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I'm new to Linux, and was given a laptop a few months ago with Ubuntu on it, and have been enjoying it so far. I don't do much other than browsing the web, playing Steam, and checking email. Now, I first started noticing any time I tried to update via the Software Center, that I would often get error messages.

The issues basically started when I was having trouble figuring out how to set up this hybrid graphics card setup this laptop has. I was getting bad FPS gaming, so I did some research and found that this laptop has a hybrid setup, so after browsing Google about how to switch from using the onboard card to the Radeon graphics card, I messed up somewhere along the line. Then I basically just went to website after website and tried entering terminal commands from people that had responded to others with the same issue as me.

Eventually, I got it working, but I think that I messed up somewhere and now I get errors doing a wide range of tasks.

Now I want to just completely start fresh and reinstall my OS. The problem is, I am under circumstances where basically I don't have access to USB sticks or CD-ROMs. So, upon doing research, I have followed the instructions given to others trying to do the same thing as me, and I can't get anywhere because I keep getting errors.

I don't really know where to start, so this is an example of an error while trying to install UNetbootin to begin trying to reinstall.

When I enter:

sudo apt-get update

This is what I get in the terminal:

UNetbootin is a cross-platform utility that can create Live USB systems and can load a variety of system utilities or install various Linux distributions and other operating systems without a CD.
Homepage: 
Wiki: 
Downloads: 
Sourceforge: 
Launchpad: 
 More info: 
Press [ENTER] to continue or ctrl-c to cancel adding it
gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmpdi5igw02/secring.gpg' created
gpg: keyring `/tmp/tmpdi5igw02/pubring.gpg' created
gpg: requesting key FC91AE7E from hkp server keyserver.ubuntu.com
gpg: /tmp/tmpdi5igw02/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created
gpg: key FC91AE7E: public key "Launchpad PPA for Geza Kovacs" imported
gpg: Total number processed: 1
gpg:               imported: 1  (RSA: 1)
OK

Then I enter:

sudo apt-get update

I get the following results:

Hit:1 # "random link" that I can't post because I don't have enough reputation to post URLs
Hit:2 random link                 
Hit:3 random link                    
Hit:4 random link          
Hit:5 random link       
Hit:6 random link                  
Get:8 random link      
Hit:9 random link   
Hit:10 random link         
Hit:11 random link      
Get:12 random link 
Get:13 random link 
Hit:14 random link 
Fetched 306 kB in 1s (218 kB/s)
Reading package lists... Done
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'partner/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'restricted/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link  doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'universe/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'multiverse/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link e' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'restricted/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'universe/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'multiverse/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'restricted/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'universe/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'multiverse/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'restricted/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'universe/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'multiverse/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'
N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-1386/Packages' as repository 'random link ' doesn't support architecture '1386'

That's where I'm hitting a wall. I'm sorry that this may be kind of difficult to narrow down my issues, but I'm unfamiliar with Linux so I don't know exactly what the main issue is that's causing these other tasks to not work. I'm trying to end up being able to end up with a fresh install of Ubuntu or Mint.

  • Also, just to add, the one repeating thing I've noticed across the error messages I've been getting via multiple different programs is something along the lines of >libpthread and missing packages? From context clues, it sounds like I'm missing some important files regarding the OS and when programs try and access them, they cant find them. – eneLon Dec 28 '17 at 1:36
  • It looks like there was a typo when you tried to add i386 architecture to the packages. 1386 is not a architecture but i386 is. – jdwolf Dec 28 '17 at 1:40
  • So where/what do I do to fix that? Sorry, I'm basically only able to copy and paste what people recommend in Terminal. I have no idea what any of the commands/files they are talking about are. – eneLon Dec 28 '17 at 1:45
  • Neither of those issues actually break anything though. – jdwolf Dec 28 '17 at 1:49
  • It just seems like somewhere along the line, something got messed up and it's affecting anytime I try to update/install/run certain programs – eneLon Dec 28 '17 at 1:50
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There are complicated alternative ways to reinstall Ubuntu without using any installation media such as debootstrap, but getting temporary access to a USB flash drive for a few hours will greatly simplify reinstalling Ubuntu even if you have to borrow one.

You don't need to install anything in order to put the Ubuntu installer on a USB flash drive, because there is already an application for that purpose built-in in Ubuntu called Startup Disk Creator. For information on how to use Startup Disk Creator see this question: What is the proper way of creating installation media from Ubuntu iso?.

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To fix your apt update issue:

sudo dpkg --remove-architecture "1386" or remove the line in "/var/lib/dpkg/arch"

  • When I entered that, it returned "dpkg: warning: cannot remove non-foreign architecture '1386'" – eneLon Dec 28 '17 at 1:48
  • Alright try sudo rm "/etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch" then sudo apt-get update – jdwolf Dec 28 '17 at 1:53
  • That returns >rm: cannot remove '/etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch': No such file or directory – eneLon Dec 28 '17 at 1:55
  • Alright try sudo nano "/var/lib/dpkg/arch" and remove the line with 1386 – jdwolf Dec 28 '17 at 1:57
  • OK, I did that and then removed the line. Then, I tried to re-enter sudo rm "/etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch", which returned rm: cannot remove '/etc/dpkg/dpkg.cfg.d/multiarch': No such file or directory. Then I re-entered do apt-get update, which seemed to work. It said, basically went through a few lines and then the final line says Fetched 306 kB in 1s (228 kB/s) Reading package lists... Done – eneLon Dec 28 '17 at 2:00

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