"Multi-arch" support for apt and friends

Ahm ed zrchrn at gmail.com
Tue Jan 9 21:18:55 GMT 2007

HEy, I have recently been informed that Ubuntu's(/Debian's) package
managers do not have a method of handling multiple-archs. So
applications that do not have a good 64bit version cause "problems"
upon install because the installer does not know to automatically
choose the i386 one. (At least this is how I understood it). Thus
distributions who package managers support multiple archs generally
tend to have an easier time because the user can install packages
(say, flash) for i386 if it works better. I am pretty sure mandriva,
Fedora, and  Suse all apparently do have this feature in their package
managers. Currently I don't have an x64 computer but when I do
eventually upgrade that is what I intend on getting, as such this is
some what of a concern to me. I wonder if we could get something like
this implemented in a future version of Ubuntu. Of course this would
require work directly with upstream (debian's apt-get) so as to not
break compatibility. But how much of a problem is this? (Or have I
been hearing a lot of FUD). One of my friends recently installed
Ubuntu 64bit and said that he did have such problems, so I assume this
is a real issue, and I believe it is one that *should* be solved
before the next LTS release. (Package manager changes should be
gradual in my opinion since you don't want to do too much a roast the
whole thing) In any case I just wanted to put this thought out there
so that we can perhaps start looking into possible solutions. IF there
already  are some measures in place to try to account for this
"problem" then please forgive my ignorance.
~Ahmed G.

More information about the ubuntu-devel mailing list