I need both 32 bit and 64 bit for libncurses.so.5 on Ubuntu 20.04 (Focal Fossa) for building an Android application on an older Android NDK. What are my options? libncurses.so.5 is not on apt-get anymore.


2 Answers 2


You have to update your package lists, as this package is still available from universe pocket.

Install them with:

sudo add-apt-repository universe
sudo apt-get install libncurses5 libncurses5:i386
  • this is weird, in the Software & Updates gui, the checkbox for Community-maintained free and open-source software (universe) is checked! Tried grep -r --include '*.list' '^deb ' /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ and universe appears there.
    – eri0o
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 13:25
  • it magically found the packages after I restarted my computer (had not restarted in at least a week...). Thanks!
    – eri0o
    Commented Jun 21, 2020 at 14:11
  • Thanks! Thats solved my: Wine cannot find the ncurses library (libncurses.so.5) Commented Sep 25, 2020 at 10:35
  • Isn't apt update missing between add repository and install? Commented Sep 19, 2021 at 18:59

So adding the universe pocket didn't completely solve my problem, I found out that I also had to set up the correct foreign architecture.

To set this up, I first checked main architecture, which was amd64, and foreign architecture was empty. So I needed to add the i386 architecture as well.

$ sudo dpkg --print-architecture 
$ sudo dpkg --print-foreign-architectures
$ sudo dpkg --add-architecture i386 

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