Binary World Uncategorized

Ubuntu: 32-bit apps on AMD64

Everybody who runs an AMD64 Linux system might have seen these errors before:

(firefox-installer-bin:1180): Gtk-WARNING **: /usr/lib/gtk‑2.0/2.4.0/engines/ cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory

Font­con­fig error: “conf.d”, line 1: no element found** (firefox-installer-bin:1180): WARNING **: /usr/lib/pango/1.4.0/modules/ cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
Failed to load Pango module for id: ‘Basic­ScriptEn­gine­Fc’

I’m running Ubuntu Linux and it is quite well known that some 32-bit apps refuse to start on an AMD64 (x86_64) system. Recently I’ve found out how to get Acrobat Reader and VMware started, even with my native GTK2 theme.

After a system update yesterday, Firefox crashes far too often. It crashes (segfaults) everytime I reload a webpage. I assume that it is due to a system mis­con­fig­ur­a­tion on my behalf. Don’t actually know.

Anyway, I wanted to install a new nightly snapshot of Firefox today. No chance. The only thing the firefox-installer program returns is a bunch of error messages (see above). After browsing some forums, mailing lists, and webpages, I finally found out how to get the 32-bit Firefox installed:

It is quite simple: In Ubuntu, there is a pango con­fig­ur­a­tion directory for 32-bit modules in /etc/pango32/. Create a pangorc file in /etc/pango32/ with the following content:



Unfor­tu­nately, the Pango modules in /usr/lib32/pango/1.4.0/ seem to be missing in Ubuntu (breezy). You’ll have to copy them from another 32-bit system.

Next, ini­tial­ize the GTK\_PATH and PANGO\_RC\_FILE envir­on­ment variables prior to running Firefox (or the firefox-installer):

export GTK_PATH=/usr/lib32/gtk-2.0/
export PANGO_RC_FILE=/etc/pango32/pangorc

That’s it. Firefox will start normally now — maybe with some addi­tion­al warnings. I haven’t checked if Thun­der­bird can be installed this way, too. I nev­er­the­less think so.

Update: Here’s a FAQ:

Update: Alexandre Strube told me that breezy actually contains all requires Pango libraries. Maybe I was missing something. On his system, however, some other funny phe­nomen­on occurs — the buttons have no borders anymore:

Firwfox buttons vanish

Philosophized Uncategorized

It is

It is never easy to stop thinking when thoughts are going crazy. The same is true for dealing with idiotic people. Even though these problems are not directly related to each other, both are awkward. You can only try to give you best, dis­reg­ard­ing the actual con­sequences. Thinking about past events is often futile. Sometimes, however, it can be helpful. It’s up to you.

If, however, some stupid, ignorant and arrogant guys think that they’re omni­scient and impec­cable, some guys that can influence your mood and your pro­fes­sion­al repu­ta­tion in a way that you are almost unable to get your work done, you often can’t do anything by yourself. This is one of the most unpleas­ant situ­ations one can get into.

Just wanted to mention this … dazzlingly, me.

Philosophized Uncategorized


Why’s everything so dratted com­plic­ated and why am I so madly fas­cin­ated?

Categories Uncategorized


Pre­sum­ably due to a SSM bug in the Linux kernel, the backup server crashed some days ago. Since my ISP is about 500 km from here, I had to wait until Monday for my provider to restart the server. Now it is up again. The following message was logged to syslog:

Jul 18 08:39:20 localhost sm-mta[30237]: rejecting connections on daemon MTA-v6: load average: 978

Quite a high load, isn’t it? :)

Excitements Uncategorized

Copy Protection, the Film Industry, and Governmental Depatments

The “Bundesamt für Sich­er­heit in der Inform­a­tion­s­tech­nik” (BSI) [1] has published a statement on copies of music for private use [2]. It is available in German only!

Fabian Keil found several flaws in therein [3]. The BSI, however, obviously doesn’t follow Fabian’s arguments. They seem to insist on their inter­pret­a­tion of the legal position. In my opinion that’s char­ac­ter­ist­ic for the current attitude to private copies, (partly) thanks to the advert­ise­ment campaigns of the music and film industry.


(From: law blog)

Excitements Uncategorized

No Software Patents in Europe

The European Par­lia­ment voted against the con­tro­ver­sial software patents directive. There will be no software patents in Europe!

Movies Uncategorized

War of the Worlds

Only one sentence: StarWars III is a great film!

Binary World Uncategorized

Acrobat Reader on AMD64

Actobat Reader (32-bit) is finally working on my Ubuntu AMD64-box (breezy) again! Great! :)

Update: To restore the default Ubuntu theme (Human) for 32-bit GTK+ applic­a­tions, copy and

from this rpm (the 32-bit library from Ubuntu has an undefined symbol) to


and set


prior to running the 32-bit applic­a­tion. This works for VMware and Acrobat.