error report

Patrick Mooney pmooney78 at
Fri Jan 18 17:04:26 UTC 2008

Good morning,

I'm a new Xubuntu user migrating from Windows 2000. I'm having several
problems, one of which results in a message asking me to report an error.
If I'm reporting to the wrong place, my apologies in advance; please let me
know where I should report the error to. (I don't subscribe to the
xubuntu-devel list, myself.)

The problem is this: I am unable to install any new packages through any of
the package management software. The update manager is able to do its job
with no problem (I've updated 94 packages since installing yesterday), but
trying to install or uninstall packages through the Synaptic package
manager or the System -> Add/Remove... menu item is not successful. I can
bring up Add/Remove...,it allows me to browse for new software and select
it, or see what I have installed an attempt to uninstall it, but actually
attempting to make a change (I've tried ten or twelve times, with different
combinations of software to [un]install ... from one package to twenty)
inevitably results in the following error message:

  E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'dpkg --configure -a' to
  correct the problem.
  E: _cache-> open() failed, please report.

I get the same message immediately after typing my administrative password
when I try to bring up the Synaptic package manager. A window appears in
the background, the error message pops up, and Synaptic closes.

It's that last line that's resulted in this report.

I'm running Xubuntu 7.10, kernel, xfce 4.4.1, on a Pentium
III 550MHz machine that dual-boots Xubuntu GNU/Linux and Win2000 (which I
can't get my girlfriend to give up ... yet).

I realize that the first line of the error message is probably instructing
me to run an application through the 'run program' dialog. I hit Alt-F2 to
bring that up, and 'dpkg --configure -a' is already in the argument field.
I hit OK and nothing perceptible happens. I try again with the "Run in
Terminal Mode" box checked and ... I have the same problem I always have
when trying to run anything in terminal mode ... which brings me to ...

Other problems I'm having

1. I can't bring up a terminal window. I've been trying to do so as
described in chapter 5 of the online Xubuntu documentation, and neither of
the following methods work: "Choose Applications → Accessories
→ Terminal; or press Alt+F2 and type xfce4-terminal." Both result in
the same thing: I hear the monitor click as the graphics card switches back
into a text mode. Before the monitor warms back up enough to see what's
going on, it switches modes again I see the login screen, just like when I
first boot up.

2. I had a problem yesterday caused by Settings -> Window Manager Tweaks.
On the "compositor" tab, I checked "enable display compositing, and got a
blank tan screen (like when I first log in). Unlike my initial login
experience, though, it doesn't disappear after a few seconds. I waited
patiently for several minutes ... still nothing. I rebooted, logged in
again ... still just a tan screen. I left it there while I took a shower
and went to the store ... still a tan screen. I eventually reinstalled by
booting from the Live CD I initially installed from. The few lines
mentioning the compositor settings in the documentation lead me to believe
it might be a display driver problem, so I'll mention that my graphics card
is an Intel 82810E. I think it's built in to the motherboard.

Thank you in advance for any help!

Patrick Mooney

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