I would like to install a 32-bit deb package on AMD64. It is not anything system critical, would it cause problems? Is there a better way to install?
You could do it with
sudo dpkg -i --force-all [package.deb]
After that you can install needed dependencies with
sudo apt-get -f install
Note that this would probably not work because of non-installable dependencies. If the package has no dependencies or all are in Ubuntu - then it will be ok. Alternatively if you decide that you REALLY know what you are doing then you can modify the dependencies of the DEB file manually using:
chmod +x videbcontrol.sh ./videbcontrol.sh [package.deb]
And then force install it with the first command given above.
I've used this a few times: http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=474790
It's a program called getlibs. As one of the other responders mentioned, you'll install using dpkg's --force-all option. Then you run getlibs to get all the 32-bit dependencies.
Before I started using pymazon, i was using this method to get Amazon's MP3 downloader to work under amd64.
Anyway, the instructions are pretty well laid out in the ubuntu forum post. Let me know if you have questions or issues.
I think typically there are no issues. I wouldn't recommend it for system critical things .. but in that case there would probably be a 64-bit version available. But for the deb here and there, I think it's fine.