I am using Ubuntu 10.10 (Linux pc07 2.6.35-27-generic #48-Ubuntu SMP Tue Feb 22 20:25:46 UTC 2011 x86_64 GNU/Linux) and the default python package (Python 2.6.6).

I would like to install python-psyco to improve the performance of one of my scripts, but only python-psyco-doc is available for 64 bit. I tried a virtual machine, but the the performance boost is much less on the virtual machine than on a "real" installed 32-bit Ubuntu.

So my question is: How can I install a 32Bit Python with psyco on my 64Bit Ubuntu machine?

edit: I've found this article and made this:

  • Download "Python 2.7.1 bzipped source tarball" from http://python.org/download/
  • Go in the directory where you decompressed "Python 2.7.1"
  • OPT=-m32 LDFLAGS=-m32 ./configure --prefix=/opt/pym32
  • make

But I got this error:

gcc -pthread -m32 -Xlinker -export-dynamic -o python \
            Modules/python.o \
            libpython2.7.a -lpthread -ldl  -lutil   -lm  
libpython2.7.a(posixmodule.o): In function `posix_tmpnam':
/home/moose/Downloads/Python-2.7.1/./Modules/posixmodule.c:7346: warning: the use of `tmpnam_r' is dangerous, better use `mkstemp'
libpython2.7.a(posixmodule.o): In function `posix_tempnam':
/home/moose/Downloads/Python-2.7.1/./Modules/posixmodule.c:7301: warning: the use of `tempnam' is dangerous, better use `mkstemp'
Segmentation fault
make: *** [sharedmods] Fehler 139

edit2: Now I've found http://indefinitestudies.org/2010/02/08/how-to-build-32-bit-python-on-ubuntu-9-10-x86_64/ and it seems like this worked:

  • cd Python-2.7.1
  • CC="gcc -m32" LDFLAGS="-L/lib32 -L/usr/lib32 \ -Lpwd/lib32 -Wl,-rpath,/lib32 -Wl,-rpath,/usr/lib32" \ ./configure --prefix=/opt/pym32
  • make
  • sudo make install

But installing psyco didn't work:

This error appeared:

running install
running build
running build_py
running build_ext
building 'psyco._psyco' extension
gcc -pthread -fno-strict-aliasing -DNDEBUG -g -fwrapv -O2 -Wall -Wstrict-prototypes -fPIC -DALL_STATIC=1 -Ic/ivm -I/usr/include/python2.6 -c c/psyco.c -o build/temp.linux-x86_64-2.6/c/psyco.o
In file included from c/psyco.c:1:
c/psyco.h:9: fatal error: Python.h: Datei oder Verzeichnis nicht gefunden
compilation terminated.
error: command 'gcc' failed with exit status 1

Installing the package python-dev solved the problem, but I still could not use psyco. Now I've installed a 32Bit Ubuntu System.

  • why not just compile for 64bit, since python is an interpreted language?
    – RolandiXor
    Mar 7, 2011 at 16:13

2 Answers 2


To run 32 bit applications on a 64 bit Ubuntu system, you will need ia32-libs. From a terminal, validate if you have this using

dpkg -l ia32-libs

If you've installed it, the output should looks like:

ii   ia32-libs ...

If it looks like un ia32-libs, you need to install it using:

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
  • 1
    Unfortunately, this isn't working in Ubutu 14.04 vharron@tifa:~/ll/googd/build/x86l$ sudo apt-get install ia32-libs Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done Package ia32-libs is not available, but is referred to by another package. This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or is only available from another source However the following packages replace it: lib32z1 lib32ncurses5 lib32bz2-1.0 E: Package 'ia32-libs' has no installation candidate
    – vharron
    Dec 6, 2014 at 22:28

I finally got this to work by installing a 32-bit schroot'ed environment. Follow the directions here: https://help.ubuntu.com/community/DebootstrapChroot

I used the following configuration file for my schroot (/etc/schroot/chroot.d/natty32.conf):

description=Ubuntu 11 for i386

Once installed, start the schroot session:

schroot -c natty32 -u root

Then install python2.6 with apt-get, install pip using it ( http://guide.python-distribute.org/installation.html ), then pip install psyco, numpy, &c.

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