Installing Multilib (64 + 32-bit support) in Slackware

Page created: 2023-05-28
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TODO: stand-alone article on the linux gaming "stack" once I understand it. I do have Steam working just fine!

It may not be perfect, but Valve’s Linux gaming support is a big deal. Steam is 32-bit.

Slackware is a pure 64-bit operating system, so it doesn’t support running 32-bit applications out of the box. (To be clear, 32-bit-native Slackware is also fully supported, which is awesome for older i386 systems!)

I’ll withold a rant here, but let me just ask this: when’s the last time you ran Steam on a 32-bit CPU? (In other words, I love the idea of supporting old hardware the way Slackware does, but this is not that.)

Step 1: 32-bit applications on Slackware 64 with Alien’s multilib

Thankfully, Eric "Alien Bob" Hameleers has done the hard work of creating and maintaining "multilib" support for Slackware 64:

I’ve run it before and it works, but as someone on Reddit once said, the install instructions are written in a "Biblical-Gnosis" style. (They’re really not that cryptic, but it’s a lot of info to sort through. You’ll still need to reference Hameleer’s instructions if you run into trouble or you’re doing anything out of the ordinary.)

You can follow the multilib instructions, or just do this:

$ sudo -i

# mkdir multilib && cd multilib
# lftp -c "open ; mirror -c -e 15.0"
# cd 15.0
# upgradepkg --reinstall --install-new *.t?z
# upgradepkg --install-new slackware64-compat32/*-compat32/*.t?z
# printf "\n//Multilib:\n[0-9]+alien\n[0-9]+compat32\n" >> /etc/slackpkg/blacklist

Be prepared to wait a bit. I think it took at least 10 minutes for me. (But I didn’t think to time it, so that’s just a guess.)

You will need to reboot because of the glibc update.

(Inspiration for these terse instructions comes from Slackjeff’s script to automate the install (

Step 2: Install Steam

There’s a SlackBuild for that!

I use sbopkg (, so the install looks like this:

$ sudo -i

# sbopkg -r            # re-sync the packages
# sqg -p steam         # make a queue file for steam and 1 dependency
# sbopkg -i steam      # install steam (respond with 'q' to use queuefile)

Now steam is ready to run!

Step 3: Enable Proton

You’ll still need to enable Proton (which is a very convenient wrapper on existing tools like Wine). These instructions will doubtless be out of date soon, but as of now (check the created/updated dates on this page):

  • Go to Steam > Settings > Steam Play.

  • Check the "Enable Steam Play for all other titles" box.

screenshot of the instructions described above

Check out the excellent ProtonDB website to find out which games are likely to work:


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