Wednesday, April 3, 2013
So, what's holding 64-bit arch from replacing everything 32-bit? There are many reasons; the two most important ones are - 1) there are many 32-bit hardware still scattered around, and 2) very crucial of all, people have developed an adamant inertia for 32-bit. They'll keep sticking to it. That's why some popular software come in 32-bit only, such as Skype, Teamviewer (I know there's a 64-bit version, but inside it's still 32-bit, 64-bit is only the wrapper) and AnyConnect. Good news is - on Windows 64-bit one can easily enjoy the mix of 64-bit and 32-bit applications.
#1 Windows is targeted squarely by all the ISVs at its vast userbase, and
#2 Microsoft through its skilled developer base is able to feed and keep alive an old dinosaur of 32-bit libraries and compatibility layers inside 64-bit OS versions to support both the arches ensuring that point-n-click usability.
On Linux desktop, 64-bit architecture has it's own set of irritants. And when you try to run a mix of 64- and 32-bit apps it misbehaves. There are some endeavors like multi-arch in Debian, but it's still not there.
On my CentOS-Windows (both 64-bit) dual-boot home pc, it was an uphill task to install some 32-bit-only applications on CentOS, whereas on Windows it was like a breeze.
32-Bit (Un)Success story and some How-To's
Showstoppers: Cisco AnyConnect, Teamviewer, Skype
Unresolved: Cisco AnyConnect. It installs quite well, but doesn't work at all. Looking for a workaround using OpenConnect. You may suggest your fixes, if any.
Installed/Fully resolved: Teamviewer (yum localinstall Teamviewer.rpm or whatever the name of that 32-bit rpm, it will pull in a few 32-bit dependencies)
Partially resolved: An old version of Skype (thanks CentOS Wiki, resolved partially, because you never know when the next update will break it all.
Skype installation procedure:
The latest version doesn't work. Please download a bit older static build (mentioned below) that's still available.
yum install glibc.i686 nss-softokn-freebl.i686 alsa-lib.i686 libXv.i686 libXScrnSaver.i686 libtiff.i686 glib2.i686 libSM.i686 libXrender.i686 fontconfig.i686 pulseaudio-libs.i686 alsa-plugins-pulseaudio.i686 libv4l.i686
tar xjvf /tmp/skype_static-126.96.36.199.tar.bz2
ln -s skype_staticQT-188.8.131.52 skype
ln -s /opt/skype /usr/share/skype
ln -s /usr/lib/libtiff.so.3 /usr/lib/libtiff.so.4
ln -s /opt/skype/skype /usr/bin/skype