By mistake I have installed 64-bit linux(hey! it happens to every1!). How can I run 32-bit app under that linux?

  • which application are you trying to run ? Jan 6, 2011 at 19:20
  • its SWT Java App, but I wonder for future how to deal with 32-bit apps.
    – UAdapter
    Jan 6, 2011 at 19:30
  • A pure java app does not care about the system architecture, it runs using the java runtime environment which is available for both 32 and 64 bits. Unless you run closed source apps is very unlikely that you will find 32 bits only apps, on some case's you can run 32 bits binaries if you install the ia32-libs package, but not all. Jan 6, 2011 at 19:55
  • 1
    its not pure, it uses SWT(look like real app and not ugly Swing app) and it need extra libs in order to run.
    – UAdapter
    Jan 6, 2011 at 20:38

3 Answers 3


Most applications (Well, all applications) that are in the repo will work with 64bit versions of Ubuntu. So things like Firefox, Gedit, Chromium, etc. The majority of applications that are only i386/x86_32bit only will still install and run without any additional changes needed. Even less will have issues with linked or shared system libraries. You can install the ia32-libs package which will install most needed 32bit shared libraries needed for 32bit software to work.

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    This is a bit outdated as ia32-libs is before the Mutliarch feature in APT appeared. See this answer for more information.
    – gertvdijk
    Jan 24, 2013 at 11:44

I don't see how installing a 64bit OS on a CPU that supports it (most have done for years now) is a mistake, it makes perfect sense to make use of the benefits of 64-bit architecture! I must say, for at least the last few years, apart from 64bit flash issues, I've not had to worry about this at all.

Saying that, what are you trying to run? My system has a few 32-bit libraries and i386/i686 .deb's I've force installed (which seem to be architecture independent anyway), and you might notice that your's works the same.

Does the app you're attempting to run work on the 64bit system?

  • it has a version that runs under 64-bit(its SWT Java App). I just remember that people always choose 32-bit windows, because they were scare that some apps wont work and I wonder if the same thing is a case on linux.
    – UAdapter
    Jan 6, 2011 at 19:19
  • The main trouble with windows, is all the proprietary drivers. Because Gnu/Linux is Free Software, the freedoms to study the source, to modify, and to distribute. Allow it to be recompiled for 64bit (and any fixes to be made). Thus allowing the remaining freedom, to use. Jan 24, 2013 at 13:40

To compile and install 32-bit applications on 64-bit Ubuntu we should not forget to mention getlibs that is also available from Jamin W Collins' ppa. This tool helps a lot in resolving dependencies for 32-libraries when installing 32-bit applications on a 64-bit system.

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