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I use an old LMDE (Linux Mint Debian Edition) installation that went through several repository changes. I've originally tracked LMDE's repositories, then at one point switched to Debian Testing (Jessie at the time) and eventually went back to the original LMDE repos.

Now what troubles me is a problem that started to show up at some point (can't really tell when): aptitude fails to download bug reports from the server complaining about uninitialized constant XML::SaxParser. Here's a full example from today, when I was installing an updated version of flash:

# aptitude safe-upgrade 
The following packages will be upgraded: 
  mint-flashplugin-11 
1 packages upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 5,137 kB of archives. After unpacking 0 B will be used.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n/?] 
Get: 1 http://packages.linuxmint.com/ debian/import mint-flashplugin-11 amd64 11.2.202.460 [5,137 kB]
Fetched 5,137 kB in 3s (1,456 kB/s)              
Retrieving bug reports... 0% Fail
Error retrieving bug reports from the server with the following error message:
 W: uninitialized constant XML::SaxParser
It could be because your network is down, or because of broken proxy servers, or the BTS server itself is down. Check network configuration and try again
Retry downloading bug information? [Y/n]

If I answer with 'n', aptitude asks Continue the installation anyway? [y/N] and upon receiving 'y' continues without further errors but this is somewhat unnerving, as you can imagine.

What can I do to get rid of this message?

My apt sources in case they are needed:

deb http://packages.linuxmint.com debian main upstream import 
deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest/ testing main contrib non-free
deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest/security testing/updates main contrib non-free
deb http://debian.linuxmint.com/latest/multimedia testing main non-free
deb http://extra.linuxmint.com debian main
deb http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/ stable main
deb http://downloads.hipchat.com/linux/apt stable main
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The error message is produced by apt-listbugs. If you purge that package (for now), you should be able to use aptitude or apt-get again...

You can then try re-installing apt-listbugs from the LMDE repositories, but you should make sure that all its dependencies are LMDE versions as well. You can use apt-show-versions to determine where your packages are coming from en masse.

  • I've removed apt-listbugs for now and that helped, thank you for pointing that out. – Erathiel May 25 '15 at 10:25

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