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multiarch support and dpkg 2.0 design document

Hi debian-dpkg,

Several people have been working on a project we've been calling "multiarch", 
to seamlessly support running applications for multiple different binary 
targets on the same system. The main example being running i386-linux-gnu 
applications on amd64-linux-gnu systems, but many other working combinations 
exist. More info on Debian's multiarch efforts at


Part of implementing multiarch requires changes to dpkg. My employer, HP, has 
been working with Canonical Ltd. to investigate potential implementation 
strategies. This resulted in the following report,


One of the possible implementation strategies, and the one which HP/Canonical 
feel holds the most promise, involves adding some new features to the package 
manager. Some of these features were mentioned in Scott James Remnant's 
dpkg2.0 talk at debconf5 and probably on this list and IRC, you may have 
already heard about them. In preparation for implementing these features, 
Scott has prepared a design document for review


As described in the document, this specification is intended to be agnostic 
with respect to on-disk package format, package metadata (except for an 
important few), O/S distribution, higher level tools like apt/smart, etc. 
Think of this as a design specification for "The next generation package 

Please review and provide feedback and if you're interested in helping out 
step up and get involved. I think you'll agree some of these new feature are 
really cool and should be fun to work on.


Tollef Fog Heen <tfheen@canonical.com>
dann frazier <daniel_frazier@hp.com>
Lamont Jones <lamont.jones@hp.com>
Scott James Remnant <scott@canonical.com>
Matt Taggart <matt.taggart@hp.com>
Matt Zimmerman <mdz@canonical.com>

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