How To Confirm if Your CPU is 32bit or 64bit

I had to download a piece of software today for one of the servers which I haven't used in a while. A question of confirming the 64bit CPU capability came up, and I realized that I never mentioned it here on Unix Tutorial.

Some of you probably remember the uname command which also shows you similar information, but uname confirms the running kernel of your OS and not the CPU capability: if you're booted into 32bit mode, it will not help you to recognize the 64bit potential of your system.

Obtaining CPU information from /proc/cpuinfo

Most Linux distros will have the special /proc/cpuinfo file which contains a textual description of all the features your processors have. This is a very useful file – depending on your task it may help you identify any features of your processors, as well as confirm the overall number of CPUs your system has installed.

Most commonly, the following information is obtained from /proc/cpuinfo:

  • processor model name and type
  • processor speed in Mhz
  • processor cache size
  • instruction flags supported by CPU

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