Ubuntu – Will a USB drive with a 64-bit Ubuntu system work on 32-bit machines?


I want to make a portable flash drive with Ubuntu Mate on it as backup and keep that flash drive in my backpack (which I take everywhere). I don't like to use other people's computers, so I'd rather have an own OS ready to use whenever needed. My intention is having the flash drive carry the actual system of Ubuntu Mate, not an installer.

Now I'm not entirely sure what to install, 64-bit or 32-bit.
My main reason for that is that I don't know if plugging in my flash drive (with 64-bit Ubuntu Mate) on a 32-bit hardware machine, I can actually boot and use it.

Is that possible or should I go with 32-bit for compatibility?

Editing because of "possible duplicate": I think my question is similar, though more specific. I'd find it weird if moderators would not consider this a question on it's own. I've also been searching for an answer to this, for over an hour, without finding one. That's why I'm asking it on here.

Best Answer

A 64-bit version of Ubuntu will not even boot on a 32-bit system. A 32-bit version of Ubuntu will run on 32-bit AND 64-bit systems with no problems.

You should make a 32-bit LiveUSB/LiveCD. I have a portable (32-bit) Ubuntu environment on my keychain that I jump into when I access a Windows PC (yes, I'm an Ubuntu fan).

Caution: If your 64-bit system crashes and doesn't boot, you cannot jump into the system via chroot. That's why I also have a 64-bit LiveUSB for emergency.

Hope I helped you.