Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Ubuntu Tip: How To Install 32-bit .debs In A 64-bit Ubuntu

This is a very simple tip for Linux users and in particular Ubuntu users. If you're running a 64-bit version of Ubuntu you will occasionally need to install a 32-bit application. The very awesome World of Goo for example only comes in a 32-bit package. It does however run just fine on 64-bit Ubuntu 9.04.

Simple double clicking on the 32-bit .deb package will throw up a "wrong architecture" error. The way around this is to use the "--force-architecture" switch from a terminal window. See the example below.

  • sudo dpkg -i --force-architecture Desktop/WorldOfGooSetup.1.40.deb

Before we can do that however there are a few preparations to make. We must make sure all the supporting 32-bit libraries are also installed. To do this open a terminal window and enter the following command.

  • sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

And that is really all there is to it.