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Im running Debian 7.0 (3.16.0-0.bpo.4-amd64) for about a year now and it's running fine.

Yesterday I did a apt-get dist-upgrade and after some fidling with Nginx it worked fine again. However, whenever I try to use the package manager for some generic package (which can be found on the debian site), I can't download it via the package manager.

My sources.list:

# 

# deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 NETINST Binary-1 20130504-14:43]/ wheezy main

#deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 7.0.0 _Wheezy_ - Official amd64 NETINST Binary-1 20130504-14:43]/ wheezy main

deb http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main
deb-src http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy main

deb http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main
deb-src http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates main

# wheezy-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
deb http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates main
deb-src http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates main
deb http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu precise main
deb-src http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu precise main
deb http://http.debian.net/debian wheezy-backports main

I already tried apt-get clean and apt-get update but I still can't install packages like:

 sudo apt-get install python-software-properties
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Package python-software-properties is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

E: Package 'python-software-properties' has no installation candidate

or for example:

apt-get install spamassassin spamc
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 spamassassin : Depends: libhtml-parser-perl (>= 3.43) but it is not installable
                Depends: libsocket6-perl but it is not installable
                Depends: libsys-hostname-long-perl but it is not installable
                Depends: libwww-perl but it is not installable
                Depends: libnet-dns-perl (>= 0.34) but it is not installable
                Depends: libnetaddr-ip-perl but it is not installable
                Recommends: libmail-spf-perl but it is not installable
                Recommends: re2c but it is not installable
                Recommends: libio-socket-inet6-perl but it is not installable
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

Meanwhile it states on the debian website that a higher version of libhtml-parser-perl is available. (https://packages.debian.org/wheezy/libhtml-parser-perl). What is going on, and how can I fix this?

My apt-cache policy for spamassasin/dependencies:

apt-cache policy spamassassin
spamassassin:
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: 3.3.2-5+deb7u3
  Version table:
     3.4.0-2~bpo70+1 0
        100 http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy-backports/main amd64 Packages
     3.3.2-5+deb7u3 0
        500 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates/main amd64 Packages
     3.3.2-5+deb7u2 0
        -10 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages
        -10 http://debian.mirror.iweb.ca/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages
     3.3.2-2~bpo60+1 0
        100 http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports/ squeeze-backports/main amd64 Packages


apt-cache policy libhtml-parser-perl
libhtml-parser-perl:
  Installed: (none)
  Candidate: (none)
  Version table:
     3.69-2 0
        -10 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages
        -10 http://debian.mirror.iweb.ca/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages

My apt-policy:

Package files:
 100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     release a=now
 500 http://debian.mirror.iweb.ca/debian/ wheezy/main Translation-en
 -10 http://debian.mirror.iweb.ca/debian/ wheezy/main i386 Packages
     release v=7.8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian,c=main
     origin debian.mirror.iweb.ca
 -10 http://debian.mirror.iweb.ca/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages
     release v=7.8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian,c=main
     origin debian.mirror.iweb.ca
 500 http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports/ squeeze-backports/main Transl                                                              ation-en
 100 http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports/ squeeze-backports/main i386 P                                                              ackages
     release o=Debian Backports,a=squeeze-backports,n=squeeze-backports,l=Debian                                                               Backports,c=main
     origin backports.debian.org
 100 http://backports.debian.org/debian-backports/ squeeze-backports/main amd64                                                               Packages
     release o=Debian Backports,a=squeeze-backports,n=squeeze-backports,l=Debian                                                               Backports,c=main
     origin backports.debian.org
 500 http://downloads-distro.mongodb.org/repo/debian-sysvinit/ dist/10gen i386 P                                                              ackages
     release v=dist,o=mongodb,a=mongodb,n=dist,l=mongodb,c=10gen
     origin downloads-distro.mongodb.org
 500 http://downloads-distro.mongodb.org/repo/debian-sysvinit/ dist/10gen amd64                                                               Packages
     release v=dist,o=mongodb,a=mongodb,n=dist,l=mongodb,c=10gen
     origin downloads-distro.mongodb.org
 500 https://get.docker.com/ubuntu/ docker/main i386 Packages
     release n=docker,c=main
     origin get.docker.com
 500 https://get.docker.com/ubuntu/ docker/main amd64 Packages
     release n=docker,c=main
     origin get.docker.com
 500 http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy-backports/main Translation-en
 100 http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy-backports/main i386 Packages
     release v=,o=Debian Backports,a=wheezy-backports,n=wheezy-backports,l=Debia                                                              n Backports,c=main
     origin http.debian.net
 100 http://http.debian.net/debian/ wheezy-backports/main amd64 Packages
     release v=,o=Debian Backports,a=wheezy-backports,n=wheezy-backports,l=Debia                                                              n Backports,c=main
     origin http.debian.net
 500 http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu/ precise/main Translation-                                                              en
 500 http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu/ precise/main i386 Package                                                              s
     release v=12.04,o=LP-PPA-webupd8team-java,a=precise,n=precise,l=Oracle Java                                                               (JDK) 7 / 8 / 9 Installer PPA,c=main
     origin ppa.launchpad.net
 500 http://ppa.launchpad.net/webupd8team/java/ubuntu/ precise/main amd64 Packag                                                              es
     release v=12.04,o=LP-PPA-webupd8team-java,a=precise,n=precise,l=Oracle Java                                                               (JDK) 7 / 8 / 9 Installer PPA,c=main
     origin ppa.launchpad.net
 500 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates/main Translation-en
 500 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates/main i386 Packages
     release o=Debian,a=oldstable-updates,n=wheezy-updates,l=Debian,c=main
     origin ftp.nl.debian.org
 500 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy-updates/main amd64 Packages
     release o=Debian,a=oldstable-updates,n=wheezy-updates,l=Debian,c=main
     origin ftp.nl.debian.org
 500 http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates/main Translation-en
 -10 http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates/main i386 Packages
     release v=7.0,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian-Security,c=main
     origin security.debian.org
 -10 http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates/main amd64 Packages
     release v=7.0,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian-Security,c=main
     origin security.debian.org
 500 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main Translation-en
 -10 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main i386 Packages
     release v=7.8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian,c=main
     origin ftp.nl.debian.org
 -10 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages
     release v=7.8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian,c=main
     origin ftp.nl.debian.org
Pinned packages:

I did not change my sources.list neither anything in the sources.list.d. There are however some files changed by the upgrade in trusted.gpg.d.

  • Did you add other sources to your sources.list and then remove them later? – jordanm Jun 1 '15 at 14:49
  • Can you paste the output of apt-cache policy, please? Also, apt-cache policy spamassassin libhtml-parser-perl ... (the other packages mentioned). "some fidling with Nginx". Elaborate, please. – Faheem Mitha Jun 1 '15 at 14:51
  • Added to the main post. The update caused nginx to crash due to some config interpretations changes. I had one ssl server block without a certificate defined (did not care for a redirect), but had to add that. Guess it's irrelevant for the issue. – user1226868 Jun 1 '15 at 14:56
  • There's something weird going on with your preferences. What is with all the -10s? Do you have any preferences set? – Faheem Mitha Jun 1 '15 at 15:22
  • 2
    a) If you want to notify someone, you need to do @ followed by the user name. b) consider changing your user name to something more memorable than 'user' followed by a digit, and c) Check for the file /etc/apt/preferences or files inside the directory /etc/apt/preferences.d. See also man apt_preferences. Something must be modifying those preferences - they aren't the defaults. – Faheem Mitha Jun 1 '15 at 19:25
2

It is clear from information provided that the problem is (at least partly) that your current preferences are not sensible. For example, you have the following sources set to preference -10, which means (per man apt_preferences) that the packages in those sources will never be installed:

-10 http://debian.mirror.iweb.ca/debian/ wheezy/main i386 Packages
     release v=7.8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian,c=main
     origin debian.mirror.iweb.ca
 -10 http://debian.mirror.iweb.ca/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages
     release v=7.8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian,c=main
     origin debian.mirror.iweb.ca

 -10 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main i386 Packages
     release v=7.8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian,c=main
     origin ftp.nl.debian.org
 -10 http://ftp.nl.debian.org/debian/ wheezy/main amd64 Packages
     release v=7.8,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian,c=main
     origin ftp.nl.debian.org

 -10 http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates/main i386 Packages
     release v=7.0,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian-Security,c=main
     origin security.debian.org
 -10 http://security.debian.org/ wheezy/updates/main amd64 Packages
     release v=7.0,o=Debian,a=oldstable,n=wheezy,l=Debian-Security,c=main
     origin security.debian.org

Those sources correspond to all the wheezy (oldstable) i386 packages from main (from two different mirrors, but that's a detail), as well as security updates. This does not make any sense if you are actually on wheezy. I suggest you first fix this.

Check and see if you have a file called /etc/apt/preferences or files inside the directory /etc/apt/preferences.d, and if such files exist, whether they are setting these sources to -10. See also man apt_preferences. Something must be modifying those preferences - they certainly aren't the default. For reference, here are the relevant lines from the apt_preferences man page.

How APT Interprets Priorities

Priorities (P) assigned in the APT preferences file must be positive or negative integers. They are interpreted as follows (roughly speaking):

[...]

P < 0
    prevents the version from being installed
  • There was a file no_auto_wheezy in the /etc/apt/preferences.d folder that was giving the priority -10. Not sure why it was there and I'm very suspicious about it's origins. Anyway, removing it and it's working now. Thanks! – user1226868 Jun 2 '15 at 9:26

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