[ubuntu-uk] Aptitude dependency hell

James Tait james.tait at wyrddreams.org
Wed Feb 7 22:37:21 GMT 2007

Hi Tony,

Tony Arnold wrote:
> The packages it said were broken almost all of the installed ones!
> Something very wrong here or I'm missing something.
> Looks to me like I need to re-install.

You can, if you wish, run aptitude interactively:

$ sudo aptitude

This will allow you to find the broken packages (press 'B' to move to
the next broken package), view their dependencies (hit 'Enter' to view
the package details and dependencies are listed there) and progressively
fix the broken dependencies.  When there are no longer any broken
packages, press 'G' to apply any changes and you'll be given a
confirmation screen, where you should press 'G' again to continue, or
'Q' to step back.  '?' will give you a help menu listing the various
keyboard commands.

I've had to do this a couple of times after upgrades that I messed up
and it's effective, although whether it's better than just re-installing
is debatable.  You don't lose your custom configuration and don't risk
nuking your precious data, but it can be time consuming.

James Tait, BSc                        |    xmpp:jayteeuk at wyrddreams.org
Programmer and Free Software advocate  |      Mobile: +44 (0)7779 337596

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