How to reinstall *everything*?

Constantine Evans constantine at
Sat Sep 16 19:18:49 UTC 2006

Alexander Skwar wrote:
> Hello!
> As I'm having very strange problems with Firefox and Thunderbird (see
> "Can't start Thunderbird and themes in Firefox look bad"), I'd like to
> reinstall all the packages that I've currently got installed.
> To do so, I tried to use aptitude. In aptitude, I highlighted "Installed
> packages" and pressed L "Request that a package be reinstalled.". After
> that, all the installed packages were selected for reinstallation. But
> when I have aptitude start the installation, I get errors like this:
> ┌──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┐
> │E: I wasn't able to locate file for the linux-headers-2.6.15-25 package. This▒│
> │   might mean you need to manually fix this package.                         ▒│
> │E: Internal error: couldn't generate list of packages to download            ▒│
> │                                    [ Ok ]                                    │
> └──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────┘
> So I deselected all those packages which gave me these errors. But then,
> I get:
> E: Couldn't configure pre-depend perl-base for debconf, probably a dependency cycle.
> A package failed to install.  Trying to recover:
> Drücken Sie zum Fortsetzen die Eingabetaste.
> And now I'm fed up ;)
> Is there an *easy* way to reinstall all the currently installed packages?
> Thanks,
> Alexander Skwar

Wouldn't it be easier to reinstall the entire system? Apt-based
reinstallation will not purge the configuration files for the packages,
so it is quite likely that reinstalling everything would not fix the
issues you are having.

You can make a list of installed packages, and reinstall all of them
after reinstalling the system.

Constantine Evans

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