Multiarch: How To Use 32bit Packages On A 64bit System (Debian 7 Wheezy)

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Author: PlaNet Fox
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Last edited 06/06/2013

On Debian Wheezy, it is now possible to run a i386-linux-gnu application on an amd64-linux-gnu system. This is called Multiarch and refers to the capability of a system to install and run applications of multiple different binary targets on the same system.

On the old Debian Squeeze you had to install the package ia32-libs to get support for i386 packages on an AMD64 system. On Debian Wheezy this is different, you must add the architecture i386 with this command:

dpkg --add-architecture i386

Then run this:

apt-get update

You can now install packages that exist only in a 32bit version.

If you later install packages that have their own package server (instead of the official Debian repos) which only supports 64bit packages and not 32bit packages, you might get an error. You therefore have to add [arch=amd64] to your /etc/apt/sources.list.

Example for Proxmox:

# PVE packages provided by
deb [arch=amd64] wheezy pve

When you run

apt-get update

then you can install Proxmox without problems.



Debian Multiarch
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From: Kurt at: 2013-06-23 04:49:36

Wish I had known this before installing and setting up a Debian Wheezy based distro.  I used my notes for installing 32-bit apps under Squeeze for Wheezy.

From: Ken Hough at: 2013-08-26 14:33:52

Sorry to disagree, but your instructions for running 32bit software under 64bit Debian Wheezy do not seem to work.

After following your instructions, my 64bit Wheezy system still would not recognise 32bit software (eg firefox and Adobe Reader)

It was only after I installed packages 'ia32libs' and 'ia32libs-gtk' (via synaptic) that it all worked correctly.



From: Sergio at: 2013-10-15 14:26:20

Era lo que buscaba, efectivamente en Wheezy cambio la manera de instalar paquetes i386 en sistemas amd64.

dpkg --add-architecture i386

apt-get update

apt-get install apackage i386

 Si tienes cualquier problema de dependencias ~$ apt-get -f install