Knowing the architecture of your system’s processor is essential when picking an operating system to download and install. Certain editions of Linux and other operating systems are typically only made to work with a certain architecture, whether that be x86 (32 bit), x86-64 (64 bit), ARM (in the case of Raspberry Pi systems), etc. Furthermore, software that you are interested in running may only be designed to work with a particular architecture.
In this tutorial, you will see how to check the processor architecture on a Linux system. This will also allow you to quickly determine whether your system is 32 bit or 64 bit.
In this tutorial you will learn:
- How to check CPU architecture on Linux with
- How to determine if the CPU and OS are 32 bit or 64 bit
|Category||Requirements, Conventions or Software Version Used|
|System||Any Linux distro|
|Other||Privileged access to your Linux system as root or via the
# – requires given linux commands to be executed with root privileges either directly as a root user or by use of
$ – requires given linux commands to be executed as a regular non-privileged user
How to check CPU architecture on Linux
The best way to quickly check your CPU architecture on Linux is by using the
lscpucommand. The utility is installed by default on all Linux distros.
As you can see in the screenshot above, our CPU architecture is x86_64, and the next line shows that our CPU is 64 bit, but capable of operating in both 32 bit and 64 bit modes.
If your CPU is 32 bit, you may see output like that below, with i686 architecture:
$ lscpu Architecture: i686 CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit
lscpu command output reports that this processor is only capable to operate in 32 bit instruction mode. In the next example you can see a 64 bit CPU running 32 bit Linux:
$ lscpu Architecture: i686 CPU op-mode(s): 32-bit, 64-bit
You may also see other output that indicates ARM architecture or some other type, as there are many available. Of course, x86 (or i686) and x86_64 are the two most widespread types.
In this tutorial, we saw how to check the type of CPU architecture on a Linux system. We also learned how to determine whether the CPU is 32 bit or 64 bit, as well as the operating system itself. You may also be interested in viewing our other tutorial on How to obtain CPU information on Linux too see other commands and applications to view additional CPU information.