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I've noticed that any apps that support both 32-bit and 64-bit mode, even when set to start in 32-bit mode, will always default to 64-bit mode when launched on login. In other words, launching the app from Finder will correctly load it up in 32-bit mode, but it will not do this if I then add it to the Login Items list for my user under System Preferences.

Does anyone have some insight into how I might achieve this? Maybe add a shell script to the login items list that calls "arch -i386 [app-binary]" ?

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Does open honor the architecture setting? – Daniel Beck Jul 26 '12 at 17:24
Good question, let me verify and I'll update what I find... (Update: yes, open does honor the architecture setting.) – Wilco Jul 26 '12 at 17:47
Posted a workaround using open. I don't know how to determine a running application's architecture setting, so I can't test it myself. Please let me know whether it works. – Daniel Beck Jul 26 '12 at 17:52
up vote 0 down vote accepted

As a workaround, you can create a wrapper application to open using Automator or AppleScript Editor.

In Automator, create a new Application.

Add the Run Shell Script step from the library and set the following script contents:

open -a "App Name"

Save as e.g. Run App Name and add this program to your Login Items.

Using open means it immediately quits, so it doesn't pollute your Dock for long.

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