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From the console, is there a way to recover the architecture of a package when it is not currently installed ? I know the name and version of the package.

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If you mean getting the information for a package, you can only obtain it if is still available from the APT cache, to get it from a terminal run:

apt-cache show packagename

To only show the architecture use grep

apt-cache show package_name | grep Architecture

# Or for the lazy typist
apt-cache show package_name | grep Arch
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Apart that usually the name of a package includes also its architecture, e.g. in tar_1.23-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb you see that is for x86_64 (amd64), anyway you use use the command "dpkg --info ". Among various fields, there is also Architecture. E.g.

$ dpkg --info tar_1.23-2ubuntu1_amd64.deb | grep Architecture  
Architecture: amd64
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That will not work if the package is not installed as the OP is asking. – bodhi.zazen Feb 23 '12 at 18:36

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