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OS and HW: Debian Jessie x64 cinnamon on Lenovo G50-45

I have just installed a new Debian Jessie (Debian 8.7.1 x86_64 Cinnamon) on a friend's laptop, and I needed to upgrade the kernel and some stuff, I was directed to these steps by a person in the #debian IRC chat with these 3 packages in order to get the WiFi working:

linux-image-4.8.0-0.bpo.2-amd64_4.8.15-2~bpo8+2_amd64.deb
linux-base_4.3~bpo8+1_all.deb
firmwqare-atheros_20161130-2~bpo8+1_all.deb

The problem I am having now is that I am unable to install anything.

Every program I try to install, even simple things like DosBox, give me errors about dependencies that are unsatisfiable.

What is the reason for this and how to remedy it?

Log of terminal output:

$ sudo apt-get install wine

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package wine

$ sudo add-apt-repository ppa:ubuntu-wine/ppa
sudo: add-apt-repository: command not found

$ sudo apt-get update
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie InRelease
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie Release.gpg
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie Release
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie/contrib amd64 Packages/DiffIndex
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie/main amd64 Packages/DiffIndex
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie/non-free amd64 Packages/DiffIndex
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie/contrib Translation-en_US
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie/contrib Translation-en
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie/main Translation-en_US
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie/main Translation-en
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie/non-free Translation-en_US
Ign cdrom://[Debian GNU/Linux 8 _Jessie_ - Official Snapshot amd64 LIVE/INSTALL Binary 20170117-02:05] jessie/non-free Translation-en
Reading package lists... Done

$ sudo apt-get install software-properties-common
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package software-properties-common

$ sudo apt-get install dosbox
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
E: Unable to locate package dosbox

$ 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

1 Answer 1

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The reason for this is probably bad contents of your software sources. To remedy it:

  1. Edit your sources, with your favorite editor, use nano if unsure:

    sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
    
  2. Comment out (with #) all of the CD lines.

  3. Make sure there is something apart from the CDs;

  4. if there is nothing else, you may copy-paste the following complete list:

    deb http://httpredir.debian.org/debian jessie main contrib non-free
    deb-src http://httpredir.debian.org/debian jessie main contrib non-free
    
    deb http://httpredir.debian.org/debian jessie-updates main contrib non-free
    deb-src http://httpredir.debian.org/debian jessie-updates main contrib non-free
    
    deb http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free
    deb-src http://security.debian.org/ jessie/updates main contrib non-free
    
  5. update cache:

    sudo apt-get update
    
  6. install whatever you need ;)

It may be wise to consider some things, namely in this answer, these two:

  • If you don't need software sources, you may omit deb-src lines. That means, if you currently don't need to compile any software by yourself, you don't need these lines, but since they don't hurt...

  • If you intend to use only pure GNU free software, you may omit non-free from all lines, if unsure, or new to Linux, you will probably want to have some non-free software, though...

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  • Thank you! I ended up figuring that out shortly after this post, but I was unale to get back to the page quickly enough to delete my post.... everything is updating just fine now. I ended up copying my sources.list from one system to the other... Thank you though! Your sources are cleaner formatted than what I had, and don't include my personal repositories, so I am using them now. :)
    – Ben
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 5:53
  • 1
    If you don't need source code you can comment out (with #) all lines that start deb-src. Less known is to use apt rather than apt-get, so the command could be (assuming you have sudo) is just sudo apt update.
    – user8779
    Commented Jan 29, 2017 at 11:40

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