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I am using a 64-bit installation of Oneiric. I need to install the ia32-libs package to get some applications (evince, adobe reader) to work. For example, adobe reader is giving the following error: error while loading shared libraries: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory.

However, I am not able to install it since it is showing a dependency on ia32-libs-multiarch, which in turn is showing a dependency on gstreamer0.10-plugins-good:i386. This in turn depends on few other packages.

How can I install these packages safely and still meet all the dependencies.

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Install the dependencies as usual, but append :i386 to it as in:

sudo apt-get install libgl1-mesa-glx:i386

If you get an impossible situation, try to install the 32-bit C library first, then the other packages:

sudo apt-get install libc6:i386

See also Does the multiarch feature in 11.10 mean the death of force--architecture installs?

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Thank you @Lekensteyn, but it is still not working. The root dependency is gsettings-desktop-schema:i386, and when I try to install it, it tries to uninstall other important packages. – Swarnendu Biswas Jan 10 '12 at 0:39

I had the same problem and this worked for me

Create this file:

sudo nano /etc/apt/preferences

and insert the following lines:

Package: *       
Pin: release a=quantal*
Pin-Priority: 2012

Ctrl-X to quit and Y to save

Then do a downgrade:

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Then install ia32-libs

sudo apt-get install ia32-libs

Don't forget to delete the preferences file you created so that other updates will be found!

sudo rm /etc/apt/preferences

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try to add i386 to your multiarch prefs

dpkg --add-architecture i386
apt-get update
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Amazingly, just do what it says after the failed force install I.E.:

sudo apt-get -f install

This apparently runs a forced install on failed dependency packages for the previous command and resolved my issues for installing Adobe Acrobat 9.5.1 in Ubuntu 11.10.

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