Per the LTS Enablement Stack wiki, "to install the newer HWE kernel derived from 15.10 (Wily)" there is a different set of packages to install depending on whether a system is multiarch or not.

How do I tell if my system is multiarch or not?

The wiki is "hinty", saying "you may find you need" to do this.

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    Usually means you run a 64bit OS, but also use packages that are 32bit. Run uname -m to check what kind of OS you have. x86_64 - 64bit, and i686 - 32bit. Here's more info on multiarch wiki.ubuntu.com/MultiarchSpec. Feb 19, 2016 at 13:30
  • Thanks! I'm confident that I have 64 bit Trusty installed. It's the part about using 32 bit packages that I need to check on, but don't know how to. Feb 19, 2016 at 13:34
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    There will be nothing bad if you use the command for multiarch.
    – Pilot6
    Feb 19, 2016 at 13:34
  • If you don't know whether or not you need 32bit packages, chances you great that you don't. Feb 19, 2016 at 13:37
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    I'm not willing to break my system or install un-needed packages by taking these "chances", hence my question. Feb 19, 2016 at 13:42

1 Answer 1


dpkg supports installing packages for other non-native architectures using a system called multiarch. It was introduced in Ubuntu 11.04, so any later release should have it.

You can use dpkg --print-foreign-architectures command to find the added foreign architectures on multiarch e.g.:

% dpkg --print-foreign-architectures

To find the native architecture, use dpkg --print-architecture e.g.:

% dpkg --print-architecture          

Alternately, you can also read the file /var/lib/dpkg/arch to get a list of added architectures (first one is native, although you can remove it):

% cat /var/lib/dpkg/arch             
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    Thanks! Exactly what I needed, and shows that I do need the "multiarch" packages. Much appreciated. Feb 19, 2016 at 13:44
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    the file /var/lib/dpkg/arch may only exist is at least one foreign architecture is installed
    – cmks
    Mar 16, 2016 at 16:36

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