Synaptic errors

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*Solution: Warren has to be notified
*Solution: Warren has to be notified
==DNS problems==
*Message: "Something wicked happened resolving..."
*Message: "Something wicked happened resolving..."
*Problem: apt is unable to resolve the DNS names
*Problem: apt is unable to resolve the DNS names

Revision as of 21:05, 29 November 2011



Here are some common error messages encountered in using Synaptic (or apt-get):

GPG errors

  • Messsage: public key not available
  • Problem: you do not have a correct key installed
  • Solution: see Gpg_error

NOTE: see also BADSIG below

Package authentication

  • Message: Packages could not be authenticated
  • Explanation: Many repositories, including all of Debian's repositories & Warren's MEPIS 8.0 & 8.5 repositories, use a GPG key to verify that you are connected to the real repository instead of having been rerouted by a highjacked DNS or a man-in-the-middle attack to a fake site. This is a very slight possibility, but for production machines the extra security is worth the check. The MEPIS Community Repositories don't use such a key at this time, although new CR packages are gpg-signed by the packagers.
  • Solution: If this error occurs when installing packages from the Community Repository it is safely ignored. If it occurs with packages from the Debian or MEPIS repositories, do not continue the installation and report the error.

No header, problem with merge list

  • Message: Encountered a section with no Package: header. Problem with MergeList etc.
  • Problem: Files have been corrupted for some reason.
  • Solution: There are two main variants of this problem.

1. If the error message includes a reference to /var/lib/dpkg/status, open a terminal and type:

su -c "cp var/lib/dpkg/status-old var/lib/dpkg/status"
su -c "apt-get update" 

2. If the error message references a file in /var/lib/apt/lists, open a terminal and type:

su -c "rm -f /var/lib/apt/lists/*"
su -c "apt-get update"

Broken package

  • Message: you have a broken package and are told to use the Broken filter to find it
  • Problem: you tried to install a package that had unmet dependencies
  • Solution: click on Status in the lower left corner of the Synaptic screen, then on the entry "Broken package." Click on the package and remove it. Reload the repos.

Cache limit exceeded

Message: Dynamic MMap ran out of room. Please increase the size of APT::Cache-Limit. Current value: 20000000.
Problem: Cache-Limit is too small to handle new package cache
Solution: Click Start Menu > System > Dolphin as su, and provide root's password. Open


Change line from

APT::Cache-Limit 20000000


APT::Cache-Limit 70000000 

If you have a large cache already, then run apt-get clean


  • Message: similar to "GPG error: mepis-11.0 Release: The following signatures were invalid: BADSIG E6AD81A8B9FBE3CE Warren Woodford (MEPIS Maintainers) <>"
  • Problem: The GPG signature of the repo has expired
  • Solution: Warren has to be notified

DNS problems

  • Message: "Something wicked happened resolving..."
  • Problem: apt is unable to resolve the DNS names
  • Solution: [tell the user how to fix it]


  • Message: [summarize or quote the error message here]
  • Problem: [provide a succinct description of the origin of the error message]
  • Solution: [tell the user how to fix it]
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