Multiarch crazyiness

Richard W.M. Jones rjones at
Mon Oct 22 14:17:46 UTC 2007

Jon Masters wrote:
> It's still going to be the case that many people will want packages from
> both, for a long time, and in some cases that makes more sense - it's
> not always better to have 64-bit versions.
> For these reasons, I think a better solution is needed, and needed as a
> matter of urgency. That solution should also be well documented, with
> very obvious policy document(s) - not just mailing list posts - that
> make it very easy for package maintainers to understand. It really is
> time to fix this properly - can we get a working group setup?

My original question was to some extent taking the position of devil's 

But I think this is interesting: what are the actual choke-points which 
cause ordinary Fedora users to need to use 32 bit libs & apps on their 
64 bit x86-64 machines?

Off the top of my head I could think of:

  - proprietary firefox plugins (could probably be handled using a 
wrapper, in fact _should_ be handled using a wrapper because dlopening 
binary-only plugins in your browser is stupid)

  - proprietary 32 bit binaries (does Fedora care about them?)

  - free software with lots of 32 bit assumptions (OpenOffice used to be 
like this, but IIRC they fixed it ... are there any others?)

  - building 32 bit binaries (but really you should use mock or 
virtualisation, which has other advantages like you can build for lots 
of other architectures)

Perhaps it's just easier to fix this list of choke-points than to 
implement working multiarch support?


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