error report

Vincent imnotb at
Sat Jan 19 08:57:16 UTC 2008

On 18/01/2008, Patrick Mooney <pmooney78 at> wrote:
> 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.)

Basically, when you found a bug in Xubuntu, you report it at For usage problems, you can use the
xubuntu-users mailinglist:

You can send replies there, I'm also subscribed to that.

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.

That is because that command needs "root"-privileges. Try running

gksudo "dpkg --configure -a"

That will ask for your password, in order to run is as root. That should
solve the problem.

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.

Sorry, can't help you with that :(

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.

Your graphics card needs to support compositing. I'm not sure whether yours
does. Most people whose graphics card support compositing first need to
enable a restricted (i.e. not open source) drive through
Applications->System->Restricted Drivers Manager, but I believe Intel
provided good open source drivers, so if you can't find a driver through
Restricted Drivers Manager, then I'm afraid your card doesn't support it.

Thank you in advance for any help!
> Sincerely,
> Patrick Mooney
Good luck,

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