[ubuntu-uk] Aptitude dependency hell

Tony Arnold tony.arnold at manchester.ac.uk
Thu Feb 8 08:14:45 GMT 2007


James Tait wrote:
> 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.

Thanks for the tip. Given aptitude is reporting 277 broken packages (!)
I think I will re-install at some time.

Also I looked at the first broken package which was gamin. It said it
conflicts with fam, but fam has been removed but its config files are
still around.

As I was writing the above, I tied purging package fam and now aptitude
is reporting zero broken packages! 277 broken packages to 0 by purging a
single package. Amazing!

Tony Arnold, IT Security Coordinator, University of Manchester,
IT Services Division, Kilburn Building, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL.
T: +44 (0)161 275 6093, F: +44 (0)870 136 1004, M: +44 (0)773 330 0039
E: tony.arnold at manchester.ac.uk, H: http://www.man.ac.uk/Tony.Arnold

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