I'm working with a VirtualBox 4.2.14 VM and Debian 6 Sqeeze as guest system and want to install some PHP modules:

root@devmv:~# apt-get install php5-fpm
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:
 php5-fpm : Depends: php5-common (= 5.4.17-1~dotdeb.0) but 5.4.17-1~dotdeb.1 is to be installed
E: Broken packages

What I'm not getting: php5-fpm : Depends: php5-common (=5.4.17-1~dotdeb.0) but5.4.17-1~dotdeb.1 is to be installed

So, for the installation a package / package version is needed, that is already installed. What is the problem? Why is it a dependency issue?

  • This is a production environment? If that's the case you are better using wheezy instead squeeze.
    – Braiam
    Jul 23, 2013 at 8:46
  • It's a local dev VM.
    – automatix
    Jul 23, 2013 at 18:50

3 Answers 3


The versions of the packages that php5-common depends on are actually not identical despite the fact that their versions are similar. One is 5.4.17-1~dotdeb*.0* the other is 5.4.17-1~dotdeb*.1*.

I agree that it is somewhat confusing that .1 doesn't satisfy a .0 dependency.

I would start with doing an

apt-get clean

and then redo

apt-get update
apt-get upgrade
  • 1
    And keep in mind, this is likely related to you using non-debian sources again, as listed in your previous answer. Debian is really about keeping a stable image, if you want newer software, just move the whole thing to Debian Testing or Debian Unstable (don't move to Unstable, unless you know the risks). Jul 21, 2013 at 15:47
  • I had to install PHP from the source. Now it seems to work. Anyway, thank you for the answer!
    – automatix
    Jul 21, 2013 at 16:00

First of all "~dotdeb" packages are not official Debian ones. It's best to avoid using 3rd party packages unless absolutely necessary. Clearly in this case the problem was introduced by those extra packages that didn't come with Squeeze. When you need newer software than what's provided by the particular Debian release please consider checking Official Debian Backports or even pull newer packages from "testing".

When apt-get give up aptitude may suggest resolution to fix such problem by installing or upgrading corresponding packages.

Installing PHP from source is crazy because you lose native distro updates (bug fixes and especially security patches) so you'll have to follow PHP updates, backport patches and rebuild your custom installation as soon as fix for yet another CVE becomes available. Resolving minor package dependency issue is much easier...

Besides some other OS components may not be compatible with your custom PHP build so you're opening gates to potential problems that no Debian maintainer would be able to help you with... Not only rebuilding PHP requires time and effort but you're also losing support by giving up native packages...


Find which line in /etc/apt/sources.list or /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ and comment it. Then run apt-get update and try install php5-fpm again.

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