I use GNU/Linux Mint 18.1 on an amd64/x86_64 processor. I have a bunch of i386 packages installed - 250 of them to be exact. Up until today I knew I need some/most of them, since I had 32-bit Skype installed. But now I've installed the 64-bit version, so I'm wondering - can I uninstall those i386 packages? Or rather - how can I tell whether I really need any of them or not?
The package manager will usually complain if you try to remove a dependency of another package or program.
Read carefully what it says when it asks if you're sure about removing anything.
Unless you've specifically installed some 32-bit package (which would also have dependencies etc.) - it's likely that all 32-bit/i386 packages can be removed. As @Mioriin suggested, if you try to remove them using
apt-get remove, you'll get a complaint if anything depends on them.
For caution's sake, first do the following:
apt-get install -f
in case something is broken and needs fixing. Then execute:
dpkg-query -l | grep "^i.* i386 " | less
and review the list of relevant packages. See if there's something you recall explicitly installing specifically as an i386/32-bit package. If not - proceed to try and remove them with:
apt-get remove $(dpkg-query -l | grep "^i.* i386 " | cut -c5- | cut -d\ -f1)
(the weird piped commands are for extracting just the package name; I think this can be done better using just
- It's theoretically possible but extremely unlikely that some package will have the string " i386 " in its description; unlikely enough to ignore
- If you have packages which are half-installed or in other states other than
man dpkg-queryfor details), this might not work for you