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My Ubuntu system has been giving me trouble whenever I try to install or uninstall or update software using apt-get.

Whenever I run these commands it returns an error with regards my status file. The path to this file is /var/lib/dpkg/status.

The error I get is as follows:

dpkg: parse error, in file '/var/lib/dpkg/status' near line 95 package 'python-nova':
 `Depends' field, invalid package name `python:any': character `:' not allowed (only letters, digits and characters `-+._')
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (2)

Can anyone help me sort out my problem?


The output of lsb_release -a; uname -a; apt-cache policy python-nova is:

No LSB modules are available.
Distributor ID: Ubuntu
Description:    Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS
Release:    14.04
Codename:   trusty
Linux astanton-ws 3.19.0-26-generic #28~14.04.1-Ubuntu SMP Wed Aug 12 14:09:17 UTC 2015 x86_64 x86_64 x86_64 GNU/Linux
python-nova:
  Installed: 1:2014.1.5-0ubuntu1.3
  Candidate: 1:2014.1.5-0ubuntu1.4
  Version table:
     1:2014.1.5-0ubuntu1.4 0
        500 http://ie.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-updates/main amd64 Packages
 *** 1:2014.1.5-0ubuntu1.3 0
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     1:2014.1.3-0ubuntu1.1 0
        500 http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty-security/main amd64 Packages
     1:2014.1-0ubuntu1 0
        500 http://ie.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ trusty/main amd64 Packages

The output of sed -n '80,97p' /var/lib/dpkg/status is:

 high performance Document Object Model (DOM) implementation. Additionally, it
 supports using the XML Path Language (XPath) to find and extract information.
Homepage: https://metacpan.org/release/XML-LibXML/
Original-Maintainer: Debian Perl Group <pkg-perl-maintainers@lists.alioth.debian.org>

Package: python-nova
Status: install ok installed
Priority: extra
Section: python
Installed-Size: 38347
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <ubuntu-devel-discuss@lists.ubuntu.com>
Architecture: all
Source: nova
Version: 1:2014.1.5-0ubuntu1.3
Provides: python2.7-nova
Depends: openssh-client, openssl, python-amqplib (>= 0.6.1), python-anyjson (>= 0.3.3), python-babel, python-boto (>= 2.4.0), python-cinderclient (>= 1:1.0.5), python-eventlet (>= 0.13.0), python-glanceclient (>= 1:0.9.0), python-greenlet (>= 0.3.2), python-iso8601, python-jinja2, python-jsonschema (>= 1.3.0), python-keystoneclient (>= 1:0.3.2), python-kombu (>= 2.5.12), python-lxml (>= 2.3), python-m2crypto, python-migrate, python-netaddr (>= 0.7.6), python-neutronclient (>= 1:2.3.0), python-oslo.config (>= 1:1.2.0), python-paramiko (>= 1.8.0), python-paste, python-pastedeploy (>= 1.5.0), python-pyasn1, python-pycadf (>= 0.1.9), python-routes, python-simplejson, python-six (>= 1.5.2), python-sqlalchemy-ext (>= 0.7.8-1~) | python-sqlalchemy (<< 0.6.3-2), python-stevedore (>= 0.12), python-suds, python-webob (>= 1.2.3), sudo, python (>= 2.7), python (<< 2.8), python:any (>= 2.7.1-0ubuntu2), python-pbr, python-sqlalchemy (>= 0.8~), python-sqlalchemy (<< 0.9), python-oslo.rootwrap, python-oslo.messaging
Recommends: python-mysqldb
Suggests: python-ldap`
  • Edit your question and add the output of lsb_release -a; uname -a; apt-cache policy python-nova – A.B. Nov 9 '15 at 12:32
  • It's interesting, usually python:any is a valid entry for Depends – A.B. Nov 9 '15 at 13:18
  • Any chance of sed -n '80,97p' /var/lib/dpkg/status please. Or better, the corresponding package definition block in its entirety (flag up line 95 if you take this option). – roaima Nov 9 '15 at 14:29
  • You're not the first to have a similar problem (unix.stackexchange.com/questions/174362/… unix.stackexchange.com/questions/236668/… …). The thing is, python:any is a valid package name since at least dpkg 1.16.2 (in Ubuntu, since Ubuntu 11.04). What is the output of dpkg --version and dpkg --print-foreign-architectures? Did you initially install trusty or is this an upgrade? – Gilles Nov 10 '15 at 0:06
  • That second problem is actually another question I posted - I'm still stuck with the problem ;) The output of dpkg --version is 1.15.5.6ubuntu2 (i386) The output of dpkg --print-foreign-architectures is dpkg: unknown option --print-foreign-architectures And I do not know as the computer was set up by another person. I would assume it was initially installed though. – Antoin Stanton Nov 10 '15 at 8:34

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