trouble with python-minimal upgrade

Clint Byrum clint at
Sat Apr 21 04:14:55 UTC 2012

Excerpts from Daniel Hollocher's message of Fri Apr 20 19:55:00 -0700 2012:
> Hey folks,
> Sorry to ask for support on this list, but I just tried to upgrade to
> oneiric, and my computer is in a sorry state.  python-minimal has a
> dependency loop problem, and dpkg is complaining more loudly than I'm
> used to.
> Basically, all the various upgrade commands I have tried result in this:
> > E: This installation run will require temporarily removing the essential package python-minimal due to a Conflicts/Pre-> Depends loop. This is often bad, but if you really want to do it, activate the APT::Force-LoopBreak option.
> > E: Internal Error, Could not early remove python-minimal
> Actually, as I type this email, I made some progress:
> sudo dpkg --remove --force-all python-minimal
> sudo apt-get install -f
> update-manager > partial upgrade.

Did you use 'do-release-upgrade' to go to oneiric, or just change
sources.lists and dist-upgrade? I've had problems with dist-upgrades in
the past, but things have always gone smoothly with do-release-upgrade.

> Anyway, I got a bit nervous there, since I wasn't sure how much apt
> and dpkg depended on python to do their work (ie, removing python
> might remove my ability to manipulate packages).  No harm no foul at
> this point.

Just FYI, dpkg and apt are C(++?) programs. Simple way to tell:

$ file `which dpkg`
/usr/bin/dpkg: ELF 64-bit LSB executable, x86-64, version 1 (SYSV), dynamically linked (uses shared libs), for GNU/Linux 2.6.24, BuildID[sha1]=0x480c44f57d94c05a2301b5394f4a376b501a31e6, stripped

$ file `which update-manager`
/usr/bin/update-manager: a /usr/bin/python script, ASCII text executable

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