Technology Tales

Adventures & experiences in contemporary technology

Resolving “repository doesn’t support architecture i386” error when checking for updates to Brave Browser on Linux

7th June 2024

Recently, I started to observe the following message when doing my usual update routine on Linux Mint (Debian, Ubuntu and their variants are likely affected as well):

N: Skipping acquire of configured file 'main/binary-i386/Packages' as repository ' stable InRelease' doesn't support architecture 'i386'

As the message suggests, there was something amiss with the repository set up for Brave, a browser that I added for extra privacy. Since Firefox remains the main one that I use, Brave is something that I have in hand for when I need it. Handily, its installation routine adds in repository information for keeping it up to date. However, there is an issue with what you find in /etc/apt/sources.list.d/brave-browser-release.list. By default, the line appears like thus:

deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg] stable main

To avoid the i386 error, it needs to look like this instead:

deb [signed-by=/usr/share/keyrings/brave-browser-archive-keyring.gpg arch=amd64] stable main

The difference between the tow is the presence of arch=amd64 in the second version. This stops the search for non-existent i386 files, the 32 bit version in other words. With Y2K2038 in the offing, the days of 32 bit computing architectures are numbered because there is a real limit to the magnitude of the dates that can be represented in any case. Thus, sticking with 64 bit ones is both the present for many and the future for all.

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