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Unable to update packages: package uses Breaks; not supported in this dpkg

Posted 2010/04/27 – 1:56 pm in: Linux

I had a terrible evening figuring out what happened on my server, almost every time I tried to install a new package, it ended with an error and the following message:

package uses Breaks; not supported in this dpkg

I tried to follow hints left by error message content, ie. I tried to update dpkg (sudo apt-get install dpkg), the same error! => horrible chicken and egg dilemma.

Well after researching the web for a few hours (…), I found that it is indeed a bug between two versions of dpkg and I was stuck in it. Breaking dpkg is not a good option here….

In the end, what you have to do is to force a dpkg update, despite having it suggesting/imposing-you not to perform the update.
I did it almost manually, breaking dpkg is the last thing I wanted to do.

Here are my steps:

  1. go to debian homepage (http://packages.debian.org), look for ‘dpkg’ package and go up to the download page of dpkg software, once you’ve selected the version appropriate for your own architecture (i386 in my case). Once there, right click on the download link and copy its url
  2. log into your server and download the .deb package:
  3. check your download by running “md5sum dpgk*.deb” and comparing with md5sum displayed on debian download page
  4. if md5sums match, force dpkg to install the new packages using ‘–force-depends‘ option:
    sudo dpkg -i --force-depends dpkg*.deb

That’s should be ok by now.
Now that you’ve updated dpkg version, it can deal with the ‘Breaks’ that caused troubles previously.

sources: http://www.qc4blog.com/?p=924

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One Comment

  1. rafa
    Posted 2011/07/18 at 8:26 am | Permalink

    I tried this and dpkg is broken now with error:

    dpkg: /lib/tls/i686/cmov/libc.so.6: version `GLIBC_2.6′ not found (required by dpkg)

    Only later on I found out that I was not the first one to have this problem:

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