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I've Windows 32 bit OS with 4GB RAM and installed Linux Kubuntu on virtualbox on it. The entire memory has been split up between the two. Both Windows and Linux running on 2GB RAM simultaneously which is not enough for any of them. I'm coping with sluggish performance and affecting my development also.

When I asked for more RAM to I.T. Department, they are giving an excuse that the problem with 32 bit OS. According to them what I really want is 64 bit Windows OS which they do not have and adding up more RAM will not resolve my issue.

I do not understand why adding up more RAM would not resolve the problem.

Are they right? Do you guys concur? How do I convince them?

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

The 32bit OS can't address more than 4GB RAM. So even if they give you more ram - you won't be able to use it. In Linux there is a workaround - PAE. It allows you to address more than 4GB RAM. However for Windows maybe 64bit OS is the only solution.

About the virtual installation - are you sure that the RAM is the bottleneck?

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When I allotted 2.5GB RAM to Linux (virtualbox) and kept 1GB for Windows, it became extremely slow. How do I make sure that RAM is the bottleneck? –  codef0rmer Sep 21 '12 at 12:19
    
Well, you should also make sure that Windows has enough RAM to operate well. For start, what are you doing on the virtual machine? You can use top to examine CPU and memory usage. Linux caches memory so if your used percentage is high it may be normal. However if you have swap usage - probably you need more RAM. –  tsv.dimitrov Sep 21 '12 at 12:35
    
Well I'm frontend developer - came from a backend background and prefer to use Linux over Windows. But I'm using Linux on virtualbox running on windows (4GB RAM). So I actually do all my development on Linux and for that 2 GB RAM (from 4GB of host) is not enough. –  codef0rmer Sep 21 '12 at 18:33
    
Can Windows XP 32bit OS allow to address more than 4GB RAM? –  codef0rmer Sep 24 '12 at 8:41
    
As far as I know - Windows XP 32bit can't address more than 4G RAM. If you do all your development on Linux why don't you install Kubuntu for your main OS and run Windows XP in virtual machine? –  tsv.dimitrov Sep 25 '12 at 6:53
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