I tried to help a friend with hard drive boot problems.

I first asked her to make a rescue disk (Ubuntu 12.04.3), and boot from it. Then I asked her to open a console (Alt+F1) and use sudo to become root. All OK.

Then I told her to install openssh-server - so I can remotely login and look at the system - but that does not work: openssh-client (and some other applications) are reported as "not going to be installed".

But openssh-client is already installed: checking with dpkg -l openssh-client shows this to be the case.

Why doesn't this work?

  • Please post the exact error messages, and also post apt-cache policy for the relevant packages, e.g. openssh-client. – Faheem Mitha Jan 13 '14 at 7:39
  • @FaheemMitha I cannot see the terminal (for clear reasons :-) ), but I'll ask. – Tando Jan 13 '14 at 7:47
  • The output of apt-cache policy would explain why the "not going to be installed" message is shown. – Faheem Mitha Jan 13 '14 at 8:08
  • Cannot edit my question, because of spam – Tando Jan 13 '14 at 8:21
  • openssh-server : Depends: openssh-client (= 1:5.9p1-5ubuntu1) Recommends: xauth but it is not going to be installed Recommends: ssh-import-id but it is not going to be installed – Tando Jan 13 '14 at 8:22

This is a problem with apt-get, it knows about dependencies, but does not know how to upgrade a dependency. And since 12.04.3 was released, both openssh-client and openssh-server have been updated, but the first is already installed on the rescue DVD.

You can have your friend do a complete upgrade of all packages before installing openssh-server. What is much quicker is to do:

apt-get remove -y openssh-client
apt-get install -y openssh-client ubuntu-desktop openssh-server

(ubuntu-desktop is depending on openssh-client, so it gets removed with first command)

You should be able to do

apt-get install openssh-client

but I never got that to work, and removing first does.

  • I have her try right now. Why does apt-get not find matching openssh-server and not only latest version? – Tando Jan 13 '14 at 7:15

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