When you do a fresh install of x86_64 CentOS 5, you might be surprised and annoyed to find yum trying to install 32 bit packages on your 64 bit server. You’ve got a 64 bit processor and operating system so why is it trying to install these un-needed 32 bit packages?
CentOS comes with multilib support, since your 64 bit processor can run 32 bit binaries, yum sees no issues with having 32 bit and 64 bit packages installed at the same time. If you look at a repo for x86_64 you’ll even see a bunch of i686 packages available to the x86_64 release. It seems like a feature most people would never need but a good example of when you’d want to install a 32 bit package on a 64 bit OS is to get something like flash support which only has a 32 bit package. I’ve also seen some RPMs get released exclusively as 32 bit packages.Posted in: Linux