Slax author's Blog (RSS)
Multiarch support for Slax
I think that getting flu may be good for something. For example you have to lie in bed all the time, since you do not have enough strength for anything else. And while lying, you can only cough and think. That is what I did. And besides all my pessimistic thoughts that I can't possibly survive this flu since it brings inexpressible pain and is so hugely devastating for my body, I had one more idea, more useful one. Ha Ha. :)
It all starts with the skype module. Microsoft, the current owner of skype, refuses to release 64bit version for Linux. I'm not sure if that is due to Microsoft programmers being so stupid, or rather thanks to some undisclosed secret internal policies, but it's how it is. Since Slax 64bit is a real 64bit system, it can run neither 32bit skype nor any other 32bit application. I think it is a pity. So I googled a bit and noticed that it is possible to include both 32bit and 64bit libraries in one system and make both 32bit and 64bit applications usable in 64bit Slax. The method is called multiarch and is widely used by many 64bit Linux distributions.
I prefer to ship the 64bit version of Slax just like it is, as a purely 64bit system. I have no plans for including multiarch in Slax at all. But I understand it may be useful for some users, so I made a module for it. You may try it for yourself, just
slax activate multiarch-libs. It will essentially download a 20MB module file which will let you run Skype and many other 32bit applicaions in 64bit Slax. The module itself consists of preselected 32bit libraries, so if you find a software which doesn't work with multiarch-libs (complains about some other missing libraries), just feel free to use ldd to find out what libs are missing and mail me so I will include them in this module too.