Unix & Linux Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for users of Linux, FreeBSD and other Un*x-like operating systems. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I am using Linux Mint 12 and currently have the Mate desktop running. The icon in the upper right showed their were updates. Tried to do it and it said that

The package system is broken

Check if you are using third party repositories. If so disable them, since they are a common source of problems. Furthermore run the following command in a Terminal: apt-get install -f

The details are:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:

mint-artwork-gnome: Depends: gtk2-engines-clearlooks but it is a virtual package Depends: mint-backgrounds-lisa but it is not installed

sudo apt-get install -f gives this output:

Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done

Correcting dependencies... Done

The following extra packages will be installed:
mint-backgrounds-lisa The following NEW packages will be installed:
mint-backgrounds-lisa 0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 32 not upgraded. 4 not fully installed or removed. Need to get 0 B/3,003 kB of archives. After this operation, 3,265 kB of additional disk space will be used. Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y (Reading database ... 482703 files and directories currently installed.) Unpacking mint-backgrounds-lisa (from .../mint-backgrounds-lisa_1.1_all.deb) ... dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/mint-backgrounds-lisa_1.1_all.deb (--unpack):
trying to overwrite '/usr/share/gnome-background-properties/linuxmint-lisa.xml', which is also in package mint-artwork-kde 2.0.1 dpkg-deb: error: subprocess paste was killed by signal (Broken pipe) Errors were encountered while processing:
/var/cache/apt/archives/mint-backgrounds-lisa_1.1_all.deb E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

If I try and install the latest version of Chromium by double-clicking the deb file is says:

gdebi-gtk Broken Dependencies

Your system has broken dependencies. This application cannot continue until this is fixed. To fix it run 'gksudo synaptic' or 'sudo apt-get install -f' in a terminal window.

If I run 'gksudo synaptic' Synaptic comes up and says:

(as superuser) You have 1 broken package on your system!

Use the "Broken" filter to locate it.

The Broken filter shows:

Synaptic Broken Installed Version Latest Version Description
mint-artwork-gnome 2.6.20 2.6.20 Default Artwork for Linux Mint

Trying to reinstall the above package gives:

An error occurred The following details are provided:

E: /var/cache/apt/archives/mint-backgrounds-lisa_1.1_all.deb: trying to overwrite '/usr/share/gnome-background-properties/linuxmint-lisa.xml', which is also in package mint-artwork-kde 2.0.1

One easy solution is probably to not run Mate with Linux Mint (this is my first try), but just wondering if this is fixable.

share|improve this question
up vote 0 down vote accepted

A quick and dirty fix, was hack the dpkg records,

Since /usr/share/gnome-background-properties/linuxmint-lisa.xml belongs two packages, you're going to remove it from one,

Goto /var/lib/dpkg/info/mint-artwork-kde.list, remove that xml filename from the file.

And redo apt-get -f install

Notice in the future this package conflicts will be solved by the packager (let's hope), and later updates will not be affected.

share|improve this answer
KDE is my primary desktop. So I can do the second solution with no serious impact to KDE usage? – Scooter Nov 4 '12 at 10:43
@Scooter answer updated, it won't get you problem – warl0ck Nov 4 '12 at 10:48
I deleted this line /usr/share/gnome-background-properties/linuxmint-lisa.xml from this file /var/lib/dpkg/info/mint-artwork-kde.list . However, apt-get install -f is still not happy and still complaining about lisa. EDIT: I removed all the lines with lisa in them and now install -f gives a different error, in fact it refers to it as a Traceback. Guess Mate and KDE don't play well together. Or Mate and Mint. – Scooter Nov 4 '12 at 10:58

An alternative to manually hacking dpkg data files is to use the --force-overwrite option to dpkg, e.g.,

dpkg -i --force-overwrite /var/cache/apt/archives/mint-backgrounds-lisa_1.1_all.deb
share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.