I expect to install packages created for different architecture onto my ubuntu server - and since those packages being architecture agnostic - they use a wild card

I want to add the wild-card such as "any" or "all" as a foreign architecture

I referred to https://wiki.debian.org/Multiarch/HOWTO. Since

But When I try to run command

enter code here
dpkg --add-architecture all
dpkg: error: architecture 'all' is reserved and 
cannot be added
dpkg: error: architecture 'any' is reserved and 
cannot be addeddpkg: error: architecture 'any' is 
reserved and cannot be added

Based on below comment by @guiverc I referred to https://wiki.ubuntu.com/MultiarchHowto

As suggested in that I made an entry in /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch as follows.. but after that when I run "pkg --print-foreign-architectures" gives an error "nknown option 'foreign-architecture'"

# cat /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch
  foreign-architecture all

dpkg --print-foreign-architectures        dpkg: 
error: configuration error: 
/etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch:1: unknown 
option 'foreign-architecture'

apt update


Any suggestions ?

  • 1
    Did you read wiki.ubuntu.com/MultiarchHowto ?? Multiarch is not enabled on Ubuntu by default for the reason specified ; you used the Debian notes as you're using Debian?? or Ubuntu Server you mention?? Why not look up Ubuntu docs?
    – guiverc
    Apr 3, 2023 at 12:32
  • Hello guiverc . Thanks - after your directed me I read teh wiki and as per that I made an entry in /etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch .. as directed but that gives an error - I am including that in edited question Apr 4, 2023 at 5:51

1 Answer 1


Since I did not find a direct answer to my question

Intially I though I needed to do something for "adding" the architecture "all" .so I install install time I added a suffix :all to package name and was happy that it installs well

apt install <my packagename>:all

And even more interesting - when using "all" wildcards - it is NOT necessary to specify the architecture suffix - so

apt install <my packagename> 

works just fine as far as you have a repository defined and have the packages with architecture="all" present

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