I can't update, upgrade or install anything at the moment because I get an error:

dpkg: unrecoverable fatal error, aborting:
files list file for package 'x11-common' contains empty filename
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (2)

I have tried to fix it but no success with that one. Also tried to reinstall but that failed with the same error. Is there anyway to fix this or am I doomed? I'm running Debian 9.


The error message means that the /var/lib/dpkg/info/x11-common.list file was corrupted somehow. To fix this, delete it:

sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/info/x11-common.list

and then re-install the package:

sudo apt --reinstall install x11-common
  • Thank you that took care of the problem, but for some reason it's trying to uninstall jitsi-meet-prosody also with that second command. I have tried to uninstall that one before without success and in the end I have error: prosody.service is not active, cannot reload. invoke-rc.d: initscript prosody, action "reload" failed. dpkg: error processing package jitsi-meet-prosody (--remove): subprocess installed post-removal script returned error exit status 1 – Mira Feb 20 '18 at 10:26
  • I might need to make another seperate question about that one. – Mira Feb 20 '18 at 10:34
  • It looks like there’s more stuff broken — the prosody.service error is probably the result of the previous removal attempt, and not related to the x11-common re-installation. You should indeed ask a separate question... – Stephen Kitt Feb 20 '18 at 10:38
  • Yes, I thought so as well. Thank you for your help! – Mira Feb 20 '18 at 10:39

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