Installing 32-bit Support into 64-bit Fedora 11

by Mike on September 4, 2009 · 23 comments

in Uncategorized

If you’re running newer hardware, there are some definite advantages to installing a 64-bit operating system.  But, if you still need to run any 32-bit applications, you’ll need to have the 32-bit support libraries installed.  Different Linux distros handle this in different ways.

Just for clarity, Fedora runs 32-bit applications fine.  If you install the 32-bit version you will have access to all of the apps you want.  This article is simply to show one way of adding the possibility of 32-bit apps on a 64-bit system.

For 64-bit Ubuntu, finding the proper 32-bit support packages is a simple matter of opening up the Synaptic Package Manager, and searching for the string “ia32”.  With 64-bit openSuSE, 32-bit support is already built-in, so you don’t have to do anything.  With Fedora, though, it’s a whole different story.  Not only are the 32-bit packages not already installed, the Fedora folk don’t provide any documentation on how to install them.  The directions I found via Google were outdated, and wouldn’t work.  I finally resolved the problem by asking a Red Hat employee in my local Linux Users Group.

Add an “rpm” Macro

This isn’t an absolute necessity, but it’s handy.  Add the following line to the “/etc/rpm/macros” file:

%_query_all_fmt %%{name}-%%{version}-%%{release}.%%{arch}

Now,  when you query for information about rpm packages, you’ll be able to see whether they’re 32-bit or 64-bit packages.

sudo rpm -q SDL

Add the Libraries

Next, add the 32-bit libraries by copying the following list, and pasting it into a text file.  Save it as “Fedora-ia32.txt”.


Finally, “su” to a root shell, and run the following command:

# for i in $(< Fedora-ia32.txt ); do yum -y install $i; done

When the process completes, you can verify that you have both 32-bit and 64-bit packages installed.

sudo rpm -q SDL

A Caveat

By having to use the entire package name, all the way up through the arch designation, we open ourselves up to a slight problem.  That is, package version numbers are also part of the package names.  So, by the time you read this, the script may have been partially broken due to Fedora packages having been updated to newer versions.  Here’s the way around that.

Go ahead and do the procedure as written.  Then, as root, run the following command:

for i in $(< Fedora-ia32.txt ); do rpm -q >> rpm_results.txt $i; done

If package versions have changed, you’ll see a “not installed” error message for it in the output file.  Then, you can open Yum Extender, and search for the update version to install.

The reason that the directions that I found via Google didn’t work, is that the package list referenced the “i386” packages that were part of Fedora 10.  With Fedora 11, the “i386” packages have been replaced by “i586” packages

Article Submitted by Donnie Tevault


fengshaun September 4, 2009 at 7:46 pm

installing 32bit (i586) packages in Fedora is as easy as:

(used Firefox as an example)
# yum install firefox.i586

and I’m sure you know that yum pulls all the dependencies automatically (aka. you don’t need to remember that long list ;) )

fengshaun September 4, 2009 at 7:47 pm

oh, and you don’t need to add that rpm macro, rpm -q shows the arch by default!

Kyle September 4, 2009 at 9:42 pm

With FC12, all of the i586 packages will disappear, and be replaced with i686 packages.


Paul W. Frields September 5, 2009 at 2:05 pm

There isn’t any need to do any of the steps in the article above. The way that Fedora does 32-bit support is the most well-engineered out of all the distros IMHO, because if you have to run a 32-bit application, you can just run:

yum install .i586

As Kyle noted, that will be .i686 in Fedora 12 and beyond. By the way, the macro isn’t necessary either. You can do this:

rpm -q –qf ‘%{NAME}-%{VERSION}-%{RELEASE}.%{ARCH}\n’

The –qf flag allows you to specify a “queryformat” that you can adjust to your needs. By the way, if you want to have that Red Hat employee get in touch with me, I work there too and would be happy to make sure he or she has up-to-date information to give out to other people. Thanks!

Paul W. Frields September 5, 2009 at 2:07 pm

Argh, the < and > didn’t show up in my commands above. The first should be:

yum install <package>.i586

The second should be:

rpm -q –qf ‘%{NAME}-%{VERSION}-%{RELEASE}.%{ARCH}\n’ <package>

Sorry about that!

Ted September 6, 2009 at 2:49 am

beginners will misunderstand and think that fedora is unable to deal with 32bits apps. As already said in comments, yum is doing fine with %{ARCH}.

btw, yum install -y $(< Fedora-ia32.txt) is certainly better than your for loop.

Kalyan September 7, 2009 at 9:07 am

Great this worked for me!

Alex September 28, 2009 at 2:43 am

Yeh, complicated stuff, but in practice most of the job is made by glibc!!! (Which is not listed!!! in the amazingly long list)
glibc goes togeher with nss-softokn-freebl
And, be careful: you cannot install glibc.i586 on a 64 system. Instead you want glibc.i686 which does the job.
Godd luck, Alex

Kristina October 5, 2009 at 9:37 am

While it may be true you can simply do “yum install .i586″ for an RPM package, this list is useful for programs NOT packaged as an RPM. I know it’s hard to believe there are actually things not included as an rpm, but there are! I found this very useful for installing SecondLife on F11 x86_64, for example, although it missed the audio components for some odd reason.

William Pickett October 22, 2009 at 10:09 am

Actually, I’m trying to get a copy of Linux Enterprises for my Quad-Core 64 bit AMD machine, Phenom 9750. I run XP Pro/64 Commercial Client now and I think I need more stability.

Thank you,

mike October 22, 2009 at 2:37 pm

I think what you want is a copy of centos the 64 bit version. CentOS is built from the source code of red Hat Enterprise. You can find that at

Eddie October 24, 2009 at 4:41 pm

Thanks – this was just the trick to get the Android 32 bit SDK working on my 64bit Fedora install. (where I can’t just run yum .i586.

Thanks again!

Ragavendra November 22, 2009 at 9:29 am

I tried the above steps on F10 but got like ‘No package libexif.i586 available.’ for the entire package list. I have F10-i386 DVD. Can I use the packages in it. How to go about it?

Bhushan November 25, 2009 at 4:37 am

Thanks a lot for this page. For fedora 12 i replaced all 586 with 686. Rest of it worked.

Susant November 30, 2009 at 5:52 am

My application is working fine with 32 bit linux machine.
When I am running same application over 64-bit, I am getting error like:
Please help me to resolve this.

Susant November 30, 2009 at 5:53 am

Can’t load ‘***/5.8.0/i686-linux/auto/GD/’ for module GD: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory at /usr/local/netman/perl/lib/5.8.0/i686-linux/ line 229.

Niklas December 9, 2009 at 2:35 am

Thank you verry much Donnie Tevault!!!

Klandaghi May 28, 2010 at 5:44 am

Very nice doc. Took me a while to realize that I need to change the i586 to i686. As it was stated this works for Fedora 12. It also now works for Fedora 13 which just released. Verified on my 64-bit system. Script is running now.
Thanks again!
Klandaghi Silentclaws

Luke McKee May 29, 2010 at 2:38 pm

One liner to do this. It will install all i586 packages (not just libs) for the packages you already have installed. I could tidy/speed it up with an additional awk script to see if an i586 package for the installed rpm already exists, but it works if your patient.

yum list installed | sed -e ‘s/\..*//’ |awk ‘{ print $1 “.i586″ }’ | xargs yum install

Gordon Bergström June 2, 2010 at 8:22 pm

From Fedora 13 it’s i686

Yogi July 2, 2010 at 7:11 am

It works. I stumbled upon this blog while trouble shooting android sdk plugin for eclipse on Fedora 13. After running the script,(changed 586 to 686) adb in tools did find the file in /lib folder.. so great :)

Simon October 25, 2010 at 10:42 am

Hello there my friend
I want to ask you something… Here is my problem
I need to install xampp in a fedora 13 in a 64 bits server. When I try to do the things like you say in here:
# for i in $(< Fedora-ia32.txt ); do yum -y install $i; done
"It tells me that there is another app has hold the yum blocked, waiting to exit. The Other app is YUM"

This message also appears if I try like someone said here in your comments: "yum install .i586"

Can you please help me??

Simon October 26, 2010 at 8:48 am

OK … i think ive got it… when the console tells me that there is another app trying to start and it shows me the file with somekind of a number
I just open that file and change that number…
Also ive tried commenting the file /op/lampp/lampp the part that says that xampp only works on 32 bit… bla bla bla, and it seems to work, but at the end it tells me that I need 32 libraries…
Doing a file with all the libs you put in here dosnt work for me… console says “XXX librari doesnt exist”
what should I do??

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