Disabling PAE for 32bit version?

written by Tomas M. 1 year ago

PAE (Physical Address Extension) is currently enabled in Slackware's kernel and thus it is enabled in Slax 32bit as well at the moment. What PAE does is that it allows 32-bit x86 processors to access a physical address space larger than 4 gigabytes. If your computer is 32bit and you have 4GB of RAM and more, you need PAE-enabled kernel to "see" all your memory. Without it, you would only see 3GB of RAM even if you have more, but such kernel would work on much more older computers.

According to wikipedia, PAE is provided by Intel Pentium Pro and above CPUs, and AMD Athlon and later AMD processor models. If we want PAE for Slax kernel, such Slax version would run only on the mentioned processors and newer, it would no longer work on older CPUs. Slackware's 32bit kernel is configured to enable PAE, and to work only on Pentium III and newer processors only, ignoring all older processors. This is something which I consider unwanted. I prefer to run Slax 32bit on all the old hardware. So I'm currently considering to disable PAE at all for the 32bit version.

Of course the 64bit Slax version will "see" all your memory without any problems on all 64bit processors.

Do you prefer to disable or enable PAE in 32bit Slax version? Do you want to run Slax on old machines such as 486, 586, K5, 686, or Pentium, before Pentium Pro?

Tomas M.

(c) 2014, Tomas M; rss