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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117
votes
5answers
21k 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 ...
102
votes
12answers
35k 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 ...
16
votes
6answers
1k 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?
10
votes
3answers
10k views

Installing a .deb package in home directory

Is it possible to install a .deb package completely under my home directory at debian?
9
votes
4answers
854 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 ...
8
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 ...
7
votes
2answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
2answers
152 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
2answers
1k 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 ...
5
votes
3answers
456 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
439 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
8k 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
4answers
160 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
445 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
824 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
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
225 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
203 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
37 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
2k views

“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? ...
4
votes
1answer
208 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
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
74 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
3answers
107 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
2answers
424 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
1answer
183 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
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
4answers
161 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
427 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
2answers
31 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
36 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
96 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
466 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
210 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
2answers
59 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
70 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 ...
3
votes
4answers
8k 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
152 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
813 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 ...
3
votes
1answer
85 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
6k 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
3answers
463 views

Can't install dpkg on Linux 2.6.18

I have a virtual machine that I am trying to use. It doesn't seem to have dpkg or apt-get, so I downloaded the source from http://packages.debian.org/sid/dpkg-dev. If I run ./configure followed by ...
2
votes
3answers
656 views

How to install StackApplet on Debian?

I would love to install StackApplet on Debian 6.0.2! I downloaded 'stackapplet_1.4.0_all.deb' and ran following command: root@debian:/home/dagrevis/Downloads# dpkg -i stackapplet_1.4.0_all.deb ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

Why did 'apt-get install ffmpeg' fail?

I dont understand how or why apt-get install failed. It mentions ssmtp which is simple smtp which i use to send mail from my server to my google apps account. I dont understand what is wrong or how to ...
2
votes
2answers
1k views

List of installed programs without running a program in the system

My Linux Mint 15 broke and there seems to be no way to fix it. I cannot boot it so I haven't got access to the terminal. What I'm going to do is make a backup of /home with a flash disk running Mint ...
2
votes
1answer
370 views

Prompting for input in post-install script in dpkg

I am writing a debian package and need to prompt the user for some textual details(default password, etc), as well as some one-of-many choices("Pick one of the following: foo, bar"). Will shell ...
2
votes
3answers
53 views

'ImportError: No module named _struct' error when managing packages

I'm running elementary OS 0.2 (based on Ubuntu 12.04) and starting today I'm seeing a weird error when attempting to install/upgrade packages. Just now for example I did a: sudo apt-get update ...
2
votes
2answers
154 views

dpkg won't install package with dependencies that have newer version

Please someone explain to me this, because it makes no sense: $ dpkg -i freeling-3.1-quantal-x86_64.deb Selecting previously unselected package freeling. (Reading database ... 283003 files and ...
2
votes
1answer
46 views

How can I know the dependency packages for an installed package?

Let's say I installed foo. The foo package depends on bar, so bar was installed to satisfy foo's dependency. How can I get Ubuntu/APT/dpkg to tell me that bar is installed because foo is installed? ...
2
votes
2answers
927 views

Can I determine what changed in an upgraded package using apt or dpkg on Debian 6?

I just did an apt-get upgrade on my Debian 6 development server and noticed that a certain package named tinyproxy was upgraded. I have a particular interest in seeing precisely what changed in that ...