Steve Langasek proudly announced last evening, March 22nd, that it is now possible to install library packages of different architectures on your Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) operating system via multiarch.
This is great news for all Ubuntu developers and users alike, because it means that commands such as the one below can now be easily configured to work in an x86_64 chroot:
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer:i386
"Thanks to everyone who's helped get us to this stage! We're still some way away from being able to do this on the desktop, however, since this command currently wants to remove lots of amd64 libraries and replace them with the i386 ones!"
"Which is, in fact, the point of this mail. There's a core set of libraries that have now been bootstrapped for multiarch in natty, but there are obviously a lot more libraries that will need to be transitioned for multiarch before we can even begin to think about dropping ia32-libs from the archive." - said Steve Langasek in the e-mail.
Those of you interested in learning more about how to convert library packages to the multiarch paths can find some interesting documentation on the Debian Wiki, here. Also, if you want to help Steve Langasek convert almost 50 libraries to multiarch paths, you can find him on the official Ubuntu IRC channel.
"This is *not* an open invitation to convert arbitrary libraries to use the multiarch paths; freeze exception or not, moving libraries around on the system carries some significant risk of breakage, and needs to be done with care and a clear understanding of the consequences - and a commitment to fix any of the fallout in order to not jeopardize the beta coming up next week." - added Steve Langasek in the end of the announcement.
Don't forget to visit Softpedia Linux next week, on March 31st, for an in-depth article about the highly anticipated Ubuntu 11.04 (Natty Narwhal) Beta 1 operating system, where we will unveil its amazing new features.