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is the jessie/stretch aptitude broken?

Running an ayufan 5.15 version of a gnu-8 image on a rock64, I am getting 
absolutely nowhere.

system is text only as the X11 stuffs has not yet been installed.

That leaves aptitude as the only menu driven package manager I believe.

Its no secret that I hate aptitude as its torn down to unbootable, 3 
systems for me on selecting something and hitting g to install it.

But today, on this machine, running as a sudo -i root, I cannot get it to 
mark something and admit its marked when I hit a g.

Whatintuncket am I doing wrong?

What steps do I need to do, to select the xfce task and install all its 


Cheers, Gene Heskett
"There are four boxes to be used in defense of liberty:
 soap, ballot, jury, and ammo. Please use in that order."
-Ed Howdershelt (Author)
Genes Web page <http://geneslinuxbox.net:6309/gene>

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