I have a very stripped Debian distro on a small custom computer that I purchased (don't know much about this distro as it was recommended on some site). The name is 'sid' and runs kernel. Unfortunately it doesn't have any PPA's in the sources.list file so I cannot apt-get any software. I am trying to get libxml2 (Gnome package) for a program called xmllint.

Since I cannot apt-get this software I need to get each debian package. Going further it needs:

libxml2 depends > multiarch (the computer is i586 not i386) > libc > libc-dev > ... and so on until infinity.

This distro has the build-essentials installed but I can't instal libc and libc-dev alone as it leads to 100's of more dependencies.

Where can I go from here?

  • 1
    Populate /etc/apt/sources.list with the correct entries (adding a Debian mirror should be sufficient) and let apt-get update && apt-get install libxml2 do it's magic.
    – Marco
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 14:39
  • Used: debgen.simplylinux.ch to get a Debian ppa. Thanks!
    – rvk
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 14:51
  • It's great that you could solve the problem with Marco's suggestion, because it's obviously the best solution, when possible, but if you really did not have access to apt online, you could use apt-offline to avoid hunting for dependencies. Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 16:26
  • PPA is an Ubuntu term, not a Debian term. Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 17:43
  • @FaheemMitha The OP probably meant populating the sources.list with a valid mirror. Even on Ubuntu you don't put PPAs in the sources.list. Debian supports PPAs if you know the compatibility implications: add-apt-repository ppa:<repository-name>
    – Marco
    Commented Jul 17, 2013 at 18:56

1 Answer 1


Pick a mirror from the list of mirrors or run netselect-apt and add valid mirror to your /etc/apt/sources.list. Example:

deb http://ftp.ca.debian.org/debian unstable main

Then run an apt-get update to update the package list, followed by

apt-get install libxml2

to install libxml2 including dependencies.

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