[Reportbug-maint] Bug#511015: reportbug can't be configured by dpkg after install

Carl Holmberg cmholm at mauiholm.org
Wed Feb 4 01:19:31 UTC 2009

I agree that this isn't a 'reportbug' bug, so this note is just as an  
FYI to others who are having difficulty resolving the 'reportbug'  
installation problem in etch, so that they'll avoid hassling the  

As the maintainer pointed out, the installation issue previously  
documented is due to problems within (in my case) a large set of 'apt- 
get' package upgrades, in particular those related to python 2.4. My  
preferred solution is to rip out and reinstall the offending  
packages, without also having to reinstall the many, many packages  
that depend on python. AFAIK, there's no surgical method using 'apt- 
get', because it keeps tripping over the hosed 'reportbug' package  

I succeeded using 'dpkg', like so:

 > sudo dpkg --force-all --purge python2.5-dev
 > sudo dpkg --force-all --purge python2.5
 > sudo dpkg --force-all --purge python2.4-minimal
 > sudo dpkg --force-all --purge python2.4
 > sudo dpkg --force-all --purge python-minimal
 > sudo dpkg --force-all --purge python
 > sudo dpkg --force-all --purge python-central
 > sudo dpkg --force-all --purge reportbug

'dpkg' will complain about the many packages left hanging. Ignore  
them. Then:

 > sudo apt-get install python2.4-minimal

There are a number of bugs and patches 'apt-get' will complain about,  
but just carry on. When it's done, follow up with:

 > sudo apt-get -f install

which will list a number of bugs, patches, (and in my case, mailman:  
Fails to upgrade from Sarge to Etch). Answer "Y" to the install/ 
upgrade prompt. Finally, as a validation that all is well:

 > sudo apt-get install reportbug


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