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How can I Install Skype without ia32-libs?

The libraries provided by ia32-libs crash my 64-bit "Second Life" game.

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Of yourse you might also want to ask a question why your Second-life binary fails. That's a thing I'd consider a bug, while working around the package manager dependencies for skype is nasty business. Perhaps strace could help which 32bit libraries confuse Seconf-life. – MvG Jun 27 '12 at 15:13

You could unpack the 32bit libraries manually into some directory where SecondLife doesn't find them, and then use LD_LIBRARY_PATH to hopefully let skype find them. Try it on the console, and if it works, create some wrapper script which executes skype with a suitable environment.

As I don't usually use graphical package managers, I'm not sure which of the following approaches is better suited:

  • Using a package manager:
    1. Install ia32-libs-multiarch with all its dependencies
    2. Copy the content of /usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ to /usr/my32bit
    3. Use the package manager to remove the packages installed above. This might be the tricky part, due to the large number of auto-selected dependencies.
  • Manual unpacking
    1. Look at the ia32-libs-multiarch package description page
    2. Follow each link to each dependency
    3. Click on the architecture i386 to download a .deb file for it
    4. mkdir xDir, a new directory to unpack stuff
    5. Unpack each using dpkg-deb -x foo.deb xDir
    6. Copy xDir/usr/lib/i386-linux-gnu/ to /usr/my32bit

In either case, you should end up with those libraries copied to /usr/my32bit. You will have to manually install skype as well, unless you find a way to circumwent the dependency check during installation. The steps from the second approach above will wokr there, too. You might need to install it to its proper locations, so that skype itself will find all its components. So instead of xDir you would have to specify /. I'll take no guarantees if that should mess up your system, so perhaps you should install into a safe directory first, to see what gets installed and if that will overwrite anything. Then you could execute

LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/my32bit skype

If that works, you can create a file /usr/local/skype to contain this:

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=/usr/my32bit
exec /usr/bin/skype

Make that script executable using chmod +x /usr/local/skype. If your desktop icons fail to execute that script, they might contain an absolute path. Edit any .desktop file included in the skype .deb package, and adjust its path to the local one. Or rename /usr/bin/skype to /usr/bin/skype.real, place the script in the original location and have it call the real binary.

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I have not done something like that. Can you explain me in short steps I implementing it? – lupopa Jun 27 '12 at 14:51

You could run 32 bit programs like skype in a 32-bit OS under Virtualbox. The 64-bit OS and software wouldn't know about it. That's what I've decided to try after ia32-libs-multiarch screwed up Ubuntu 12.04 64-bit OS. I've almost got the 32 bit version of 12.04 running with eclipse and Android SDK. It's a pain. But at least the 64-bit system will never get corrupted. Plus you can make many virtual systems and check out new installations and go backwards when they fail. Much easier than reinstalling everything like I just had to do.

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The ia32-libs are a dependency for Skype.

You can't install Skype without them, and even if you manage to install Skype without them, Skype won't work properly without the required dependencies.

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Grml... okay ty – lupopa Jun 27 '12 at 14:52
Not really. See other answer, which I have tested to work. – hexafraction Sep 24 '12 at 11:25

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