Ubuntu – Cannot install ia32-lib package


I have several programs that reuquire 32 bit packages (pointing to the ia32-lib package). However, when I try to install it, this happens.

spirit@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install ia32-libs
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 ia32-libs : Depends: ia32-libs-multiarch but it is not installable
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

No big whoop, packages die all the time. I tried a month later however and I still got this error, trying to install the specific package produces this error.

spirit@ubuntu:~$ sudo apt-get install ia32-libs-multiarch
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package ia32-libs-multiarch is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

E: Package 'ia32-libs-multiarch' has no installation candidate

I am no Linux whizz-kid, but this seems to be that the package doesn't exist. I searched for Skype in the software centre (I was told this installs the 32-bit packages) and it does not appear in the software centre, and the downloadable from their website produces an error about – funnily enough – no 32-bit packages.

Anyone who helps me will get a medal from the gods with the weight of a thousand planets. Just don't wear it for god's sake.

Best Answer

Sounds like installing through WUBI did not correctly detect the available foreign architectures. As tumbleweed suggested printing the foreign architectures probably returns nothing. Add i386 as a foreign architecture, update the apt cache, then install the 32 bit libs.

sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 && sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get install ia32-libs