In the world of Ubuntu, you may come across terms and abbreviations that seem cryptic. One such term is “-pae”, which you might see at the end of an Ubuntu kernel version. This article aims to demystify this term and explain its significance in the Ubuntu kernel version.
The "-pae" suffix in the Ubuntu kernel version signifies that the kernel supports the Physical Address Extension feature, allowing it to utilize more than 4 GB of RAM on 32-bit systems.
Understanding the Kernel
Before we delve into the meaning of “-pae”, it’s important to understand what a kernel is. The kernel is the core part of an operating system. It’s responsible for managing the system’s resources, including the CPU, memory, and peripheral devices. The kernel also handles system calls from software applications, allowing them to interact with hardware.
What is “-pae”?
PAE stands for Physical Address Extension. It’s a feature of x86 and x86-64 processors that allows more than 4 GB of physical memory to be used in 32-bit systems. This is particularly useful for systems with large amounts of RAM.
The Significance of PAE in Ubuntu
In Ubuntu, the “-pae” suffix in the kernel version signifies that the kernel supports the PAE feature. This means that if you’re using a 32-bit version of Ubuntu with a “-pae” kernel, you can utilize more than 4 GB of RAM.
Here’s an example of a PAE kernel version:
In this example, “3.2.0-24” is the kernel version, “generic” signifies that it’s a standard kernel, and “pae” indicates that it supports the PAE feature.
PAE vs. Generic Kernel
The “-generic” kernel is the standard kernel used by Ubuntu. It’s suitable for most systems, especially those with less than 4 GB of RAM. However, it’s limited to addressing only 4 GB of memory on 32-bit systems.
The “-pae” kernel, on the other hand, can access up to 64 GB of memory on 32-bit systems. However, it requires hardware support for the PAE feature. If your system doesn’t support PAE, using a “-pae” kernel can cause system instability or crashes.
Checking Your Kernel Version
You can check your current kernel version by opening a terminal and typing the following command:
This command will return your current kernel version. If you see “-pae” at the end of the version, it means your kernel supports the PAE feature.
In conclusion, the “-pae” suffix in the Ubuntu kernel version signifies that the kernel supports the Physical Address Extension feature, allowing it to utilize more than 4 GB of RAM on 32-bit systems. If your system supports PAE and has more than 4 GB of RAM, using a “-pae” kernel can help you fully utilize your system’s memory. However, if your system doesn’t support PAE or has less than 4 GB of RAM, it’s safer to use the “-generic” kernel.
Remember, it’s always important to refer to official documentation or consult with experts for accurate and up-to-date information. The Ubuntu community is a great resource for getting help and learning more about Ubuntu.
A 32-bit system can only address up to 4 GB of RAM, while a 64-bit system can address much more, allowing for greater memory usage and performance.
You can check if your system supports PAE by running the following command in the terminal:
grep --color=always -i PAE /proc/cpuinfo. If you see "pae" in the output, it means your system supports PAE.
No, the "-pae" kernel is specifically designed for 32-bit systems. 64-bit systems already have the ability to address large amounts of memory without the need for PAE.
To switch from a "-generic" kernel to a "-pae" kernel, you can use the package manager, such as
apt-get, to install the appropriate kernel package. However, it’s important to note that switching kernels can be complex and may require advanced knowledge. It’s recommended to consult official documentation or seek guidance from experienced users before attempting to switch kernels.
If you use a "-pae" kernel on a system that doesn’t support PAE, it can cause system instability or crashes. It’s important to ensure that your hardware supports PAE before using a "-pae" kernel.