to answer. :)
    – Hennes
    Jun 15 '14 at 11:12
  • For x86, except some old Atom and Precott CPUs, any Intel CPUs from Pentium 4 Prescott and above have 64-bit support
    – phuclv
    Jun 15 '14 at 12:10
  • Aye. Atom CPU's are low power parts and Prescott is from 2004. For computers I consider CPU's from 2004 or before rather old.
    – Hennes
    Jun 15 '14 at 12:17
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You can't install 64bits system on 32 bits machine.

64 Bits & 32 Bits are related to the processor.

64 Bits processor doesn't work like 32 bits processor. 64 Bits OS would like to use some specific stuff 32 Bits processor doesn't have like new programming variables...

CentOS 64 Bits would like to use these new variable on 32 Bits processor, but this last don't have these new variable => System crash => System not compatible

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