Share your knowledge at the LQ Wiki.
Go Back > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie
User Name
Linux - Newbie This Linux forum is for members that are new to Linux.
Just starting out and have a question? If it is not in the man pages or the how-to's this is the place!


  Search this Thread
Old 07-19-2008, 04:37 PM   #1
Registered: May 2008
Posts: 48

Rep: Reputation: 16
How to tell what architecture I have?

I'm trying to install Debian, and they list all the different manuals for different computer architectures. How do I tell what I have? By the way, when it comes partition time, how do I tell which ones are Ubuntu and which are Windows so I don't deleat the wrong ones? Thank you very much,

Old 07-19-2008, 05:01 PM   #2
Senior Member
Registered: Jun 2004
Distribution: Arch, Debian, Slack
Posts: 1,016

Rep: Reputation: 47
what kind of processor do you have? i386 is a safe choice for most intel/amd-based desktops.

you can view your partition layout in cfdisk. that will usually list the filesystem type, so you can easily see which ones are windoze. if you're not sure what's mounted where in your linux install, look in /etc/fstab or do fdisk -l (edit: that's the letter "l," the one after k).

Last edited by slackhack; 07-22-2008 at 09:33 PM.
Old 07-19-2008, 05:04 PM   #3
LQ Guru
Registered: Nov 2006
Location: Belgium
Distribution: Ubuntu 11.04, Debian testing
Posts: 5,019

Rep: Reputation: 131Reputation: 131
If you have an intel or AMD processor, i386 (=32 bit pc) or x86_64/AMD64 (=64 bit pc). 64 bit pcs include AMD Athlon 64, Intel Core 2 Duo and Quadcore (the last generation of intel pentums too). You can't go wrong with i386 as 64 pcs can run 32 bit operating systems just as well while it doesn't work the other way round.

If you feel uncertain about partitioning, install gparted in ubuntu and clear some space or create partitions before you fire up your install cd. Gparted will also show the identifiers of your partitions (/dev/sdx type).
Old 07-19-2008, 05:07 PM   #4
LQ Veteran
Registered: Nov 2005
Location: London
Distribution: Slackware64-current
Posts: 5,836
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: 1231Reputation: 1231Reputation: 1231Reputation: 1231Reputation: 1231Reputation: 1231Reputation: 1231Reputation: 1231Reputation: 1231
Unless you have an apple computer, Your architecture is probably i386 (for 32bit processors) or amd64 (64bit processors - both intel and amd processors). Do you know which processor you've got? If can boot into windows, check it by right clicking 'properties' on My Computer - as far as I remember, there should be the name of your processor. Even if you have a 64-bit processor you can safely download the i386 image of debian.
Old 07-19-2008, 05:20 PM   #5
LQ Newbie
Registered: Jul 2008
Posts: 28

Rep: Reputation: 16
Try uname and cat /proc/cpuinfo, output from an pIII machine below:
$ uname -a
Linux hostname 2.6.18-5-686 #1 SMP Tue Dec 18 21:24:20 UTC 2007 i686 GNU/Linux
and there is also:
$ cat /proc/cpuinfo
(shortened output)
processor       : 0
vendor_id       : GenuineIntel
cpu family      : 6
model           : 8
model name      : Pentium III (Coppermine)
stepping        : 6
cpu MHz         : 797.365
cache size      : 256 KB
Old 07-19-2008, 08:08 PM   #6
LQ Veteran
Registered: Aug 2003
Location: Australia
Distribution: Lots ...
Posts: 18,222

Rep: Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955Reputation: 2955
Originally Posted by whistlenut View Post
when it comes partition time, how do I tell which ones are Ubuntu and which are Windows so I don't deleat the wrong ones?
From a Ubuntu terminal, try this - should be obvious.
sudo fdisk -l
Old 07-21-2008, 11:33 PM   #7
Registered: May 2008
Posts: 48

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 16
Thank you all very much. What partition types would indicate Ubuntu or Windows? My goal is to delete my ubuntu instalation and install Debian in its place as I've encountered some crippleing bugs with the Orca screen reader. While we're at it, is there a way to instal Debian with either Orca talking or another audio installer guiding me through the process? Thanks a lot. Boy, I've been feeling very overwhelmed with Linux lately. This is a hole new world for me.


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
How can I tell which architecture I have? neu2linux General 5 05-28-2007 06:15 PM
Which architecture? Philosopher Linux - General 3 05-06-2007 10:43 AM
architecture howarddevore Linux - Hardware 1 04-25-2005 07:14 PM
Architecture skguha Linux - Newbie 2 05-03-2004 01:37 AM
Architecture TX_metalhead Linux - General 5 02-04-2002 05:13 PM > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Newbie

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 10:40 PM.

Main Menu
Write for LQ is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration