The base software for Debian/Ubuntu/Mint package management. Use this tag for questions about dpkg and its companion utilities and the .deb file format.

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120
votes
5answers
22k views

I deleted /bin/rm. How do I recover it?

Just for fun, I thought I would use this command on my Raspberry PI running Raspbian: sudo rm -f /bin/rm I thought I could just reinstall coreutils: I was wrong! apt-get install --reinstall ...
107
votes
12answers
40k views

What are the pros/cons of deb vs. rpm?

For whatever reasons, I've always used RPM based distros (Fedora, Centos and currently openSUSE). I have often heard it stated that deb is better than rpm, but when asked why, have never been able to ...
17
votes
6answers
2k views

What's .deb and .rpm and how is it different from .msi?

What are these file formats and how do they differ from the .msi format in Windows? Also what are the pros and cons of these package management schemes?
13
votes
2answers
25k views

“E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1) ” What does this mean?

I've seen this message several times whenever someone has a problem installing, upgrading or removing some piece of software, but I wonder, what does it mean, and more importantly, how can I solve it? ...
10
votes
3answers
12k views

Installing a .deb package in home directory

Is it possible to install a .deb package completely under my home directory at debian?
10
votes
4answers
979 views

How can I reliably “hold” a package in Debian?

I have a package in Debian that has been manually patched (not ideal, I know) that I must hold at its current version so upgrades don't overwrite the patched changes (I will manually inspect and apply ...
9
votes
1answer
2k views

How to make dpkg faster?

Package (un)installation on a Debian system is horribly slow, partly because it works with a whole bunch of (small) files. Short of getting faster storage, how do I speed it up? I'm thinking maybe ...
8
votes
2answers
5k views

What packages are installed by default in Debian? Is there a term for that set? Why some of those packages are `automatically installed` and some not?

It's a very simple question, but I wonder, is there a term to refer to the subset of packages that is automatically installed by Debian distribution? I though that it had something to do with ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

feeding input values to dpkg-reconfigure in non-interactive way

I would like to configure ubuntu package via dpkg-reconfigure with all the values supplied via non-interactive mode (in the script). In fact my case is firebird confiiguration ...
7
votes
2answers
179 views

Re-installing apps after a fresh install?

I'm on Debian and I want to re-partition my drive and reinstall. Is there an easy way to restore all currently installed packages after a fresh installation? I'm thinking of doing it by making a ...
6
votes
3answers
494 views

Why do package managers need lock files?

dpkg uses a lock file (/var/lib/dpkg/lock), when in use. Why are these lockfiles needed? Why are multiple instances not possible?
5
votes
1answer
481 views

Conflict? dpkg, apt, apt-get, aptitude, and synaptic

So, I ssh into a (very) remote Ubuntu 10.4 server to do some admin and web dev+design. And I was looking through the various package manager options. There's a lot. The big ones are dpkg, apt, ...
5
votes
1answer
10k views

Not able to lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock (read only)

I was trying to install ruby on my remote server(this is a vm machine(debian) in a esxi server . ) I got this error: The Command: sudo apt-get install ruby1.8 Error : W: Not using locking for read ...
5
votes
2answers
324 views

Does Debian's dpkg store the time/date of package changes (.i.e. installation/purges)?

I know that dpkg and dpkg-query are good tools to find out about packages currently installed on a Debian system. Besides the information logged to the files /var/log/dpkg.log.* is there any other ...
5
votes
4answers
175 views

Install a .deb completely 'by hand'

So, I recently acquired a brand new Nokia N900 phone off of an online auction site for a fairly reasonable price. The N900 is a Linux phone, and it came out a long time ago, but it's only just now ...
5
votes
1answer
467 views

Firefox circular-dependency hell on Linux Mint 13

Having difficulty re-installing Firefox, after an installation to resolve places.sqlite issues. It appears that I'm trapped in circular dependency hell. Need to resolve firefox dependency hell to ...
4
votes
3answers
902 views

How to list currently not installed packages?

I'd like to output a list of all, currently not installed, packages (they are visible in Synaptic for example) using only shell commands. How do I do this?
4
votes
2answers
144 views

Debian: prevent particular file from being overwritten during package upgrade

I understand that a package has two components: config and data files. During package upgrade (i.e. security upgrade) data files can be overwritten, but config files should always stay the same. Also ...
4
votes
2answers
3k views

I cannot install new packages: “Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock”

I am new to Linux (installed Ubuntu for the first time yesterday), and have never dealt with any unix-based OS. I started using Linux for the sole purpose of collaborating code with my partners via ...
4
votes
3answers
553 views

Can removed Debian packages have leftover files?

I noticed a weird thing in my /etc/init.d files and tried to look a bit what was going on. Here's my problem: # apt-file search /etc/init.d/minissdpd minissdpd: /etc/init.d/minissdpd # ...
4
votes
2answers
54 views

Sort installed applications according by usage frequency?

My / is running low. So I am considering freeing up some space by uninstalling some packages. “Which installed software packages use the most disk space on Debian?” already covers sorting by size, but ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Installed using apt-get, then ran out of storage

I attempted to install a large package, forgetting that I had little space left, and now I am a little stuck. When I attempt to remove any packages I get the following error: E: dpkg was ...
4
votes
1answer
602 views

Unable to remove openmediavault package due to postrm script error

I'm a Unix noob so struggling a bit with the commands. Managed to set up SABnzb, Sickbeard and Couch Potato and all working nicely I have a problem with Ubuntu 12.04 server. When trying to upgrade or ...
4
votes
1answer
952 views

listing packages in Debian, a la `dpkg -l`, but including the package origin/source

I want to list all packages of the form $ dpkg -l libav\* but in addition to this output, I would like the origin/source (I'm not sure of the preferred term) of each package. If the package doesn't ...
4
votes
1answer
2k views

How to fix zramswap error?

I installed zramswap-enabler on Ubuntu 11.10 using the ppa but when installing programs or running system upgrades I get this error: Setting up zramswap-enabler (0.2.1-0~12~oneiric1) ... start: Job ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

Sharing code between dpkg scripts

What is the standard way to share code between the dpkg scripts (preinst, postinst, prerm, postrm)? I can see how to share code between just postinst and prerm (by installing it as part of the ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

How to remove Dropbox

I am trying to remove Dropbox from my computer. So far I have done the following: sudo aptitude remove dropbox sudo aptitude purge dropbox But this didn't get rid of it 100% oshiro@debian:~$ ...
3
votes
3answers
146 views

List all software installed from particular component (non-free, contrib)

Is there a way to list all non-free and contrib software installed in Debian via apt? /etc/apt/sources.list is as follows deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main non-free contrib deb-src ...
3
votes
1answer
290 views

Why does grep change the length of output lines?

I often use dpkg or aptitude combined with grep when I want to list certain packages available or installed on my system, but I noticed that when I add | grep, the output lines look a little bit ...
3
votes
1answer
163 views

After creating a .deb: dpkg:warning while removing, directory /usr/local/bin not empty so not removed

I have created a package of zsh 5.0.7 from sources and now I can install it successfully but when I try to remove it I get this: $ sudo dpkg -i zsh_5.0.7_amd64.deb Selecting previously unselected ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

Is dpkg available for Cygwin?

I don't use Windows all that often, but I've found my self in a position where I'm stuck in front of one quite a bit temporarily. So I've been investigating Cygwin. My question is dpkg available for ...
3
votes
1answer
106 views

Error message: unknown user 'geoclue' in statoverride file

I obtained a strange error message inside a chroot: unknown user 'geoclue' in statoverride file when running apt-get install or apt-get upgrade. I use schroot to enter this chroot. I found that I ...
3
votes
4answers
193 views

Get package sources and repository link

Is there any way (dpkg, apt?) to get a package's sources and URL to repository, if available, in Debian ?
3
votes
2answers
524 views

Install downloaded packages with dependencies

I sometimes download .deb packages from the internet and install them with dpkg -i package.deb If the packages have unmet dependencies. How can I install the dependencies automatically (similar to ...
3
votes
1answer
45 views

Restore original configuration for every package in system

I have been running a rolling release distro for a couple of years now and switched from LXDE to GNOME to KDE over the years. As you can imagine over the time a lot of configuration files have been ...
3
votes
2answers
42 views

Get package version of file

I've deleted a file in /etc provided by package packageA. Is there a way that I can reinstall only that file, provided I know where it is and which package provides it? I'm running Ubuntu 12.04 and ...
3
votes
1answer
38 views

Flag a package as being configured on Debian even if it's not

For various reasons, I have a package on my Debian system which cannot configure itself properly. I know why and I don't want to correct the problem right now. However, I want to avoid apt trying to ...
3
votes
2answers
116 views

Naming conventions / translation between dpkg and apt packages?

I've been trying to figure out package management in debian a little better. I figured out that you can list all the packages on your system by using the "apt-cache pkgnames" command: ...
3
votes
2answers
673 views

Debian dpkg broken after apt-get upgrade

I have been running Debian Wheezy for a long time. Today I ran a dpkg upgrade, which has somehow broken things badly. The upgrade aborted, and now apt-get and dpkg are not running. # dpkg dpkg: error ...
3
votes
2answers
328 views

How do I remove persistent config data from APT?

When I remove packages from my system with APT-based programs, they often leave behind some kind of residue (referred to as "residual config") that seems to serve no purpose other than annoying me. ...
3
votes
1answer
360 views

Replacing Multiple Debian Packages from Compiled Source

I've had to download and install a version of a library from its source code repository. The problem is is that other packages from the Kubuntu package manager require this library to be installed. ...
3
votes
2answers
618 views

apt-get returns strange error

I am on kali linux and when I run apt-get update it returns this: W: Unknown flag value: yes W: You may want to run apt-get update to correct these problems after running apt-get update several ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

Ubuntu 12.04: updating package message

When ever I updated packages, (they update) I receive the following message about TeXLive: dpkg: warning: parsing file '/var/lib/dpkg/status' near line 2888 package 'texlive-local': missing ...
3
votes
1answer
232 views

How to force a file location in equivs-build

I have some files that I would like to install using .deb files created using equivs-build. What I cannot understand is the syntax required in the .equivs file. This is my file layout: myapp.equivs ...
3
votes
4answers
10k views

debian: Remove or reinstall package in a very bad inconsistent state

I'm having a package management problem: At some point, I must have interrupted an update or something, because the bluez package has broken. I've tried removing and/or reinstalling, but I get ...
3
votes
2answers
264 views

What means “unable to make backup link of /binary before installing new version: No such file or directory”?

I'm trying to upgrade some package in a VM, but I dpkg refuses to apply the upgrades due the following: dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/ifupdown_0.7.5ubuntu2.2_amd64.deb (--unpack): ...
3
votes
1answer
150 views

Backtrace of “git clone” running inside qemu-user-emulation based arm-chroot

I'm running a wheezy:armhf chroot using qemu user emulation on my jessie:x86_64 system. Somehow, a git clone on a particular private repository will hang inside the chroot, while succeed natively. ...
2
votes
4answers
7k views

dpkg: new pre-installation script returned error exit status 1

I ended up dealing with a software meant to be deployed using dpkg. The .deb package works fine on the test env but fail on staging. Both are running the same version of Ubuntu but I am not 100% sure ...
2
votes
4answers
815 views

How to recreate /var/lib/dpkg/status?

I have deleted some files around /var/lib/dpkg/, namely: /var/lib/dpkg/status /var/lib/dpkg/available /var/lib/dpkg/info/* I understand Debian uses these files to keep some information about ...
2
votes
3answers
300 views

Install from a deb file, by dpkg -i or by apt?

I have a deb package for installation. Shall I install by dpkg -i my.deb, or by apt? Will both handle the software dependency problem well? If by apt, how can I install from the deb by apt?