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Old 11-17-2006, 10:17 PM   #1
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Debian Testing / Unstable
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Please help - GNOME is broken after OOM Killer went on a rampage during upgrade

I was doing an 'aptitude -t testing upgrade' which I have done several times before but this time I think it overloaded things (205 packages were being installed). All the packages downloaded and 'dpkg' was doing it's thing when all of a sudden the 'out of memory' messages started appearing, the oom killer kicked in and managed to kill a few gnome-cups-icon tasks but it was hopelessly thrashing and I had to pull the plug on the machine, it wasn't coming back.

Now I have 71 broken packages and a tangled mess. I tried 'dpkg --configure -a' in an attempt to finish installing partially installed packages but that didn't do anything. Then when I went into aptitude and listed broken packages I saw a bunch that were dependent on 'xfree86-common', which I reinstalled, but the broken package(s) still appeared in aptitude after I did this. I don't want to do 'aptitude dist-upgrade' because it says it would REMOVE gdm and gnome and I definitely don't want that.

I can't start gnome now and despair is right outside the door. If anybody has a suggested methodology about how to untangle the mess and
get to some sort of stable point I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.
Old 11-17-2006, 10:46 PM   #2
Registered: Apr 2002
Location: in a fallen world
Distribution: slackware by choice, others too :} ... android.
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Well, if you usually keep downloaded packages rather than purging them
after an install there should be no problem with removing and re-installing
Gnome from my perspective. The only thing I'd watch if I were you is not
doing things from the GUI, and maybe adding a tad more swap-space before you
fire apt up again if you're short on RAM which the OOM suggests.

Old 11-19-2006, 03:41 PM   #3
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Debian Testing / Unstable
Posts: 180

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Error caused by mismatch between Gnome and libpango1.0.common

Thanks for the reply tinkster. After I posted I got to a (somewhat) 'stable ' position by doing an 'aptitude upgrade' from the stable distribution. This cleared up the broken packages but then attempts to logon wouldn't bring up the gdm screen. .xsession-errors showed errors caused by calls to pango from gdm, but the pango version I was
at was from the testing distribution, which didn't have pango-querymodules, etc. etc.

I took your suggestion and removed gnome (64) and am now attempting to install gnome, gdm, and about 15 other dependencies from the testing distribution (178 NEW packages total, 200+ upgraded, 50 some removed) which is gonna take up a bunch of disk space which I can't afford to use but there's no other choice. Once I'm able to login I'll see what I can do about removing some space hogs like OpenOffice. Package dependencies are a really messed up and royal pain in the ass.

Oh yeah, this time I'm doing the upgrade in single-user mode so there should be plenty of resources available.

Thanks again for your help.

Last edited by sixerjman; 11-19-2006 at 03:44 PM.
Old 11-20-2006, 05:56 PM   #4
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: Debian Testing / Unstable
Posts: 180

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Rep: Reputation: 32
SUCCESS! After many, many aptitude runs, including a few to REMOVE EVEN MORE packages
to free up space, and a run of 'localpurge' which was VERY KEY (freed up 268MB), GNOME, gdm and all the rest went on like a charm. Before the final big run I cleaned out the cache with 'aptitude clean' and just downloaded what I needed, which went pretty fast because I had set up a new 'sources.list' with 'netselect-apt'. Thanks again tinkster! :-D


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