MultiArch in APT

MultiArch has basically two big use cases:

As you might know MultiArch was a release goal for both Debian "squeeze" and Ubuntu "lucid" but as important core infrastructure haven't implemented support for it so far at least for these releases the goal will be very likely missed/post-pruned (or is already).

APT is one of these tools missing (official) support for it. The goal of the proposal is therefore to enable APT (and his friends) to solve dependencies across architecture borders to get right of all the hacks in the longterm and to be again at a stage in which the user doesn't need to care about the dependency complexity behind his requests but just need to think about what to install next. :)


The only applier was accepted as GSoC student and did in his own eyes a reasonable job. ;) The joint DebConf presentation of all GSoC involved people should give a good impression of what was achieved and what needs to be done in general and for this project in specific (I was as noted in my application not around, but Arthur Liu did the presentation for me based on my notes and slides). I recommend watching the record and have a deeper look at the slides: Google Summer of Code 2010 at Debian

The summary is that APT made a big step forward into supporting MultiArch as advertised. Still a lot is left to do and i will proceed in working on that, but as noted already in the application APT is only one part of the puzzle, so dpkg needs to get support for it, as well as other tools and packages of courseā€¦ Take your pick and help squeezing MultiArch into wheezy! :)

A small summary of what was done in APT can be found in the squeeze transition request for APT, more detailed information can be found in my weekly report to my blog. If further questions are still unanswered please feel free to ask me directly or on the deity@ mailinglist for a tiny bit broader discussion.