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I have attempted to install upgrades to my kde app but I keep on getting apt-get error messages that I can't correct with dpkg --configure -a or apt-get -f install. ...
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  1. #1
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    apt-get error messages


    I have attempted to install upgrades to my kde app but I keep on getting apt-get error
    messages that I can't correct with dpkg --configure -a or apt-get -f install. The error
    messages almost all have to do with /var/lib/dpkg/available and point to missing colons on
    depends lines, syntax errors, etc. Some times I've gotten segmentation faults. Finally, the
    command line will tell me that a series of packages will not be installed because of dependency
    problems.

    What can I do to solve this problem?

  2. #2
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    Hello,

    Post the apt and dpk error messages.

    I've seen a number of dependency issues, where the same file is included in two different packages which can be fixed with --force-overwrite

    The dpkg man page will give you a list of options.

  3. #3
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    apt-get error messages

    The error message is:

    dpkgarse error in file /var/lib/dpkg/available near line icewm: Depends field, reference to
    icewm-common: version contains ` '

    That is the latest message. All of the error messages refer to problems with the
    /var/lib/dpkg/available file and refer to symbols or letters or numbers that are missing or
    incorrect.

    I entered dpkg --force-overwrite at the command line but I get an error message that says
    action missing. I read the dpkg man page but don't get how to include an action on the
    command line.

    Assuming the --force command will solve my problem the man page states one should use
    the --force-thing,thing format at the command line. What is a thing? If I use the --force
    command I think it should be written as so:
    dpkg --force thing, thing. Is that right?

    Hope you can help.

    Bill

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  5. #4
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    apt-get error messages

    The error message is:

    dpkgarse error in file /var/lib/dpkg/available near line icewm: Depends field, reference to
    icewm-common: version contains ` '

    That is the latest message. All of the error messages refer to problems with the
    /var/lib/dpkg/available file and refer to symbols or letters or numbers that are missing or
    incorrect.

    I entered dpkg --force-overwrite at the command line but I get an error message that says
    action missing. I read the dpkg man page but don't get how to include an action on the
    command line.

    Assuming the --force command will solve my problem the man page states one should use
    the --force-thing,thing format at the command line. What is a thing? If I use the --force
    command I think it should be written as so:
    dpkg --force thing, thing. Is that right?

    Hope you can help.

    Bill

  6. #5
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    My bad, this seems to be a different problem than what I was refering to.

    /var/lib/dpkg/available is a file that is written when you do apt-get update.

    Looks like this file has somehow become corrupt (most likely from the mirror you're using and nothing to do with your system).

    Edit your sources.list and point it to a different mirror. Then update and try again.

    Re: dpkg --force-thing
    The thing, is just that, the thing you want to do.

    Let's say (hypothetically, b/c this isn't your problem here) you have some deb file you want to install A.deb

    dpkg --install A.deb --> dpkg thing A.deb

    Then let's say you get a message and it fails.
    package A contains file X which is also in packcage B which will not be overwritten.

    So, if you think it is perfectly ok, to actually use file X from package A, you have to "force" dpkg to install it.

    dpkg --force-overwrite --install A.deb --> dpkg force-thing thing A.deb

    This type of syntax gives you a lot of control and semi-ensures you know what you are doing, because you have to explicitly state what is to be done and why. In this case force the install by overwriting the conflicting file.

    I apologize if the above was a ramble, seemed perfectly clear as I was writing.

  7. #6
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    apt-get error messages

    Thank you for your help. I'm afraid I got so frustrated that I simply reinstalled Debian on my new world powerpc lombard. It's running fine now but I'm afraid to upgrade anything because of the problems I had. By the way are you aware of a program known as synaptic? I downloaded it, but the server refuses to allow me access. Any suggestions?

    Bill

  8. #7
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    Synaptic is a gui for apt. Basically instead of running apt-get commands, you can click and select which programs to install.

    You need to be root to run the application. If you su then run synaptic this won't work because the X-server (is this the server you are having problems with) won't let you open up the gui because the xsession is owned by the user account.

    You need to log into an xsession as root, although a better alternative would be to use sudo.

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