Run a 32bit Application on the Jetson Nano

Hi so I’m trying to install a 32bit application on my Jetson Nano. I’ve already searched the web and found other peoples solutions, but none have worked for me.

I’ve also tried installing VirtualBox and VMware but neither of the installs worked.

How do I install and run a 32 bit application on the Jetson Nano (with JetPack)?

Hi ncardamone10,

I can’t answer it, the Jetson Nano is current 64bits OS, I don’t think it can support the 32bit application well.

ARMv8-a is 64-bit ARM, and ARMv7-a is older 32-bit ARM. 64-bit includes a compatibility 32-bit mode, ARMv8 (without the “-a”). ARMv8 is a superset of 32-bit ARM, and always includes hardware floating point and thumb (making this compatible with armhf). All ARMv7-a will run on ARMv8, but not all ARMv8 will run on ARMv7-a (most ARMv8 will run on ARMv7-a). In order to do this the CPU must be put into its 32-bit mode.

If you are running bare metal, e.g., a bootloader or kernel code, then 32-bit mode isn’t too hard to support. As soon as you add user space applications (which are dynamically linked and not bare metal) things get a lot more difficult. For user space 32-bit applications you would then have to add a 32-bit linker, distinct from the 64-bit linker. You would also have to add all libraries used for 32-bit. This is a long and painful process.

Back when desktop PCs went from 32-bit to 64-bit they knew for a fact that there were going to be a lot of apps needing to run in compatibility mode, and every operating system included both the 32-bit Intel environment and the 64-bit environment. Only in the last couple of years have some of the desktop PC software distributions stop including 32-bit versions for compatibility.

ARM has never had these environments together, except perhaps in the first release when the kernel was ported to 64-bit, but individual applications still ran in 32-bit mode. This was the first R24.x release (and Nano did not exist then and R24.x has never supported Nano), and was a hybrid release (and also not particularly enthusiastic on performance). Everything after this is purely 64-bit.

Probably your least painful method of working with this is to have the source code in 32-bit and port it to 64-bit. You won’t find the package manager directly supporting 32-bit applications.

How about a docker container of the 32 bit ARM application ? Does that run without any problems on a Jetson Nano ? Are there any problems with respect to system calls ?

I don’t know enough about docker to answer, but from what I’ve seen, this could be a reasonable method to achieve what you want. If you can make it work, then a container would definitely be easier method to accomplish this (and fewer headaches in supporting it) in comparison to adding a full 32-bit compatibility setup. Someone else will have to answer the rest of that, I do not know enough about docker.

Hi all,
I tried with adding the armhf as a foreign architecture with dpkg and installed the 32 bit libraries

and it worked well for the SoundWire application which was built for Rasbian…
I used the console version though to minimise library dependencies. So in principle it was not very difficult or intrusive.

Docker seems more resource consuming and didn’t have time to learn and experiment ,but it is certainly the way to go if we want to run a entirely different arch e.g. x86 using qemu.

Anyway, the SoundWire was a bit of a disappointment as sound is somewhat garbled…

Seems like the process cannot be applied to all libraries. Installing some libraries (32 bit) will result in removal of 64 bit counterparts including dependencies. So there is no real 32 bit subsystem possible for Linux ARM.

If you specifically marked armhf as a foreign architecture, and specifically go to install the 32-bit version, then it might let you install without removing the other packages. Are you trying to install while naming the actual package architecture, and not just the generic package name? For example, naming architecture:
sudo apt-get install libappindicator3-1:armhf

I am guessing you did, but if it is a simple case of just naming the architecture, then it is worth mentioning.

Yes. I did select the armhf version of the library in Synaptic. On the command I get a different message

rreddy78@jetson:~/$ sudo apt-get install libappindicator3-1:armhf

Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
libappindicator3-1:armhf : Depends: libindicator3-7:armhf (>= 0.4.90) but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
rreddy78@jetson:~/ sudo apt-get install libappindicator3-7:armhf Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done E: Unable to locate package libappindicator3-7:armhf rreddy78@jetson:~/

I am thinking this might not be an issue of armhf foreign versus arm64 native. What do you see from:
dpkg -l | grep -i 'libindicator'

If you happen to have a version of libindicator already installed, but it is too new, then you might be able to remove that, and search for a “compat” version (not sure if I can search specifically for armhf, so listing two searches…one might not be a real command…my Nano is not set up with armhf so I can’t really test):

apt search libindicator
apt search libindicator3
apt search libindicator3-7
apt search libindicator3-7:armhf

Basically I am thinking that if there is an out of date release version, and if there is a newer or compat version of libindicator which is version 0.4.90 or greater, then you could get rid of whatever the current version is and then you could fulfill “Depends: libindicator3-7:armhf (>= 0.4.90) but it is not going to be installed”. This might be completely unrelated to the armhf being foreign. Just make sure you only remove an out of date armhf version, and not the arm64 version.

rreddy78@jetson:~$ dpkg -l | grep -i 'libindicator'
ii  libindicator3-7                                 16.10.0+18.04.20180321.1-0ubuntu1                   arm64        panel indicator applet - shared library
libindicator-dev/bionic 16.10.0+18.04.20180321.1-0ubuntu1 arm64
  panel indicator applet - library development files

libindicator3-7/bionic,now 16.10.0+18.04.20180321.1-0ubuntu1 arm64 [installed,automatic]
  panel indicator applet - shared library

libindicator3-dev/bionic 16.10.0+18.04.20180321.1-0ubuntu1 arm64
  panel indicator applet - library development files

libindicator3-tools/bionic 16.10.0+18.04.20180321.1-0ubuntu1 arm64
  Tools for libindicator

libindicator7/bionic 16.10.0+18.04.20180321.1-0ubuntu1 arm64
  panel indicator applet - shared library

rreddy78@jetson:~$ apt search libindicator3-7:armhf
Sorting... Done
Full Text Search... Done

But there is some good news: the Docker approach works better!

I was trying to get the Chromium 32bit version with Widevine CDM working on my system with the method given here:


I used this :

I can send my modified dockerfile if anyone needs…

And i am able to run Chromium 32bit

  1. WideCDM still not working. Still investigating…
  2. Cannot use hw acceleration. Fails at glInitialize (looks like there can be only one GL library running at a time…). Still investigating…

If you want to use GPU HW acceleration, try using virglrenderer with Xephyr as display, I’m combining it with armhf chroot instead of docker. Only issue is that GPU is not going turbo this way (40% usage @ 230 MHz running glmark2, even lower in Gothic using box86). I don’t know why…


How is this done ?

I failed to get Chromium working with widevine. Apparently some additional patching required. However I could enable it for the vivaldi browser with this script

I think the best way would be to have a armhf QEMU VM images with virtio-gpu support to run on kvm. Would have GPU acceleration in that case.

How can I go about creating such an image.? Any ideas and hints would be helpful…

I personally have stayed away from anything armhf on arm64. It is reasonable that a QEMU VM could deal with this, but in practice this is probably more difficult than it sounds. I don’t develop under QEMU, so I can’t be of much use with that approach. Add to this that kvm might also be difficult, requiring kernel changes, so this is something out of my range of expertise. There are other people here though who have worked with kvm and QEMU on Jetsons, so they might be able to comment.

Actually I could run Raspbian OS 32 bit on QEMU (but without KVM because I could not use virt as the machine).
KVM patches are available for jetson. I have it enabled. I am even able to run Win10 with KVM.
See this thread: Xubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa L4T R32.3.1 - Custom Image for the Jetson Nano - #111 by rreddy78

What we need is a Raspbian OS 32 bit with kernel support for virtio drivers and virt machine…

So yes. Its possible to run Linux armhf OS with QEMU+KVM and GPU acceleration!
Here is the screenshot of chromium running on Debian Buster Xfce.

Detailed instructions to follow…

Pre-requisites are:

  1. Kernel with KVM → Covered in other threads
  2. Updated libSDl2 built from sources

Due to a bug in the libSDL2 library available in 18.04, we need an upgraded version to be built from sources.
Download the libSDL2 sources of 19.04 from here:

Download the file:

Extract and build:
sudo apt-get build-dep libsdl2-2.0-0
sudo make install

  1. Latest qemu built from sources (so as to enable virglrenderer)
    Ensure you have all dependencies of the qemu configuration installed including the libvirglrenderer0 and libvirglrenderer-dev

export LD_LIBRARY_PATH=$LD_LIBRARY_PATH:/usr/local/lib

./configure --target-list=aarch64-softmmu --enable-kvm --enable-sdl --enable-gtk --enable-virglrenderer --enable-opengl --enable-tools

Now the main hints I got from this post:

In that post, kvm is not used and the version of debian used is “jessie”. I updated it to “buster” and used kvm. Here is the installation command for a command line install and console only installation (don’t select any desktop environment during install)

Non-GUI Install
…/qemu/build/qemu-system-aarch64 -M virt -m 2048 -smp 2 -cpu host,aarch64=off -enable-kvm
-kernel installer-vmlinuz
-initrd installer-initrd.gz
-drive if=none,file=hda.qcow2,format=qcow2,id=hd
-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd
-netdev user,id=mynet
-device virtio-net-device,netdev=mynet
-nographic -no-reboot

Now an easy way to extract the kernel and initrd is given here:

use the partx command to mount individual partitions

To run the VM its the same command line except that the kernel and initrd is replaced by vmlinuz-4.19.0-14-armmp-lpae and initrd.img-4.19.0-14-armmp-lpae which are copied and additional qemu parameter of -append ‘root=/dev/vda2’

GUI-Install (use a 10G qcow2 image):
For GUI we need to use the EFI EDK2 BIOS which is provided in the qemu sources.
Look in foder pc-bios for the file edk2-arm-code.fd.bz2. Extract the edk2-arm-code.fd from it.

Command line for installation is as follows:

The -serial stdio is optional really (only to get and additional serial terminal)

…/…/qemu/build/qemu-system-aarch64 -M virt -m 2048 -smp 2 -cpu host,aarch64=off -enable-kvm
-kernel installer-vmlinuz -initrd installer-initrd.gz
-device usb-ehci -device usb-kbd -device usb-mouse -usb -serial stdio
-device virtio-gpu-pci,virgl=on,xres=1600,yres=900 -display sdl,gl=on
-drive if=none,file=hda2.qcow2,format=qcow2,id=hd
-device virtio-blk-device,drive=hd -netdev user,id=mynet
-device virtio-net-device,netdev=mynet
-bios edk2-arm-code.fd -no-reboot

Install an Xfce desktop for minimal resources.

Again running the changes required are as shown below

-kernel vmlinuz-4.19.0-14-armmp-lpae -initrd initrd.img-4.19.0-14-armmp-lpae -append ‘root=/dev/vda2’ \

this procedure does not work :

Extract and build:
sudo apt-get build-dep libsdl2-2.0-0

this is what happens :

root@ziomario-desktop:# cd libsdl2_2.0.9+dfsg1-1ubuntu1.19.04.1

root@ziomario-desktop:# ls
changelog gbp.conf libsdl2-doc.doc-base sdl2-config.1
compat libsdl2-2.0-0.install libsdl2-doc.examples source
control libsdl2-2.0-0-udeb.install libsdl2-doc.install tests
copyright libsdl2-dev.install patches upstream
docs libsdl2-dev.manpages rules watch

root@ziomario-desktop:# sudo apt-get build-dep libsdl2-2.0.0
Reading package lists… Done
E: Unable to find a source package for libsdl2-2.0.0

root@ziomario-desktop:# ./configure
bash: ./configure: No such file or directory