Which Ubuntu for a Core 2 Duo?

Dear Interweb,

A tiny issue plagues me. With everyone’s favourite Linux distribution of choice, Ubuntu. I’m looking at the Ubuntu 7.04 (Feisty Fawn) Beta and for the life of me, can’t decide which to install on a Core 2 Duo machine (this was no better with Ubuntu 6.10 – and I’ve got both the amd64 and i386 ISOs sitting here). Its not AMD64, and its not 32-bit, so what are my choices? Referencing a post with regards to System76 support, it looks like I might have to go with a 32-bit install disc?

If I do have to go with the 32-bit install disc, why is that so? I mean, with Fedora, I’m quite happily running x86_64.

Kudos to the wiki documentation on Core 2 Duo Support, though maybe its a little dated. This is a very important question to answer, because I can imagine a lot of new laptops are actually, Core 2 Duo based (as probably are a lot of new desktops).

Also, a little bit of disappointment, but Ubuntu 7.04 has support for SPARC and not PowerPC. In a time when it might be opportune for third-world countries to start having Ubuntu-running Macs on their desktop…

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Update: I have concluded that the 64-bit Feisty Fawn is good for a Core 2 Duo. Read, Today I am a virgin and see how I solve my 32-bit application requirement problems, in Skype on 64-bit Ubuntu Feisty Fawn via i386 chroot (and Gizmo Project too).


  1. cos says:

    I just chucked the amd64 variant of 7.04beta on a core 2 duo desktop box a coupla days ago. It works fine, but I’m not quite sure what your issue is (is it just the naming of the architecture under debian/ubuntu?).

  2. Simos says:

    What Core 2 Duo CPU did you get? T5200, T5600 or T7200? Brand?

  3. Cameron says:

    It is an amd64, but if you’re using it for a desktop and want browser plugins for Flash and Java, or wine for running Windows games, the path of least resistance is still to install the i386 variant. These things can be made to work on an amd64 system, since the amd64 kernel runs i386 binaries just fine, but it’s no longer just an “apt-get” away. (If you’re using it for computational/server tasks, amd64 will give you a slight performance advantage since it has more registers – where “slight” can be, say, 30% in some tasks.)

  4. Chris Samuel says:

    Don’t panic Colin, it is an AMD compatible processor (just with some tweaks).

    If you run the AMD64 version of Ubuntu it should be just fine and the ability to address more than 4GB RAM per process will be useful if you’re using Evolution. :-)

    Ubuntu also packages kernel variants tuned for Intel EM64T and AMD Opterons, so you’ll probably want to install the former once it’s installed.

  5. byte says:

    @cos: my issue seems to be with can I intertwine with 32-bit userspace (say like flash)?

    @simos: t7200, intel.

    @cameron: thanks! first deterministic answer for a desktop user. congratulations! Even the folk on #ubuntu are out to confuse one, then recommend i386 ;-)

    @chris: no evolution for me anymore…

    So I’m still wondering, 64-bit kernel, but 32-bit app support is not an apt-get away? Hmm. Then again, even on Fedora, I don’t bother with Flash, proper… Choices, choices.

  6. Amy says:

    I posted this on another one of your categories – sorry if I’m doubling!:

    Hey guys I don’t know how cool it is to also ask a question in response to a question, but here goes, and by a person who already has a system but looking for linux:
    I just got a Macbook and would like to install a version of Linux on it. It has an 2.0GHz Intel Core 2 Duo. Anyone have any suggestions? I was thinking Red Hat or Ubunutu or Gentoo…

  7. byte says:

    @amy: apparently Ubuntu runs really well on the MacBook’s.

    Though you might just consider running it under Paralles.

    RHEL is meant to have support (as is Fedora), but at last check, there might have been problems with sleep. This might /also/ plague Ubuntu, but from what I gather, thats whats better for laptops these days

  8. Dave says:

    Hi: out of curiosity I’ve run the Live CD Ubuntu 7.04 on my Core Duo machine.. it appears to be running fine. A (possibly dumb) question: is this now authentic 64 bit computing?

  9. byte says:

    @dave: Sure, if you’re running the amd64 version, sure.

  10. Adam Monsen says:

    I’ve been very happy with the performance of Ubuntu on my Core 2 Duo laptop. I’m told the software project I’m working on builds faster on Ubuntu than on identical hardware running Windows!

    Sorry in advance for the following newbie questions…
    Why did you want to run in 64-bit mode? Does stuff seem faster? Are certain applications more responsive? If so, which ones?

  11. Arunabh Das says:

    The AMD64 version installs on my Core 2 Duo.

    – Arunabh Das

  12. yaanai says:


    will amd 64 (ubuntu 8.04.1) work on my intel centrino core 2 duo T5750?
    have tried x86 image files and they are not working.

  13. Ben says:

    There should be differences – more memory can be addressed, though 3GB is more than enough with plenty to spare for most users – but a choice of 8,16,32 bit and now 64 bit words can be used to save time shifting loading and reading your memory. I remember fixing a digital RADAR back in 1980, 16 but chips in there, and people getting excited about the mathematics of 64 bit supercomputers… and later with the Nintendo 64…

    Calculating factorials ( try 100,000! in your calculator ) is about twice as fast with 64 bits.

    You cannot load a 4GB file using memory mapping with 32bit, because you can’t address that much. 4GB files aren’t too uncommon now, but to be quite honest with you – at home juz stay with the 32 bitz and you won’t lose anything – not yet, not for a while.

  14. billy says:

    this is funny because i tried installing the AMD64 version of hardy on my laptop (intel core 2 duo) and i could not get it to install. It said my laptop was not 64 bit… i just couldnt get it to install. Any tips so i can be prepared when Intrepid comes out?