The need was simple enough: make deb packages from source for multiple architectures on the same system. This needed to be done without the overhead of a virtual machine and without using something like launchpad.
I’ve used chroot in the past and it seemed like a perfect fit for the problem. The idea is to have at least two chroot-able directories with the bare essentials from Ubuntu Natty (10.04) to compile and build deb packages.
If you upgrade to Ubuntu 11.10 on a 64-bit platform and try to run skype then you will likely get this error:
skype: error while loading shared libraries: libXss.so.1: cannot open shared object file: No such file or directory
This is because libxss1 and a few other libraries have been removed from ia32-libs package.
You will need to enable multiarch and install the extra 32 bit libraries by hand: