Nowadays, many servers are running with 2-4 gigabytes of RAM, and their owners are discovering a problem: When they run 32-bit debian Linux distribution, their extra RAM is not being used. Fortunately, correcting the problem is only a matter of installing or building a kernel with a few specific parameters enabled or disabled.
In Debian, use the apt-cache search command to locate a recent linux-image package for a kernel for a 686 processor if you want support for up to 4 gigabytes. If you want support for up to 64 gigabytes, look for a kernel that ends with 686-bigmem. These kernels will enable support for 64GB. Unfortunately, a generic kernel for only 4GB does not exist.