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OS X made the jump to a 64bit platform with 10.6 Snow Leopard. Of course, not everything is written for 64 bit mode at present. The Universal file format allows for binaries to be containers hold many different copies of the same code but for different architectures.

So specifically, I was trying to build the latest rcov for the platform to run under the now creaky old Locomotive shell I have been modifying to keep my development rails environments separate from the OS’s installation. Dutifully giving the command while inside a terminal session where the paths map to locations within the Locomotive container:

gem install rcov

was giving the right “words” for output including the fact that the binary extensions were being built (although it happened really quickly!). Looking inside, I found the rcovrt.bundle that was built and verified it was being copied into position.

But using

file rcovrt.bundle

I found that it was a Mach-O x86_64 rather than like the other bundles that were already there that were Mach-O i386 bundles.

I found the Makefile for the rcovrt code and tried it.

`make clean

make install`

Based on hints from Mac OS X Snow Leopard + Rails, MySQL, and Sphinx, I added

-arch i386

to all CFLAGS, CXXFLAGS, LDFLAGS, LDSHARED variables, redid the “make dance”. Success, I had the right type bundle in the right place and everything was working again.

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