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Please enable WSL to run 32 bit ELF binaries

It seems that executing 32bit ELF binaries results in "Exec format error" - guessing the kernel doesn't have 32 bit emulation support (compilation is fine, but precompiled binaries don't run). A vast number of legacy programs are still 32 bit, please add support if it won't completely destroy everything in the process - thanks!

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    Anonymous shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

    132 comments

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      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        +1
        Many professional products still use 32-bit libraries (for example, IBM DB2, ...). Without support for ELF-32 binaries in WSL x64, it is necessary to use other solutions such as virtual machines or containers. This represents a significant obstacle to using WSL in business!

      • Contra Studios commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Hey Rich, how many requests you need in order to make this 32-bit possible. It is quite clear people here need that support. I need it too. Quite disappointing to go through a whole compilation process under WSL just to get a stupid msg saying 'wrong format exec'.

      • Jim Mi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        ELF32 is deprecated even in linux world, i dont think its wise to support multilib on WSL, if you really need 32bit, go to RHEL which has multilib enabled by default

      • Andrew Campbell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Yes, quite disappointing. But the way around this is simply to install you favorite linux directly on metal ( your hardware ), then install virtualbox for linux and then install windows 10 inside of virtualbox. It's fairly simple. Then you can run all your favorite linux and windows programs at the same time, natively in each. Once everything is installed, you can select seamless mode in virtualbox. This allows both linux and windows programs to run on the same desktop.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        My use case is to run 32-bit toolchains that target embedded processors. I am currently doing it in a VM but I was hoping that WSL would let me get rid of various layers of complexity. Alas.

      • Paddy K commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Please add support for ELF-32 binaries on WSL x64. Embedded linux systems are elf-32

      • Alejandro Tellez commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        WSL *needs* 32-bit support.
        Not everyone around here is willing to run a virtual machine, or even less risk partitioning their HDD in order to install Linux.
        I've read comments, and it seems most binaries still use some 32-bit code. By not adding 32-bit support, you're turning WSL into quite an useless feature.

      • Andrei commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Question: Using Docker with "Linux Containers" with 'mirrored WSL setup/container' as delegator for executing x86 binaries ?

        Considering the fact that Linux Containers are actually containers that run on top of VM based linux kernel, that should be possible and feasable, with just redirecting only the 32bit ELF to the container.

      • Elin commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Pleease pleease add support for this, it would simplify things alot! :)

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