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Old 03-17-2009, 08:53 PM   #1
Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Asheville, NC, USA
Distribution: Mint 17 Rebecca
Posts: 145

Rep: Reputation: 18
Problem with file permission to fix Synaptic Package Manager

Hi Everyone

I managed to break Synaptic Package Manager. Im using Ubuntu Studio 2.1.
I was doing an update/upgrade and installed a file set that included
the file "zenity". After the upgrade, Synaptic complained that..

Reading package list...error

e : problem parsing dependency depends.
e : error occurred while processing file zenity (newversion1).
e : problem with mergelist /var/lib/dpkg/status
e : the package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

I finally managed to copy /var/lib/dpkg/status file to my desktop for a backup
and then change the permission so I could edit it.

I looked at my laptop and found a similar file listing that as comma's
instead of hyphens.

I looked at the line listed and changed the hyphen to a comma.

I was not able to edit the file while it was in the /var/lib/dpkg folder,
so I deleted the original since I had the corrected copy.

Now to the next problem.

I cant copy the file from my desktop to /var/lib/dpkg.
When I try to copy the /Desktop/status file it says it does not exist.
I dont know what the file extension is for status either.

Im mostly sure its a root vs normal user thing, but I dont kn know
how to fix that part.

So that is where I need your advice.
That is assuming that I have the first part right.

So what do you think guys?

Thanks in advance

Old 03-20-2009, 09:40 PM   #2
Registered: Aug 2007
Location: Asheville, NC, USA
Distribution: Mint 17 Rebecca
Posts: 145

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 18
Hi Everyone

I was able to resolve this issue with help from Ninboy from

Part of the solution was

sudo mv ~/Desktop/status /var/lib/dpkg/status; chown root:root /var/lib/dpkg/status

I was able to copy the edited file back to where it belonged. Then I ran sudo dpkg --configure -a

this still produced some syntax errors with the original zenity file. I tried to fix it but
was unable to. I ended up deleting the zenity entries. this produced a broken package that
I was able to fix under synaptic.

So after several days my system is happy again.



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