Re: [SLUG] broken packages?

From: Eben King (
Date: Sun Mar 16 2008 - 01:45:53 EST

On Sun, 16 Mar 2008, Paul M Foster wrote:

> On Sun, Mar 16, 2008 at 12:11:54AM -0400, Eben King wrote:
>> So I tried to upgrade mplayer. apt wanted to do what seems to be its usual
>> thing now, which is to uninstall package A and then install package A++.
>> (There were 63 things to do.) This time, it hung partway through (couldn't
>> remove /usr/X11/bin which is used by opera). So some things (for example
>> xterm) got uninstalled and never reinstalled. What I think is the solution
>> is to go to runlevel 1 and use aptitude (or apt-get) to fix the problem. I
>> don't know the syntax for either one of those. Help?
> To move to single user mode,
> telinit 1

Right, knew that.

> Then you can run aptitude as usual.

That's what I don't know.

I restored /usr from (yesterday's) backup. Didn't fix X -- I still can't
run startx. Maybe it depends on something in / .

> Apt-get really has only four main commands:
> apt-get update, which updates your repository package list,
> apt-get upgrade, which upgrades everything (takes you, for example, from
> stable to testing),
> apt-get install somepackage which installs somepackage, and
> apt-get remove somepackage which removes somepackage.
> There are other commands, but you don't need to run them unless
> instructed by apt-get to do so. In that case, follow apt-get's
> instructions on which variant to run (such as apt-get -f check).
> I've had to do "surgical" apt-gets before, where you just let apt-get do
> what it wants, and then clean up after it. Sometimes that involves
> uninstalling whole subsystems like X, and then doing fresh installs of
> them. Sometimes, you have to call up aptitude to find out what package or
> packages something is depending upon, or what package conflicts with it.
> You can search in aptitude with "/" and "n" for next match. Once you find
> a package in question, you can hit <Enter>r do and see what its
> dependencies, recommendations, and the like are. When done with the view
> of package dependencies, you hit "q" to quit back up to the next level.

Does it just say "These are its dependencies", or does it optionally
satisfy them?

> In any case, sometimes you have to go one package at a time and do
> repair as you go along. That's why I don't recommend apt-get upgrade
> unless you can avoid it, because upgrade tends to cause problems like
> this.

Noted. In the future...

-eben    QebWenE01R@vTerYizUonI.nOetP
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