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Am I expected to enable 32-bit repositories on 64-bit Fedora?

asked 2012-08-03 06:26:46 +0000

uvsmtid gravatar image

updated 2013-11-11 12:39:54 +0000

I'm compiling software in 32-bit mode (-m32 switch) on 64-bit Fedora 17. Some 32-bit packages can be installed on on 64-bit system directly using i686 suffix:

yum install glibc.i686

This is possible even without configuration of 32-bit repositories (which actually use sufix i386 - see below).

Part of my software requires flex which has its static library (libfl.a) in a separate package flex-static. 64-bit Fedora does not provide 32-bit package (flex-static.i686) in its default 65-bit repositories.

I checked that basearch parameter should be i386 for the repositories 32-bit Fedora 17 uses.

Then I configured these repositories in /etc/yum.repos.d/*.repo files and installed required packages without any problems or conflicts.

I'm curious. It seems inconsistent: some (i386) packages require configuration of 32-bit repositories, some (i686) don't.

Is that normal and safe way anticipated by system design to use 32-bit software?

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answered 2012-08-05 03:48:00 +0000

updated 2012-08-05 03:50:47 +0000

As a policy, we don't distribute 32bit static libraries in the 64 bit repos. For any other libraries, you can use

su -c 'yum install package.i?86' #to install 32 bit library on 64 bit system

More information here:



and: rhbz#837901

Please also note that rawhide(f18 onwards) flex-static has been renamed to flex-devel as per the changelog:

* Mon Mar 12 2012 Petr Machata <> - 2.5.35-15 
- Rename flex-static to flex-devel so that it gets to repositories of minor multi-lib arch (i386 on x86_64 etc.) 
- Resolves: #674301

To answer your question, NO. Please do not enable 32bit repositories on Fedora x86_64.

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I recommend you run yum list '*.i?86 on your system and see for yourself. :)

FranciscoD_ ( 2012-08-17 06:28:28 +0000 )edit

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Asked: 2012-08-03 06:26:46 +0000

Seen: 6,295 times

Last updated: Nov 11 '13