32-bit Linux Distribution / little-endian?

Linode Staff

Are there any 32-bit Linux distributions available on Linode, preferably with little-endian architecture?

2 Replies

The distributions available to deploy from on our platform are 64 bit. A complete list of available distributions can be found on our Supported Distributions page here —> https://www.linode.com/distributions/

You can still run a 32 bit distribution on your Linode but it requires a different approach. Specifically, you’ll need to provide or retrieve a copy of the desired distribution, download it to the Linode then install the image. This is outlined in detail in the guide below:
---> Install a Custom Distribution on a Linode

Regarding the second part of your question, the CPU of the Linode determines the endian type, rather than the OS image/distribution. Both our Intel and AMD hosts use Little Endian byte order so regardless of which distribution you deploy onto your Linode, you’ll be setup for a Little Endian architecture. To see for yourself, you can run the lscpu command from Linode’s console to see specifications of the CPU architecture.

To narrow down the command to only show the “Byte Order”, you can run the following command instead —> lscpu | grep "Byte Order"

You should get an output similar to the one below when running lscpu:

$ root@localhost:~# lscpu
Architecture:                    x86_64
CPU op-mode(s):                  32-bit, 64-bit
Byte Order:                      Little Endian
Address sizes:                   40 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
CPU(s):                          1
On-line CPU(s) list:             0
Thread(s) per core:              1
Core(s) per socket:              1
Socket(s):                       1
NUMA node(s):                    1
Vendor ID:                       AuthenticAMD
CPU family:                      23
Model:                           49
Model name:                      AMD EPYC 7542 32-Core Processor
Stepping:                        0
CPU MHz:                         2899.996
BogoMIPS:                        5799.99
Hypervisor vendor:               KVM
Virtualization type:             full

All the Linode images are 64-bit to run on AMD physical hardware as @acacoilo explained. If you are in need of a 32-bit Linux, you can get one for several (lower-end) ARM-based processors such as the Exynos 5422 (from Samsung). There are several hobbyist systems that use this. I had one from Odroid (which also has an Ubuntu distro for their products). The SSD cost more than the computer…

The Exynos 5422 is little-endian too.

If you have a reasonably capable home network, you can put one on it pretty easily and not even know that it's not in the cloud.

-- sw


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