CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Kernels & Hardware, configuring network, installing services

Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby mr.Lauren » 2018-02-03 18:17

Thorny wrote:Just to quickly answer this post. You need to use both, update, updates the list of packages available, then upgrade does what you would think of as "update". The important thing to remember is "update" first then "upgrade". In the GUI Synaptic, the first button on the top left is "reload" which does the update. One of the features of the modern command "apt update" is that it tells you when it finds packages to "upgrade".

Well, I did the "apt update", and look what I got, the same thing as before--see boldface text at the bottom:
lauren@Debian8:~$ su
Password:
root@Debian8:/home/lauren# apt update
Ign http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie InRelease
Hit http://security.debian.org jessie/updates InRelease
Get:1 http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie-updates InRelease [145 kB]
Hit http://security.debian.org jessie/updates/main Sources
Hit http://security.debian.org jessie/updates/contrib Sources
Hit http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie Release.gpg
Hit http://security.debian.org jessie/updates/main amd64 Packages
Hit http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie-updates/main Sources
Hit http://security.debian.org jessie/updates/contrib amd64 Packages
Hit http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie-updates/contrib Sources
Hit http://security.debian.org jessie/updates/contrib Translation-en
Get:2 http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie-updates/main amd64 Packages/DiffIndex [10.4 kB]
Hit http://security.debian.org jessie/updates/main Translation-en
Hit http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie-updates/contrib amd64 Packages
Hit http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie-updates/contrib Translation-en
Get:3 http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie-updates/main Translation-en/DiffIndex [3,688 B]
Hit http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie Release
Hit http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie/main Sources
Hit http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie/main amd64 Packages
Hit http://ftp.us.debian.org jessie/main Translation-en
Fetched 159 kB in 4s (34.9 kB/s)
E: dpkg was interrupted, you must manually run 'dpkg --configure -a' to correct the problem.
root@Debian8:/home/lauren#

Note the command in bold-face is the same problem I asked about in the beginning! I've also been wondering about another possible source of problem. It was brought to my mind by a comment by bw123 where you said:
by bw123 » 2018-02-01 15:18
From looking up the msg "doing nothing at /var/lib/dpkg/info/linux-image-3.16.0-5-amd64.postinst line 263."

It looks like it can happen on any kernel, one thread said to try a --reinstall on the kernel, and one suggested fsck the partition with /boot on it. You could do that from a live cd. I'm not sure it would fix things, it might make them worse.

There were a other hits that might be relevant. If you have another kernel installed, boot from that? Anything you do right now with apt will probably try to configure all the pending pkgs again and update initramfs.

I'm not sure what I would do, if anything, except read and check dmesg for drive errors. It might be a good idea to copy that initrd and vmlinuz to some other media if they are the only ones you have to boot from.

You mentioned kernel impact (see bold-face), and also about other kernels. This is a subject I'm quite ignorant on, but maybe a little "confession" is in order. Thurs. (day before yesterday) I booted into MEPIS 11 and Linux Mint 18.2 (2 of the active OS's I have on this GRUB), to see what the state of Synaptic is on those. It seemed normal on both. I didn't check while there, but the MEPIS kernel is probably 2.6.36, and Mint is probably 4.4 or 4.8. My Deb 8.6 is kernel 3.16.0-4-amd64. Now, the part that I'm wondering about is that Mint shares the User Partition with this Deb. 8.6. Yes, I did read some warnings that some bad things could happen, but ignorance is bliss, and the advantages were just too great to resist. And I may have gotten bit by one of those "things" that might happen--I couldn't boot Firefox when I came back to Deb., so I spent a lot of time getting that fixed.
Do you think I shot myself in the foot?? Any other suggestions? Should I bail out into Mint? I just installed it about 3 months ago, and hadn't gotten used to it's rough edges yet (compared to Debian, that is). --- Thanks!
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby Thorny » 2018-02-03 19:41

This was all I was trying to answer, you were already getting help with the rest of your issue, sorry, I won't butt into your threads any longer.
mr.Lauren wrote:I didn't think to ask this when I was answering replies earlier today. Can I use either of these (apt upgrade, or apt update),...

Thorny wrote:Just to quickly answer this post. You need to use both, update, updates the list of packages available, then upgrade does what you would think of as "update". The important thing to remember is "update" first then "upgrade".


After rereading the whole thread, I guess what I would try would be along the lines of what bw123 suggested. Boot up with the previous kernel and purge the ...-5 kernel, then reinstall the ...-5 kernel. By the way, Jessie is currently at 8.10, you should probably try to upgrade more often.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby mr.Lauren » 2018-02-03 23:50

Thorny wrote:
This was all I was trying to answer, you were already getting help with the rest of your issue, sorry, I won't butt into your threads any longer.

Oh, NO! Don't think that! I was really appreciating your advice. I realize now, going back and re-reading my comment, it sounds sarcastic, as if I was blaming you! My comment I'm talking about was "Well, I did the "apt update", and look what I got, the same thing as before". Terrible choice of words! I had been wondering whether the problem was deep where apt works, or on the surface, possibly in Synaptic, which might be fixed by uninstalling it. So "look what I got" meant "Wow, this must be serious, not a simple Synaptic problem, and not something I will be able to figure out." I guess that would have been a good place to use a "smiley" :shock:

I'm sure the half sentence where I said: "It was brought to my mind by a comment by bw123 where you said:" didn't help any either! I was trying to switch persons I was talking to. I should have ended the paragraph to you, Thorny, and started a new paragraph to you, bw123. Too much of a hurry! I'm sorry to both of you, and, again, thanks for your help!

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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby Thorny » 2018-02-04 00:40

I am not as thin skinned as some people around here so it wasn't a problem for me.
I was apologising for not reading everything and just answering that one question. Did you try and purge that kernel and then reinstalling it? I think I would probably try upgrading while I was booted into the older kernel if I was doing it. The info that bw123 found made sense to me.

That's really all I have.

[edit] Don't forget to update before upgrade. :-)

[edit2] You do have an older kernel to boot into, don't you? If not don't reboot with no kernel installed, that won't be successful.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby Thorny » 2018-02-04 08:56

Okay a new day for me and I am not as tired.

I hope the fact that you haven't posted again is due to you ending your day and not that you have somehow trashed your system.

I realise how frustrating it can be when there is a problem and one doesn't understand it or know what to do.

This is going to be long, sorry about that but I may not be here when you come back and I will try to cover as much as I can.

Your posting style is fairly jumbled, you seem to try advice from several posters at once and then try to reply to all of them and throw in a lot of extraneous info too, like telling us about MEPIS 11 and Mint, they aren't going to touch your Debian install except maybe in your /home which, if I understood you correctly (and there is no guarantee of that), you are sharing your home with.

You need to remain calm, don't panic, only try one thing at a time and if it doesn't make things better, make sure you back out of what you tried and get back to the same point as before you tried it so you can try something else.

Your situation reminds me of someone who writes, "I pushed all the buttons and nothing works". Sometimes pushing all the buttons is what causes nothing to work. ;-)

You need to take a methodological approach. Perhaps have a pad of paper and physically write down in order what you do to keep your thinking focused. And, so that you know exactly what you did.

bw123 found info that suggested a kernel reinstall or filesystem check might correct the problem. That was likely from an Internet search for problems similar to yours.

stevepusser, suggested checking the health of your hard drive or maybe a heat problem.

Both of those posters are intelligent users and I concur. You will note that I have been suggesting you try the kernel removal and reinstall like bw123 suggested, that has some potential to work as that should remove the postinstall script that fails at line 263 and install a new one with the reinstall. In my opinion it's worth trying.
[A caution]: If you choose to use either apt or apt-get, don't have Synaptic running at the same time. I don't know about Apper because I don't use KDE but I think it is a package manager and you don't want more than one package manager running at the same time.

Both stevepusser and bw123 suggested a possibility of file corruption and a filesystem check of your Debian system (which you would need to do from one of your other installed operating systems because you don't want the Debian partition mounted while doing it.) It's a possibility.

The other thing that stevepusser suggested is a possible heat problem. That is also worth investigating as the lockups you mention seem to occur when you are doing CPU intensive tasks, like photo editing, you mentioned it occurring while using GIMP. And, trying a big update probably keeps the system busy too. The fact that after waiting for a time after the lockup, the system boots again is consistent with possible heat problem. Although, if it is heat buildup related I would expect it to also lockup in your other operating systems while they were doing CPU intensive tasks.

I thought of one more thing to add, you could check memory which should be one of the choices at the GRUB menu. Heat might or might not affect it too. I don't think this is very likely but if nothing else works...

I don't think you mentioned what computer you are trying this on. Is it old, might the fan be clogged with dust? Is the hard drive old, but even a new one can fail or corrupt data. Do you have a good backup as suggested by both bw123 and stevepusser? Everyone should have a good current backup and know how to restore things from it.

Good luck!
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby mr.Lauren » 2018-02-08 15:33

A quick note in response to Thorny:
by Thorny » 2018-02-04 13:56
I hope the fact that you haven't posted again is due to you ending your day and not that you have somehow trashed your system.

No, I didn't get an email saying there were new posts, and I was so busy studying "GRUB" that I didn't stop by to check. That GRUB ability to save the last OS you log into, and then automatically log into it the next time is great. Then I was busy studying L. Mint in case I lost this battle with Debian. I don't like it so far. Anyway, I'll be back, but I've got a lot of study to do. A kernel reinstall sounds intimidating to me. I've got to go.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby Thorny » 2018-02-08 17:33

mr.Lauren wrote:Anyway, I'll be back, but I've got a lot of study to do. A kernel reinstall sounds intimidating to me. I've got to go.

Totally understand. Most people have busy lives, I'm at a bit of an advantage since I'm retired.

Studying things extensively and carefully is a sane approach and the most likely path to success.


I'll try to distil the advice a bit for when you have the time to work on this but review everything in the thread and make sure to understand it before proceeding.

When you are ready, read on. No hurry.

If you are confident the system is not locking up due to a heat problem. (For example, have you done CPU intensive tasks in Mint for quite a bit of time without the system locking up.) And, you might do a file system check on the unmounted Debian partition from Mint.

As long as you boot Debian to the previous kernel, linux-image-3.16.0-4, it should be relatively easy and safe, the proverbial "piece of cake". If I remember correctly, that is the kernel your Debian system was booting to, check it with, uname -r, in a terminal window.

Remembering to update first then upgrade as we have discussed previously, whether you use apt-get or apt.

Then you can purge the linux-image-3.16.0-5 kernel and then upgrade your system, which if you do an, apt-get dist-upgrade, will probably pull the newer kernel back in along with the other updates.
Or
Do the same purge and use, apt full-upgrade, if you want to use apt rather than apt-get

Those are two command line possibilities in a terminal window.


If you prefer Synaptic, do a "Complete Removal" of linux-image-3.16.0-5, remember to "Reload" (same function as update), followed by "Mark All Upgrades", followed by "Apply" .

It might take awhile as you will have a lot of packages to upgrade in order to get to 8.10.

Sorry this is so long, I hope it is not too confusing. There are others here watching who could help even if I am not here when you get back.

Not going to wish you good luck, luck is not as important as being careful. ;-)
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby mr.Lauren » 2018-07-14 21:03

Hey!! Guess What?? :shock: It's working! :D But first I'd better make an apology for being so slow in getting back. One example cause was my wife cracked her wrist! I did a lot of dish washing! :( Then I was having a lot of problems booting. Finally I took the computer to the Geeks (Best Buy) and had them check out some things, including my second non-primary hard drive. They said it failed over half its checks (I think it was 7 of 11). So I unplugged that and it fixed the boot problem. Then a few days later when the system reminded me that I had 143 upgrades to do, I thought that I should see if that might have affected the upgrade problem. I logged in to a terminal, entered 'dpkg --configure -a', and it ran without a hitch!!! Then I opened Synaptic, and ran the upgrade for the 143 upgrades, and it ran with no problems! Wow! What a relief! Old hard drives really can cause problems. Well, I PRESUME that the hard drive removal was the answer.

By the way, Mr Thorny, you commented:
Totally understand. Most people have busy lives, I'm at a bit of an advantage since I'm retired.
Well, I must admit that I'm retired too, so I don't have much excuse. The trouble is, I seem to be busier than I was before! I think it's because I take on too many DIY's. It surely can't be because I'm 85 can it? ------ Can you beat that??

Well, anyway, thanks much to everyone who answered my plea and posted some possible answers to my locked upgrade problem!
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby kevinthefixer » 2018-07-15 20:12

mrLauren, in one of your previous posts you asked how to check your hard drive health, and got no answer, so you had to pay Geek Squad to do it for you. Sorry I didn't see it earlier. Look up SmartControl. S.M.A.R.T. is built-in to nearly all modern HDDs and SSDs, and a periodic check of either/both is quite in order. There is a GUI called, easily enough, GSmartControl. The name is actually a bit of a misnomer because it tests and reports, doesn't really control. But you could have easily done what the Squad did, for free and without leaving home. Anyway glad you got it sorted.
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Re: CAN'T UPGRADE DEBIAN 8.6--SYNAPTIC AND APPER ARE LOCKED

Postby mr.Lauren » 2018-07-27 00:22

kevinthefixer wrote:mrLauren, in one of your previous posts you asked how to check your hard drive health, and got no answer, so you had to pay Geek Squad to do it for you. Sorry I didn't see it earlier. Look up SmartControl. S.M.A.R.T. is built-in to nearly all modern HDDs and SSDs, and a periodic check of either/both is quite in order. There is a GUI called, easily enough, GSmartControl. The name is actually a bit of a misnomer because it tests and reports, doesn't really control. But you could have easily done what the Squad did, for free and without leaving home. Anyway glad you got it sorted.
Thank You! That is fabulous! I found that it is listed in Aptitude, so I studied it a little, and it seemed that I wouldn't get in trouble if I tried it. So I installed it, and opened it, and it said my WD 500GB hard drive has zero errors. That's great to know!

I presume that my old HDDs are too old to have the software built in. But sometime when I have more time, I may connect them and find out. Thanks again for giving me the clue!
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