Quoting Thomas Schmitt (2016-09-17 16:00:28)
> i am preparing the Debian package for a new upstream release of libisofs
> and see on its tracker page
>   https://tracker.debian.org/pkg/libisofs
> a new "action needed":
>   "Multiarch hinter reports 1 issue(s)"
> The link points to 
>   https://wiki.debian.org/MultiArch/Hints
> But where to see the actual complaint ?

I was confused by this as well when I first saw the hints appear in the

You have to click at the small downward arrow at the left of the "Multiarch
hinter" text. Then you can see:

    There are issues with the multiarch metadata for this package.

        libisofs-doc could be marked Multi-Arch: foreign

> Google "multiarch hinter" brings me to
>   https://bugs.debian.org/cgi-bin/bugreport.cgi?bug=833623
> where i find in the patch a URL:
>   https://dedup.debian.net/static/multiarch-hints.yaml
> which says:
>   - binary: libisofs-doc
>     description: 'libisofs-doc could be marked Multi-Arch: foreign'
>     link: https://wiki.debian.org/MultiArch/Hints#ma-foreign
>     severity: low
>     source: libisofs
> The MultiArch/Hints wiki page says
>   "marking it Multi-Arch: foreign usually is safe."
> but does not clearly state what it means by "usually".

The package libisofs-doc is Architecture: all, does not contain any maintainer
scripts and does not have any dependencies on architecture-dependent packages.
Thus, marking it as Multi-Arch:foreign should be correct.

It says "usually" because this analysis is wrong if any of the metadata the
analysis is based on is wrong.

> There is no mentioning of "Multi-arch" in
>   https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-controlfields.html

Multiarch is not in policy yet but it has been in Debian since Wheezy. The four
year old policy bug can be found here:


> nor is there an explanation of "foreign" in
> https://www.debian.org/doc/debian-policy/ch-controlfields.html#s-f-Architecture

"foreign" is no architecture but one of the possible values of the Multi-arch

> More Google brings me to
>   https://wiki.debian.org/Multiarch/HOWTO
> with the statement:
>   "If a package is marked 'Multi-Arch: foreign', then it can satisfy
>    dependencies of a package of a different architecture."
> Duh !
> I am about as confused as a year ago:

A better (and the probably still most complete) explanation is here:


>   "Multi-arch and debian/control"
>   https://lists.debian.org/debian-mentors/2015/09/msg00403.html
> All packages got "Multi-arch: same" then, except libisofs-doc which
> got no Multi-arch header at all. I cannot find or remember the reason
> for that.

Some packages are just neither Multi-arch same, foreign nor allowed. In the
case of libisofs-doc, it is very likely that it can be correctly marked as

> Could somebody please look into
> https://tracker.debian.org/media/packages/libi/libisofs/control-1.4.4-1 and
> tell me what to do ?

You could just mark libisofs-doc as Multi-Arch:foreign.

> (And was i really expected to google for a link to the 1.9 MB yaml file ?)

Nope and I agree that the current way to find the actual problem in the tracker
is suboptimal.


cheers, josch

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