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I just checked linux mint's 17.3 manifest and lots of its packages includes both architectures. Why is that?

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All the packages which are installed for both architectures are libraries or support packages (e.g. the GTK+ engines). The amd64 libraries and support packages are necessary for the rest of the system to work. The i386 libraries are installed so that older or 32-bit-only software can be easily installed; examples include Skype and 32-bit Wine (to run 32-bit Windows applications or games, which is still a common use-case if you're running Windows programs).

  • I'm mainly talking about packages like bluez-alsa that have both architectures. I checked ubuntu trusty's 64bit manifest also, it only has amd64 and not i386 packages. – answerSeeker Mar 6 '17 at 20:03
  • bluez-alsa and so on are part of the "support packages" in my answer. There's a possibility bluez-alsa:i386 would be needed for 32-bit Skype with a Bluetooth headset. This is just speculation but perhaps the Mint developers decided it was easier to just install all that and provide out-of-the-box installation support for 32-bit binaries (whereas Ubuntu in the Trusty time-frame would perhaps rely more on its application store). – Stephen Kitt Mar 6 '17 at 20:23

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