Making template tools to work on x86 64

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This article describes an (unofficial) hack to make OpenVZ template tools work on an x86_64 box.

There isn't much of a reason to run a 64bit container; however, there a memory management benefits to be had from running a 64bit hardware node. The problem is that the OpenVZ template tools only work on x86. The setx86_64 breaks distributions based on rpm 4.3.x which includes CentOS4/RHEL4. The steps I took to make this work with a RHEL5.1-x86_64 hardware node and the standard 32bit templates are as follows:

  • Get and build Python 2.4.5 having exported CFLAGS="-m32" and LD_FLAGS="-m32" into /usr/local/python-2.4.5-32 by using --prefix=/usr/local/python-2.4.5-32 as an argument to configure
  • Download ez_setup from and run /usr/local/python-2.4.5-32/bin/python (this will make some things easier)
  • download and install ElementTree-1.2.6 (easy_install)
  • download and install libxml2-python-2.6.9, you will need to have libxml-devel.i386 and libxslt-devel.i386 already installed (
  • download and install urlgrabber-3.1.0 (
  • /usr/local/python-2.4.5-32/bin/easy_install pysqlite, make sure you have sqlite-devel installed
  • replace /usr/bin/python with /usr/local/python-2.4.5-32/bin/python in /usr/share/vzyum/yum-cli/, /usr/share/vzyum/yum-cli/, /usr/share/vzyum/bin/yum
  • modify /usr/share/vzpkg/functions change get_pythonver to run your custom version of python and not the system version