a developer's blog

ia32libs on 64-bit Debian Wheezy

Tried to install a VPN earlier, Forticlient SSL VPN, on my 64-bit Debian wheezy but it turned out to only exist a 32 bit version.

# My system:
$ uname -a
$ Linux lad-laptop 3.2.0-4-amd64 #1 SMP Debian 3.2.57-3+deb7u2 x86_64 GNU/Linux

After googling for solutions the standard reply was to install a library which would make 32-bit programs just work: ia32-libs-gtk.

So i tried this, with no luck:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
ia32-libs : Depends: ia32-libs-i386 but it is not installable
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

So I found a couple of guides but everyone differed in something. I will now retell what worked for me. First I had to tell the package management, dpkg, that I wanted i386 libraries (32bit)

$ dpkg --add-architecture i386

then change the lines in /etc/apt/source.list to look like following

deb [arch=amd64,i386] http://ftp.se.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main

And then update the system with

$ sudo apt-get update ; sudo apt-get dist-upgrade 
$ sudo apt-get install ; sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

and then I was able to install the ia32-lib and get Forticlient working.

$ sudo apt-get install ia32-libs-gtk && sudo apt-get install libgtk2.0-0:i386

Note: I have still not gotten any errors by allowing i386 libs on my system but I will update this post if anything bad happens.