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Im trying to setup a file in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ to get updated versions of some ruby code. My system(s) are all armel based but there isn't a specific build for this in the repository. How do I format the line in the .list file to ignore or bypass the CPU type?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

You don't need to modify the line in the lists file.
What you can do is install packages for specific architectures like so

apt-get install package:arch

So apt-get install ruby1.9.1:armhf will attempt to install the armhf version of ruby.

Beware though that installing packages not meant for your architecture can severely break your system

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I do not know how to do it the way you are suggesting it, but I do know how to do it from the command line. The appropriate command is

 sudo apt-get -d -o APT::Architecture="amd64" install some_package

This downloads (the -o option) only the package, belonging to the architecture amd64. If you think it wise to install it, you may do so with via dpkg -i.

Alternatively, you may use

sudo apt-get download some_package:amd64

I have never tried substituting * for the architecture, you may try that.

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You don't. Things will break horribly, since even if you manage to install the packages, your arm system would have as much of an idea of a dog in a cattery of what to do with any compiled x86 or x64 code.

Your best option (as painful as it is) would be to find a repository with this code for your plaform, or install from source (maybe maintaining a repository yourself!). While ruby itself is largely platform independent, you may have non platform independent dependencies. While I do realise keeping this up to date and maintained is a pain, its probably potentially less painful than borking up your system with random, non functional packages belonging to another architecture

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