I installed a debian package libncurses5-dev:i386.deb using "sudo dpkg -i libncurses5-dev:i386.deb".

However i realized that i needed another package libncurses5-dev_5.7+20100313-5_amd64.deb.

When i tried to install this one i got an error " libncurses5-dev: 5.7+20100313-5 (Multi-Arch: no) is not co-installable with libncurses5-dev:i386 5.9-4 (Multi-Arch: no) which is currently installed Errors were encountered while processing:".

I tried to remove libncurses5-dev:i386.deb. I went to /var/lib/dpkg/info and then sudo rm libncurses* to remove all the packages. I tried to install my amd64 package again but i get the same error message saying it cant install with libncurses5-dev:i386 5.9-4

Also when i do dpkg --list | grep -i libncur*, i dont see any results, so i am a bit confused Can someone please help me?



1 Answer 1


The command you should have used is

$ sudo dpkg -r libncurses5-dev

You should not have removed any files in /var/lib/dpkg by hand.

  • When i do dpkg --list | grep -i libncurses5, i get: ri libncurses5 5.9-4 shared libraries for terminal handling ii libncurses5:i386 5.9-4 shared libraries for terminal handling ii libncurses5-dev:i386 5.9-4 developer's libraries for ncurses How to delete these from the system? sudo dpkg -r libncurses5-dev does not work.
    – srai
    Apr 27, 2014 at 1:17
  • 1
    @srai Deleting libncurses5 is probably not a great idea - many terminal programs depend on it, so you would end up deleting half of the system. libncurses5-dev, on the other hand, as it is only a development package, should be safe to remove. Given the status of the packages (ri for libncurses5 and ii for libncurses5-dev), maybe you could try sudo echo "libncurses5 install" | sudo dpkg --set-selections (taken from here) and then try the removal command again. Please post any error you get.
    – jdehesa
    Apr 27, 2014 at 1:36

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