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Some time ago we talked about using more than 3 GB of RAM in Ubuntu 32bit which involved installing the server kernel. Well, this is no longer possible in Ubuntu Karmic Koala (9.10). According to the Ubuntu wiki:

Note that the i386-server flavour is being dropped. I can think of no good reason to continue to support a 32 bit server. The 32 bit -generic kernel ought to suffice for those headless implementations that have used the -server flavour in the past, such as home gateways.


Installing the server kernel was needed so that you'd had a kernel with PAE enabled (alternatively, you could just compile the normal kernel and enable PAE).

But because many OEMs and users requested a 32 bit PAE enabled kernel, Karmic Koala now comes with linux-generic-pae meta package which enables PAE in Ubuntu 32 bit, thus allowing you to use more than 3GB of RAM.

Therefore, to use all your RAM in Ubuntu Karmic, open a terminal and paste this:
sudo apt-get install linux-generic-pae


This command will install linux-image-2.6.31-13-generic-pae and linux-image-generic-pae.

If, after restarting the computer, your 32bit Ubuntu still does not recognize more than 3GB of RAM, run this command to remove the old kernel packages:
sudo apt-get remove linux-image-2.6.31-13-generic linux-image-generic


Note: the kernel versions in this post will change once new packages are pushed into Ubuntu Karmic repositories so adapt the commands to the latest kernel version.
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