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Ubuntu 12.10 64bit latest updates are deinstalling 32bit layer and software


I am shocked to see that the updates which are rolling in for my 12.10 64bit installation are going to deinstall all my 32bit software including Crossover, Google Earth, ICAclient, and so on. Every single 32bit library (ia32libs) is going to be deinstalled, too.

I did not perform the update but locked all software versions in synaptic, but hey, what is going on? Do you guys know anything about this? I cannot afford to not being able to roll the system back so i am stuck with a not upgradable system right now. It wants to upgrade some kernel stuff and mesa (besides the deinstallation of everything i need), but because of the locked packages i cannot upgrade anything right now.

All hints are welcome!

Greetings from Sweden /Martin

Edit: These are the names of the packages to upgrade; all extra repositories are deactivated.

libgl1-mesa-dev libgl1-mesa-dri libgl1-mesa-glx libglapi-mesa linux-headers-generic linux-image-generic mesa-common-dev

First time I have heard of something like this, but then, I'm not on Ubuntu anymore. Since this seems Ubuntu specific, might I suggest that posting your questions on a Ubuntu specific forum might yeild better results.

Anyway, I suspect that somehow, your system has it's mult-arch capabilities disabled. That means your system believes you want a pure 64bit system and that would get it to try and drop anything 32bit. On many distros, all you have to do is add a depot to get multi-arch (on ArchLinux the depo's name is multiarch 😋 ), but Ubuntu needs some commands:

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386
sudo apt-get update

After these two commands, if my suspicion is correct, your system will now keep your 32bit software without complaining. Keep in mind that I'm not the biggest Ubuntu expert out there, so I might be wrong. In any case the commands should not damage your system, but do read output of said commands carefully so as to avoid any consequences I might not have seen. Since I don't have any Ubuntu installs, I can't test this out myself.

Finally, just in case you're curious, Greetings from Quebec, Canada!

Jean-Patrick Simard,

you are my hero of the day. Your two commands saved me and you know what: i didn't even know one could add an extra architecture like this. I really learned something here, thank you.

You were right; no complaining and no deinstalling at all after having typed in your suggested commands.

Thank you!
Martin from Sweden (Yes i was curious! 😀)

Great, I have never been a hero before! Isn't the internet fun, people from across the Atlantic can help each other out. Screw borders or great distances.

Anyway, glad it works.

Yes, it is fun and yes, screw borders and stuff. Have a nice time! /Martin

Hello and thanks for the tip, had the same issue and was having a look into it.
The issues seems to come that before Ubuntu relied on the ia32-libs hack to get i386 software running on x86-64 distro but now they rolled out multiarch support which is said to be the "right way" to support foreign architectures.
So this update seems to activate mandatory multiarch support and thus disable the ia32-libs hack to avoid compatibility problems.
But then since by default no foreign arch are defined (ie at install an x86-64 system won't support i386 packages), apt-get removes the conflicting i386 packages...

So yes one solution is to enable foreign arch i386 with the above command and then reinstall the software by suffixing :i386 at end of package name but it seems some packages requires ia32-libs and thus may cause some further issues...

I did apply the upgrade that removes Crossover and I am about to test reinstalling the latest version to validate if it works after this upgrade.

Crossing fingers ;)

Honestly, I started my serious Linux days on Ubuntu, but I'm a Linux user from before Ubuntu. I used many distros all the way back to Mandrake. Ubuntu will always have my thanks for the years it served me.

BUT, I switched to Arch a few years back. I read the "Arch Way", and I said this is for me, and to this day I think you don't choose to use Arch, Arch chooses you. Anyway, I also thought at the time that Canonical/Ubuntu were making some funny choices that weren't for me.

To this day, I think Ubuntu gets funnier, more bizarre with time. This latest thing with 32bit software in a 64bit install is just one example of what I mean by "funny". If you're going to make 32bit software run, why the hell not just make a depot for it, as Arch does? It works fine for me, never really had any trouble worth mentionning.

In fact, why the commands, or the weird ":i386" nomenclature when lib32-somelibrary is a much clearer and cleaner name. Why risk scaring your users by threatening to remove their 32bit software? Until everybody is 64bit, why not enable 32bit by default, since this is Ubuntu? Let the more advanced users make the choice to have a pure 64bit system, leaving others to install 32 or 64 bit software indiscriminently, as the vast majority will not care. Why the difficulty in the first place when a rolling release like Arch has no trouble at all with mixed achitectures?

I don't want to start a flame war here, I'm just stating that this is some funny stuff I just don't get. It just seems to me that Ubuntu has a level of inherent complexity which is playing against the users in some scenarios, and that is not good. I imagine such things will go away with 64bit being now truly mainstream.

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