In Linux, installing a 32-bit application on a 64-bit install is not usually a problem, if you’re using RedHat/CentOS, Fedora or a version of SuSE Linux. This is because their 64-bit distributions include both the 64-bit and 32-bit versions of the libraries and applications.   I recently discovered this is not the same for Ubuntu Server 10.04LTS x64*.   While attempting to install Sybase, I discovered that Sybase ASE uses a 32-bit installation program to install their 64-bit server.  So, because the 32-bit libraries were not there, the installer would crash at start-up.  Fortunately someone had the same experience and created a tarball with the required 32-bit libraries from a 32-bit Ubuntu install.
During my search for a solution, a coworker came across the following thread in the Ubuntu forums.    It describes a program named getlibs that will pull in the required 32-bit libraries for what ever you are trying to install. I’ve yet to try it, but when I do I’ll post the results.
Ubuntu forums thread:
getlibs download page:

  • I know Ubuntu does ship with some 32-libs with their x64, but from my experience, most of the time it’s not enough to get what you up and running.