Python error interpretation

Ray Parrish crp at
Sun Mar 15 06:27:06 UTC 2009

Hal Burgiss wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 14, 2009 at 08:47:20PM -0500, Chris Mohler wrote:
>> What do you get for:
>> python --version
> $ python --version
> Python 2.5.2
>> aptitude show python
> Package: python
> State: installed
> Automatically installed: no
> Version: 2.5.2-0ubuntu1
> Priority: important
> Section: python
> Maintainer: Ubuntu Core Developers
> <ubuntu-devel-discuss at>
> Uncompressed Size: 614k
> Depends: python-minimal (= 2.5.2-0ubuntu1), python2.5 (>= 2.5.2)
> Suggests: python-doc (>= 2.5.2-0ubuntu1), python-profiler (>=
> 2.5.2-0ubuntu1), python-tk (>=
>           2.5.2-0ubuntu1)
> Conflicts: python-base, python-bz2, python-central (< 0.5.5),
> python-csv, python-xmlbase, python2.1 (<=
>            2.1.2), python2.3 (< 2.3.5-14)
> Replaces: python-base, python-xmlbase, python2.3 (<= 2.3.2-6)
> Provides: python-email, python-xmlbase
> Description: An interactive high-level object-oriented language
> (default version)
>  Python, the high-level, interactive object oriented language,
> includes an extensive class library with
>  lots of goodies for network programming, system administration,
> sounds and graphics. 
>  This package is a dependency package, which depends on Debian's
> default Python version (currently
>  v2.5).
>> Do you maybe have some third-party repos enabled?
> It looks like all regular Ubuntu stuff (I didn't set this server up
> originally). The only oddity is the sources.list file has a 6.06
> header in it. This server was at one time 6.06 tho.
>> Maybe 'aptitude reinstall python'?
> Same difference....
> E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
> A package failed to install.  Trying to recover:
> Setting up bzr (1.3.1-1ubuntu0.1) ...
> Could not find platform independent libraries <prefix>
> Consider setting $PYTHONHOME to <prefix>[:<exec_prefix>]
> 'import site' failed; use -v for traceback
> Traceback (most recent call last):
>   File "/usr/bin/py_compilefiles", line 3, in ?
>     import os
> ImportError: No module named os
> Traceback (most recent call last):
>   File "/usr/bin/pycentral", line 1891, in <module>
>     main()
>   File "/usr/bin/pycentral", line 1885, in main
>     rv =
>   File "/usr/bin/pycentral", line 1263, in run
>     self.options.exclude, byte_compile_default=True)
>   File "/usr/bin/pycentral", line 880, in install
>     rt.byte_compile(linked_files, bc_option, exclude_regex,
> ignore_errors)
>   File "/usr/bin/pycentral", line 175, in byte_compile
>     fd.write(fn + '\n')
> IOError: [Errno 32] Broken pipe
> dpkg: error processing bzr (--configure):
>  subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 1
> Errors were encountered while processing:
>  bzr
> Reading package lists... Done             
> Building dependency tree       
> Reading state information... Done
> Reading extended state information      
> Initializing package states... Done
> Building tag database... Done      

I do not understand this fascination with attempting to install things 
from the command line, when there is the excellent Synaptic Package 
Manager available right there on your menu, which can easily circumvent 
the problems you're currently having with your python installation.

It even keeps track of your installation history in a user friendly 
dialog that shows you all of the installed, upgraded, and removed 
software on your system by date and time. Just select File, History from 
it's menu to reveal all! From there you can you can find the names of 
the packages you have removed, then mark them for re-installation.

There is also a "Fix Broken Packages" menu item, and you can design 
custom search filters to sort out lists of things like "installed docs", 
or all "orphaned" packages on your system, with a filter you can save 
and refer to again at any time later.

I frankly cannot see any reason to use anything else to manage the 
software on my system. I found all of the available "python" packages in 
about 30 seconds, with a search on "python" with only the name field 
being selected for the field to be searched.

You can then select snd examine a package's dependencies required, 
conflicts, suggested packages, packages dependent on this one, packages 
provided in this one, and the packages replaced by any package you 
select from the current listings you generated with your last search 
term. Select another tab from a selected package's information display 
to immediately view the paths to,, and file names of,, all files 
installed by that package after you have installed it.

Why guess what's going on from the sketchy out put you get from the 
aptitude tools, when you can have it all layed out right before you in 
expansive detail by Synaptic? OK, I'm done ranting about the easiest way 
I've ever seen, to keep track of, search for, select, install, and 
otherwise administer the software on a computer.

Later, Ray Parrish

Human reviewed index of links about the computer
Poetry from the mind of a Schizophrenic

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