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Can I install Debian? These are the architectures where it works

Debian It is one of the best known Linux distributions that we can find to install on our computer or server. This distro is one of the most stable that we can find, and one of the ones that best bet on that “Linux experience” that we often look for when we leave out other systems such as Windows. However, like any other operating system, Debian has some limitations that we must take into account when choosing where we want to install it.

What are the Debian requirements

The first thing to keep in mind is what hardware we need for Debian to work properly. And the truth is that, in this sense, it is not a particularly demanding system, and we can install it on practically any computer that we have at home. Of course, depending on its power we can get it to go more or less fluid in that sense.

The first thing we need is a CPU. And the minimum to be able to install this Linux is to have a Pentium 4 at 1 GHz. The people in charge of Debian recommend in Intel i5, or equivalent in AMD, so that it goes smoothly, but to install it, and that it works, much less is enough.

Another requirement to be able to install this OS on the PC is to have, at least, 256 MB of RAM. If we compare it with the minimum RAM of Windows 11 (which is 4 GB), the difference is remarkable. Of course, the recommended thing, to work well, is 1 GB.

And finally, the free hard disk space minimum is 10 GB, although it is recommended to have at least 20 GB so that the system has no problems and can write its own files without hindrance. And, if we install it on an SSD, much better.

Supported processor architectures

But meeting the requirements is not the only thing we need to be able to launch this distro on any device. It is important to make sure that, also, the kernel of the system (what we know as Kernel) has the necessary binaries to be able to understand with the processor.

Until the last stable version of Debian, the architectures that come standard in this system are the following:

  • AMD64: the typical 64-bit architecture that we all have on our home PC. It also includes support for Intel processors with the EM64T extension.
  • ARM64: Supports the latest ARM 64-bit processors.
  • ARMEL– Compatible with ARM little-endian machines.
  • ARMHF– An alternative to ARMEL for hard-float ARMv7 machines.
  • i386: typical 32-bit Intel processors. It includes from Intel 386 to Pentium III, including the entire range of AMD and Cytrix processors.
  • ia64: Intel IA-64 (Itanium) computers.
  • MIPS– SGI systems with big-endian MIPS, such as Indy, Indigo2, and Digital DECstations.
  • POWERPC: all types of computers with PowerPC processors, such as many IBM / Motorola, and Apple Macintosh PowerMac.
  • PPC64EL: computers that use the 64-bit port of the PowerPC.
  • s390x– 64-bit IBM System Z machines.

Debian was also compatible with other different architectures in the past, such as the m68k, used, for example, on the AMIGA and Atari consoles. And it also has libraries to be able to work on systems not covered in the list, such as the hppa (from Hewlett-Packard) and the alpha (from Compaq / Digital’s Alpha), as well as the 32-bit port of the s390.

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