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#1 2020-03-03 06:26:26

gkun
Member
Registered: 2016-06-11
Posts: 72

Multilib

Good morning all,

yesterday I was thinking about enabling multilib after seeing that it's still necessary to use 32 bit software to play on steam. I wondered then if it still makes sense to use 32 bit libraries in 2020. And then I noticed the fact multilib is disabled by default.

I wonder now, is there any particular advantage in running a system which is pure 64 bit? Is there any possibility that some application will run on 32 bit software (when it should run on 64 bit versions) if I install any particular library? Or the chance of instabilities?

Good morning again to everyone

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#2 2020-03-03 09:02:42

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 10,434

Re: Multilib

No installing 32bit libraries will never have any negative impact on 64bit applications (unless you break your loader path, but you'd have to actively do something to that effect) and they are all built in a way that they are co-installable.

If you have applications that are 32bit and you want to use them you are not going to get around enabling multilib. You don't really get to decide that and it will likely hold true for forever in the case of steam, as most "older" games will have seen a 32bit build and will unlikely to be upgraded for 64bit compatibility.

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#3 2020-03-03 14:23:15

eschwartz
Trusted User/Bug Wrangler
Registered: 2014-08-08
Posts: 3,616

Re: Multilib

gkun wrote:

I wonder now, is there any particular advantage in running a system which is pure 64 bit? Is there any possibility that some application will run on 32 bit software (when it should run on 64 bit versions) if I install any particular library? Or the chance of instabilities?

A program is EITHER built for 32-bit, OR for 64-bit.

Enabling multilib and installing lib32-* packages allows you to run programs which were built for 32-bit. It has no effect, either for good or ill, on programs that were built for 64-bit.

So, it's impossible for an application to suddenly switch to run on 32-bit just because you installed some multilib packages. You'd have to remove the software entirely and recompile it using special compiler options to do 32-bit -- or boot into a 32-bit operating system and recompile the software (as 32-bit) there, then copy it over.

...

Steam programs, being closed-source, were typically never compiled on 64-bit operating systems, therefore they are 32-bit programs and there are NO 64-bit versions of them. Which is why multilib exists.


Managing AUR repos The Right Way -- aurpublish (now a standalone tool)

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