Option # 1: Use 64 bit Ubuntu Linux
64 bit Linux kernel will take care of 4G or more memory. Just grab latest 64 bit version and install it.
Option #2: Install PAE enabled kernel
Open terminal and type the following command:
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo sudo apt-get install linux-headers-server linux-image-server linux-server
4) PAE itself (the technology that enables a 32-bit OS to address up to 64 GB of RAM), slows down memory addressing and memory referencing. That is why PAE is disabled by default on my kernels.
Summary: It is not best to use the Ubuntu Server kernel on desktop systems. Sure, it works, but not optimally. If you want to use the a 32-bit Ubuntu, you are much better off recompiling your own kernel with PAE enabled, than to use the Ubuntu Server kernel.
Of course, considering that using the AMD64 port will also give you about 10%-15% speed boost, you are missing on a lot of performance by using the 32-bit Ubuntu Server kernel on a 64-bit capable CPU.
jon@LG-laptop ~ $ free -m
total used free shared buffers cached
Mem: 3292 1129 2163 0 28 554
-/+ buffers/cache: 546 2746
Swap: 9648 0 9648
jon@LG-laptop ~ $ uname -r
jon@LG-laptop ~ $
In your case, it wouldn't surprise me if some of your RAM is being reserved for your on-board video, even though you aren't using it. If I were you I would look closely at your BIOS settings for a way to disable possible video caching.
In Iterator's case I suspect his hardware isn't capable of running in 64 bit mode and is automatically falling back to 32 bit addressing.
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