?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

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?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby PeggySue on Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:33 pm

After the recent major upgrade I had problems with the Updates program which said I had to "Fix broken packages first". I went through the forum and found several posts with ideas how to fix the problem including loads of apt-get fixes, dpkg configuration fixes, removing things and deleting lock files but to no avail. The package manager said all dependencies were fixed and the filter said there were no broken packages but still "Update" said Fix broken packages first. In the end my fix was to remove VLC, do the upgrades 7 at a time and reinstall VLC.

So my question is does anyone have a reference to a site that explains the update process and, in particular, why this error message is generated?

The whole point of LMDE should be that you don't have to do rebuilds but it would have been quicker for me to rebuild the system! This problem that has been around for years so we need a sticky that explains what is going on and how to fix it. Thrashing around with random ideas with no explanation of what is going on is a tad worrying!!
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby mockturtl on Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:35 pm

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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby rivenathos on Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:43 pm

Remember that you are using Debian Testing versus Debian Stable. There is a just a wee bit more hands-on with LMDE.

Though, a trick for you to consider with MintUpdate... If you ever get the "fix broken packages" error, start over with the updating, but do not attempt to update everything at one time. If you update a few packages at the time, you will then narrow down the package that is causing the error. This is just one way to do it.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby amina on Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:51 pm

I think PeggySue is right about the sticky thing - every time something breaks there are at least 3 different threads about it.
Maybe it would be easier if one of them or a tutorial on what possible steps can be taken to resolve the issue could be seen somewhere in the beginning of the LMDE forums.
Because there are several options mentioned in different threads (as updating one by one, using synaptic, using terminal, using terminal with fix for broken packages and I am sure there is more...) but not a list one could try one by one.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby rivenathos on Wed Mar 16, 2011 5:57 pm

Well, PeggySue must have missed all the other threads in relation to LMDE errors. In fact, mockturtl gave the link to where all the errors and workarounds are being listed. amina, you have a good idea, but someone already beat you to it. :wink:
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby kabbalah on Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:13 pm

Hello: My english is very bad, but, I fixed broken packages of this manner:

1. Open synaptic.
2. Click lateral bar : updatable (version superior)
3. Choose all updates that open.
4. Click "mark all updates"
5. Click apply
6. Already all fixed.

Ok

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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby amina on Wed Mar 16, 2011 6:29 pm

My idea (actually not mine but PeggySue's :)) is not really about the content, just to make it sticky.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby PeggySue on Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:35 am

Thanks for the replies: Here are my thoughts:

rivenathos and mockturtl point out the thread that is bringing the ideas together but there are two problems:
1) the title is "LMDE BREAKAGES - read here first - Update 16 mar 2011 by zerozero" If you have an error message "Fix broken packages first" you are never going to come up with search terms that find this thread especially as there are so many threads that mention the underlying error message.
2) The zerozero thread is heading in the right direction, gives a hint to the problem being dependency errors and the first post is full of wise ideas (which would have solved my problem) but the rest is just a cookbook of recipes which would lead to doing a "sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" and this caused me more problems than it fixed.

I'm still convinced we need a sticky. It's title needs to include the error message and it needs some explanation as to the possible causes as well as appropriate fixes. Is there a sensible way to request a sticky from the moderators? I guess someone who knows about the causes of the problem needs to write something first - is zerozero out there?

The points that LDME is relatively new and based on testing so problems are to be expected are understood. If we don't have problems to solve we don't learn. It is just possible that I was a little frustrated after spending hours fixing a rolling release on the same day that I had loaded Mint 9 on a new build in 10 mins (plus 20 mins to update).
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby ddalley on Thu Mar 17, 2011 5:38 am

kabbalah wrote:Hello: My english is very bad, but, I fixed broken packages of this manner:

1. Open synaptic.
2. Click lateral bar : updatable (version superior)
3. Choose all updates that open.
4. Click "mark all updates"
5. Click apply
6. Already all fixed.

Ok

kabbalah


Brilliant! Thank you, kabbalah.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby zerozero on Thu Mar 17, 2011 8:03 am

Hello PeggySue, yes i'm here :D , well sometimes :D
Thanks for the kind words and for pointing out some issues in that thread:

- should be sticky? yes of course!! we are dealing with a rolling release, what happened with vlc and now with OO/LO will happen again, so a sticky warning makes all the sense;

- Is that thread perfect? Of course not: 1) i'm still basically a noob, i know just the basic to get myself out of trouble (sometimes :lol: ), 2) atm, with a LMDE tracking sid, a Chakra and a Fedora Rawhide install, i just boot in this vanilla LMDE once in a blue moon :mrgreen:

- The fix broken pkgs error msg only appears if we keep on using MintUpdate (and we should know by now that MU is not prepared to LMDE viewtopic.php?f=141&t=67561), if we use synaptic or the terminal we'll be fine (well we need to watch the output and decide if it's a good day to update or not)

- I opened a bug report against MU (in LMDE) https://bugs.launchpad.net/linuxmint/+bug/725680 but as you can see was classified as opinion :shock:
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby craig10x on Thu Mar 17, 2011 10:11 am

What i have been doing is using Mint Update (levels 1-5) most of the time, and it works fine...but when i get the "fixed broken packages" message, then i use the command in the terminal to update instead and it works fine and resolves the problem for me...and using this system has worked very well for me so far...

I would say if i was away for awhile and had a ton of updates, i would go right to the terminal update method...When i recently re-installed LMDE and had 603 updates the Update Manager choked about 3/4 of the way into the updates...using the terminal update saved the situation and did a great job on all 603 updates... boy, was i relieved... :lol:

I haven't done it with Package Manager because it just seems a bit easier to use terminal instead...but as i said, most of the time the Updater works fine but absolutely agree with you and if you read this Ikey, his idea about having levels 1-5 set by default for LMDE and having it "synched" to the Package Manager upgrading system, if that could be done, would probably help a GREAT DEAL in making the Mint Updater much more "tuned" to the LMDE system...
Last edited by craig10x on Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:48 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby tjweaver on Thu Mar 17, 2011 11:40 am

rest is just a cookbook of recipes which would lead to doing a "sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade" and this caused me more problems than it fixed.


This is how I normal update in terminal if I have a problem with the package manager. Is this not the recommended way to perform updates in the terminal? I haven't had or noticed any problems with doing it this way yet but I'd like to know if I should avoid doing it this way on a regular basis.

Thx
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby PeggySue on Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:01 pm

Hi tjweaver,

When I used the terminal method (all in one line as shown in my post) it got as far as the apt-get upgrade, gave me a few build messages and then hung. No disk activity and no response to the keyboard. I did a ctrl-Z to exit the terminal but this left a lock file which stopped me using any update process. I had to find the lock file and delete it.
If I have this problem again I will try the terminal route but one step at a time.

At least zerozero's bug report has registered the issue even if it is just on someones nice-to-do list rather than actively being pursued.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby Jaime Frontero on Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:27 pm

After having been through a few of these, the trick seems to be *how* one performs updates, not *what* is updated.

I use the Mint Updater to keep an eye out for available updates in my System Tray, but I use Synaptic to actually do the updating. That's for LMDE on my main desktop anyway - for Mint LXDE (running on an older notebook) and Julia (on my daughter's computer), the Mint Updater has worked without a hitch so far.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby kmb42vt on Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:34 pm

PeggySue wrote:Hi tjweaver,

When I used the terminal method (all in one line as shown in my post) it got as far as the apt-get upgrade, gave me a few build messages and then hung. No disk activity and no response to the keyboard. I did a ctrl-Z to exit the terminal but this left a lock file which stopped me using any update process. I had to find the lock file and delete it.
If I have this problem again I will try the terminal route but one step at a time.

At least zerozero's bug report has registered the issue even if it is just on someones nice-to-do list rather than actively being pursued.


One thing that some folks seem not to understand about using the aforementioned line of code in the terminal is that "sudo apt-get upgrade" probably should not be used at all. The proper line of code used in the terminal in this case should be:

Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade


The reason for this is that apt-get upgrade is one type of upgrade that holds certain packages back like xorg and kernal updates for example where apt-get dist-upgrade upgrades your entire distribution or what distribution your particular distro is based on, in this case, Debian Testing. Currently, for LMDE, apparently the best way to upgrade is to use apt-get dist-upgrade until the Mint devs come up with a better (safer?) way of doing things.

Just my opinion here and other opinions on the matter are welcome of course.

Oh, by the way, if the terminal hangs up for any reason, try ctrl-C instead of ctrl-Z and see if that works better.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby craig10x on Thu Mar 17, 2011 1:50 pm

Now i am getting confused...what is the best terminal command to use for the updates then so that everything gets updated as it should?
I have been using those two lines pasted together as suggested in many posts...but certainly, i want to do it it the correct way...so what is the general opinion on this?
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby ukbrian on Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:06 pm

PeggySue wrote:Hi tjweaver,
When I used the terminal method (all in one line as shown in my post) it got as far as the apt-get upgrade, gave me a few build messages and then hung. No disk activity and no response to the keyboard. I did a ctrl-Z to exit the terminal but this left a lock file which stopped me using any update process. I had to find the lock file and delete it.

I just had a similar experience, I did a Ctrl+Alt+F1 and then "apt-get update" then "apt-get dist-upgrade" which downloaded the files but then I was faced with
http://lin.me.uk/pics/upgrade.png
I did a Ctrl+c which put me back on the prompt but it didn't install the files.
I left my comfort zone with a "man apt-get" and then tried this command
Code: Select all
apt-get dist-upgrade -q
which completed successfully.

Could someone wiser than I please tell me the right thing to do when faced with the contents of the pic in the terminal and is it OK to use "apt-get dist-upgrade -q" to upgrade.

PS
I got the "Fix Broken Packages" message after a new, untouched install, which is not good for folk trying LMDE for the first time, very off putting!
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby zerozero on Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:22 pm

ukbrian,
that info in the terminal can be skipped pressing q and the updates will resume as normal;
as for the "fix broken pkgs" error in a clean install today, is normal, the issue with OO/LO happened today 8)

About the command line, the dist-upgrade placed after the upgrade overrides it, making it useless; there's no harm using it but with
Code: Select all
sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
we reach the same goal.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby ddalley on Thu Mar 17, 2011 2:42 pm

Jaime Frontero wrote:After having been through a few of these, the trick seems to be *how* one performs updates, not *what* is updated.

I have seen this problem before, which was why I was happy to see kabbalah's method work without headaches.
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Re: ?WHY? Fix broken packages first.

Postby 3fRI on Fri Mar 18, 2011 9:17 pm

I also had this problem this week. I'm running LM 9 Fluxbox on my iMac, and initially I began to hear an odd noise, regardless which OS i ran. Then, when I tried to run the update, I received the broken packages error message. After reading about the problem here, I ran the line code that a couple of people provided as a possible fix. At first, everything seemed to work perfectly, but after shutting and rebooting down a couple of times later, I had a problem when I tried to log in. The lo- in page appeared, but the key board didn't seem to work at all (shades of Mint 10 Julia? Recovery mode didn't work either, so I ended up reinstalling the OS. Similar glitches happened to me in the past when I ran Ubuntu. Consequently, I can only deduce that neither the so-called "stable" versions of Ubuntu or Linus Mint are as stable as people claim.

Here's my beef with Linux--name the distro--because what works one day might not work the next. Moreover, can someone kindly explain to me why certain apps, like Cheese, for example works fine in Fluxbox, but not in Julia? Or why certain apps or distros like Julia won't work at all on my 1-year old iMac, but more or less work okay on my 4-year old?

I love Linux and Open Source and would love to run nothing but a Linux distro on whatever computer I use, but until a truly stable distro comes along, I'll continue to experiment as well as use another OS as my ace in the hole.
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