Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Help with issues regarding installation of Debian

Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby Onsemeliot » 2019-11-23 10:13

I have an old IBM ThinkPad R50 with only 512 MB of RAM that even with the maximum capacity of 2GB RAM installed would need a kernel without the PAE extension. In Ubuntu the 32bit images have been including the PAE version by default for quite a while now but on such old laptops attempting to install a kernel with PAE fails with an error message that I need to use a non-PAE kernel. So far I wasn't able to find out if the 32bit version of Debian Buster includes a kernel that can be installed without PAE. Can someone here tell me before I create a DVD that would fail – this way wasting a blank.disc?
User avatar
Onsemeliot
 
Posts: 221
Joined: 2010-12-15 14:43

Re: Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby p.H » 2019-11-23 11:21

Yes, the Debian installer uses and can install a non PAE kernel for i386. Actually I was disappointed to discover that the netinst multiarch amd64+i386 installation image did not include the PAE kernel any more in buster.

Note that some Pentium M do not advertise PAE support but support it anyway. You can force PAE with the kernel command line parameter "forcepae". It is worth a try.

Also, PAE does not only add support for more than 4 GiB of physical memory space (not to be confused with system RAM, which is only a part of the memory space), it also enables the use of the NX/XD bit for data execution prevention on processors which support this feature, which provides valuable protection against the exploitation of some vulnerabilities such as buffer overflow.
p.H
 
Posts: 1188
Joined: 2017-09-17 07:12

Re: Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby Onsemeliot » 2019-11-23 12:49

Ok, I'll try it with forcepae. ... or actually I might not because the 32bit version doesn't support PAE if I understand correctly what you summarised. I could try Trisquel but I actually prefer Debian with LXDE. I might buy some RAM upgrade. I guess 2 GB is much more capable than 512 MB. (And I will check if the old IDE disk can be replaced with an SSD. But I suspect this might not make much sense since the bus speed is probably the limiting factor here.)
User avatar
Onsemeliot
 
Posts: 221
Joined: 2010-12-15 14:43

Re: Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby p.H » 2019-11-23 18:04

I meant to try forcepae with Ubuntu if you prefer it, or with Debian after installing the PAE kernel.

The IDE/PATA bus is much faster than any IDE disk, so an IDE SSD can improve speed significantly. However IDE SSDs are rare, expensive and low in capacity compared to SATA SSDs. You can also consider an mSATA or M.2 SATA SSD with an IDE/PATA adapter, so that the SSD can be reused with a more recent machine.
p.H
 
Posts: 1188
Joined: 2017-09-17 07:12

Re: Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby Onsemeliot » 2019-11-23 19:14

Alright, I would need to install a specific kernel not offered by the standard installation media then if I want to use Debian Buster?

And thank you for your tips concerning the SSD also. An M2 SSD sounds good. But I read somewhere that not all adapters do work as expected and even sometimes replacing the HDD with an SSD does even slow down the system. But maybe this was just due to an other problem this person had.
User avatar
Onsemeliot
 
Posts: 221
Joined: 2010-12-15 14:43

Re: Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby p.H » 2019-11-23 21:43

Onsemeliot wrote:Alright, I would need to install a specific kernel not offered by the standard installation media then if I want to use Debian Buster?

No.
p.H
 
Posts: 1188
Joined: 2017-09-17 07:12

Re: Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby Onsemeliot » 2019-11-24 12:21

I am confused now. I managed to install the system and it works like intended. But I have to admit that I am uncertain what kernel I do actually have right now. The installation menu didn't ask for any specifics but I used a Stretch DVD and upgraded to Buster from there. I only need to get a new CMOS battery since the system keeps forgetting the time now.
User avatar
Onsemeliot
 
Posts: 221
Joined: 2010-12-15 14:43

Re: Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby p.H » 2019-11-24 13:14

Onsemeliot wrote:I am uncertain what kernel I do actually have right now.

Code: Select all
uname -a
p.H
 
Posts: 1188
Joined: 2017-09-17 07:12

Re: Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby Onsemeliot » 2019-11-26 05:12

This doesn't really get me to understand if the kernel uses PAE:
Code: Select all
Linux deviceuser 4.19.0-6-686 #1 SMP Debian 4.19.67-2+deb10u2 (2019-11-11) i686 GNU/Linux

I even wonder because I always thought that i686 would be 64bit since the 32bit versions are usually called i386.
User avatar
Onsemeliot
 
Posts: 221
Joined: 2010-12-15 14:43

Re: Does Buster 32bit support non-PAE installation?

Postby p.H » 2019-11-26 05:56

This is the non-PAE kernel. The PAE kernel would show 4.19.0-6-686-pae.
686 is Intel Pentium Pro, Pentium II and above, AMD Athlon and above, all are 32 bits processors based on the i386 architecture.
p.H
 
Posts: 1188
Joined: 2017-09-17 07:12


Return to Installation

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Kenshin Himura and 6 guests

fashionable