I just want to know if it would be safe to remove all 386 packages from my x86_64 system? Are any of the 386 packages actually used or do they just sit there?

The reason i'd like to remove them, is often with updates, there is a clash due to conflicting i386 packages, so removing them would also feel tidier if the system doesn't need them.

thank in advance.



In general, it's safe - typically they either got installed at the beginning or some errant install down the line sucked them in as dependencies. When you do the yum remove do not include a -y on it, and carefully examine the list of packages to ensure you're not erasing something you obviously want.

rpm -qa --queryformat='%{n}-%{v}-%{r}.%{arch}\n' | grep '\.i[3456]86$' | sort

That will give you a list of packages to just examine without doing anything.

  • There are a lot of packages i do want, but are they actually functional or is their x86_64 counterpart the functional one? – Shadi Almosri Sep 5 '10 at 16:38
  • Typically, on a standard x86_64 system, their 64bit counterpart is the active one. This is not 100% written in stone as you may have a package which requires a 32bit library in order to function; as your personal system is unique there is no one exact answer for you. If you do the yum remove to test, cast a critical eye on what's being removed - dependencies, utilities and the like and let your spidey sense guide you. You should be able to remove a lot of those .?86 packages without any problems, though - even if you do have to keep some of them, most are probably clutter. – troyengel Sep 5 '10 at 16:55

Fortunately, there's a CentOS wiki page that tackles this exactly, with tips on how to avoid those packages being installed in the future. Keep in mind, though, like @troyengel mentioned earlier, there are likely packages on your system that do need the 32-bit version installed.

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