Linked by Thom Holwerda on Sun 5th May 2013 21:40 UTC, submitted by Anonymous Penguin
Debian and its clones That rare event where tried and true Debian releases a new version. "This new version of Debian includes various interesting features such as multiarch support, several specific tools to deploy private clouds, an improved installer, and a complete set of multimedia codecs and front-ends which remove the need for third-party repositories. Multiarch support, one of the main release goals for 'Wheezy', will allow Debian users to install packages from multiple architectures on the same machine. This means that you can now, for the first time, install both 32- and 64-bit software on the same machine and have all the relevant dependencies correctly resolved, automatically."
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Multiarch support?
by dorin.lazar on Sun 5th May 2013 22:24 UTC
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Isn't that in all the 64bit distributions nowadays? For like 6-7 years already, to say the least?

Reply Score: 1

RE: Multiarch support?
by tidux on Sun 5th May 2013 22:34 in reply to "Multiarch support?"
tidux Member since:

You'd think so, but no. Usually there was a hackjob "ia32-libs" package and a bunch of other kludges to make it work. This way there's none of that, you just dpkg --add-architecture i386 && apt-get update && apt-get install foo:i386. There's no library dependency collisions or anything because the libraries go in /usr/lib/$ARCH/ instead of /usr/lib/. It's very well done.

Reply Parent Score: 15

RE[2]: Multiarch support?
by toast88 on Mon 6th May 2013 16:47 in reply to "RE: Multiarch support?"
toast88 Member since:

It goes further. Install the package "qemu-user-static" and you can actually run foreign architecture binaries through qemu.

That means, even if you decided to drop x86 in favor of ARM in the future, you will still be able to run binary-only x86 applications on ARM as if they were running on native hardware.

It's as seemless as Rosetta on MacOS, but it supports all architectures Debian supports.


Reply Parent Score: 10

RE: Multiarch support?
by UltraZelda64 on Sun 5th May 2013 22:53 in reply to "Multiarch support?"
UltraZelda64 Member since:

The below linked Debian wiki page gives a good overview of it. To put it simply, it is "true" multi-arch; it can be used outside of x86 entirely. It goes far beyond just letting 32-bit programs run on an AMD64 machine.

Edited 2013-05-05 22:53 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 8

RE[2]: Multiarch support?
by thesunnyk on Mon 6th May 2013 00:02 in reply to "RE: Multiarch support?"
thesunnyk Member since:

And AMD are thinking of building fully cache-coherent x64/ARM combo CPUs:


Reply Parent Score: 3

v RE[2]: Multiarch support?
by dorin.lazar on Mon 6th May 2013 05:18 in reply to "RE: Multiarch support?"
RE: Multiarch support?
by Drumhellar on Sun 5th May 2013 23:10 in reply to "Multiarch support?"
Drumhellar Member since:

Debian Multiarch is more than just 32-bit libraries on 64-bit Linux. It allows for completely mixed instruction sets, such as ia64/x86 for older Itaniums that have x86 emulation built in, or emulated architectures, such as arm/amd64 when used with qemu.

It also allows for mixed OS setups, say installing Linux libraries along FreeBSD libraries when using the FreeBSD kernel, or Irix binaries alongside Linux on MIPS architectures.

There's more that comes along with it, too. has a good rundown of the capabilities and changes that come with Multiarch

Reply Parent Score: 9