Running 32bit applications on a 64bit system

Sarunas Burdulis sarunas at
Mon Nov 26 20:18:58 UTC 2007

Hash: SHA1

Chris Jones wrote:
> Hi,
>> When I originally chose the 64bit version, it was based on my
>> assumption that, since my hardware was 64bit, my OS should be too. I
>> did notice the sluggish performance you mentioned and I attributed it
>> to my systems shortcomings (1.8Ghz w/1GB RAM). Now, I'm seeing it
>> might also have to do with the version of the OS I chose.
>> Thanks again. I'm going to download the 32bit version now.
> I must confess I am more familiar with Redhat based systems, using 
> Fedora on my latop until recently (now Gutsy ;)) and Scientific Linux at 
> work, but this is something I've been wondering about myself. How well 
> does ubuntu/debian support what in the Redhat word is often referred to 
> as mutlilib'ing, i.e. having the 32 and 64 bit versions of libraries 
> installed side by side ?
> On our 64 bit machines at work, it is trivial to install side by side 
> the 32 bit RPMS as well. Then any application built on a 32 bit system 
> runs just fine on the 64 bit machines as well (+ we can experiment with 
> 64bit builds at the same time).
> I think this is exactly what the OP needs to run whatever 32 bit 
> applications he needs (lahtough it would help if he stated what these 
> apps are, and what errors he gets when trying to run ?)
> I'm getting the impression ubuntu/debian doesn't support this sort of 
> thing anywhere as near as well ?
> Chris

32-bit libraries on debian/ubuntu amd64 systems can be easily installed
as ia32-libs and related packages. Libraries end up in /lib32 and most
32-bit dynamically linked apps work fine.

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