[SATLUG] is there any need for a 64-bit binary on Linux?

Bruce Dubbs bruce.dubbs at gmail.com
Wed Aug 25 19:23:08 CDT 2010

travis+ml-satlug at subspacefield.org wrote:
> Hey all,
> Hard to fit the full question into the subject line.  I realize
> programs needing more than 4GB of memory need to be 64-bit, so please
> read this email before shooting off that answer :-)
> Not sure where to ask this, but, I had a co-worker ask me whether
> 32-bit binaries worked on Linux, and if so, if there was any immediate
> need to do a port of our standalone player.
> Based on what I can tell on Ubuntu, 32-bit binaries work out of the
> box.  For example, my /usr/bin/rar is a 32-bit binary.  /lib32 exists
> and appears to be populated at install time.
> I imagine there are cases where you can't run 32-bit binaries; can
> anyone tell me what those are?  How urgent would you say a 64-bit
> port would be?
> Of course we do need a 64-bit of the browser plugin since it
> communicates with a 64-bit browser.
> If you have an idea of where else to ask this, please LMK.  I'm
> thinking the Ubuntu mlists/NGs/whatever might be a good place.  LMKL
> seems like the wrong place.  And I don't currently have a subscription
> to a high-quality LUG mlist here locally, so I'm asking you guys ;-)

Most 64-bit distros support running 32-bit applications in a 'multi-lib' 
configuration.  The difference is in the libraries.  Depending on the 
distro, the 64-bit libraries are in /lib64 and /usr/lib64 and the 
32-libraries in /lib and /usr/lib (e.g. Redhat).

OTOH, I think Debian (and Ubuntu) is reversed with /lib32 and /usr/lib32 
for 32-bit libraries and with the defaults being /lib and /usr/lib.

There are some systems that 'pure-64' are not compatible with with 
32-bit applications.

   -- Bruce

More information about the SATLUG mailing list