How To Enable 32 Bit Architecture On Chromebook

How To Enable 32 Bit Architecture On Chromebook
5 min read
18 November 2022

Most of you who use Ubuntu/Debian based distributions prefer the 64-bit mode, right? That’s because 64-bit architecture utilizes the full capabilities of your hardware. It enables you to use applications with intensive memory requirements and actually use them without having to wait for an hour after every little thing you do. Now, there are merits to 32-bit mode, most notably the fact that there are not many incompatibility problems with it. Every time Java did an update there was confusion as most users didn’t have the required libraries. In the past, some other early applications and drivers simply did not have 64-bit versions.

Just like Windows and Android, there are two kinds of Chrome OS with each divided by the CPU architecture; 32-bit and 64-bit. The CPU will always dictate what version can run on any device. This inevitably affects the experience users could get from their Chromebooks.

So let’s say you do have a 64-bit mode architecture and you use applications who have the proper support: Drivers, 64-bit versions and everything you need. No problem then, right? There comes a moment though when you have to use 32-bit applications in your 64-bit system. What then? That’s when you read this article and follow it to the letter. If you don’t have Ubuntu/Debian based distributions 13.10 or greater you used to have to install a meta-package called ia32-libs. Now this package has been deprecated so you have to do it manually.

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Why do 32-bit and 64-bit matter?How To Enable 32 Bit Architecture On Chromebook

The 64-bit version is a successor to the older 32-bit. But that doesn’t mean that 32-bit is obsolete. 32-bit is often used on a low-power device with a 32-bit CPU and no more than 4GB of memory whereas 64-bit is usually lived within the realm of high-end Chromebooks.

This differentiation led to some apps not being available on Google Play Store for some users. For example, 64-bit Chromebooks can comfortably run 32-bit and 64-bit apps while 32-bit Chromebook can only run 32-bit apps due to their hardware limitation.

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Advantages of 64-bit over the 32-bit operating system

Below are the following advantages of a 64-bit operating system over the 32-bit operating system, such as:

  • Addressable memory: 32-bit operating systems can address a maximum of 4 GB of RAM. But 64-bit operating system can address up to 17,179,869,184 GB (16 exabytes). That's a lot more than 4GB of memory that a 32-bit operating system can handle.
  • Available Resources: The 64-bit operating system can make full use of available system resources compared to a 32-bit system. To simplify, installing more RAM on a system with a 32-bit OS doesn't impact performance. However, upgrade that system with excess RAM to the 64-bit version of Windows, and you'll notice a difference.
  • Computer Performance: The system can perform more calculations per second using a 64-bit system with a 64-bit processer. As a result, it increases the processing power and makes a computer run faster. This is limited in the case of 32-bit operating systems.
  • Software performance: More software's are written to leverage the benefit of a 64-bit operating system fully. If you are using a 64-bit operating system and install software of 64 bit, you can up-front notice the increase in performance. It becomes even more critical when performing a huge operation that requires the system to access more memory. An increase in software performance leads results in an increase in overall efficiency.
  • Multitasking: Using 64-bit, users can do various things in multitasking at the same time. Users can easily switch between various applications without any windows hanging problems.

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How to Choose Processors?

While a 64-bit processor has more processing power than a 32-bit processor, it does not always mean that you need a 64-bit computer or software. Whether you should install a 32-bit or 64-bit application on your computer depends on your current setup.

If you want your computer to be fast, you should probably choose a 64-bit processor. You can even use this processor if you're running 32-bit programs since most applications are backwards compatible. It means 64-bit computers will run most 32-bit programs. However, a 32-bit computer will not run any 64-bit applications. Here are some reasons why you might want to upgrade to a 64-bit processor:

  • Graphics: Aside from being able to handle more data, the 64-bit processor delivers better graphics performance. It means that your computer will be faster when launching apps, editing photos and playing graphic-intensive games.
  • Security: A 64-bit computer may still get infected by malware (malicious software), including viruses, spyware, Trojans, and ransomware. However, a computer with a 64-bit system has more security features than a 32-bit system.

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