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Re: catastrophe - but how? Aptitude goes mad

On Thu 30 Jun 2016 at 17:27:16 +0100, Lisi Reisz wrote:

> I ran
> # aptitude install libreoffice-grammarcheck-en-gb
> and aptitude just carried on without asking as is correct when there
> is only one package; but it proceeded to uninstall my entire desktop
> environment, hundreds of packages.  I couldn't believe it and used the
> bash history to confirm that that was ALL I had typed.  Moreover, it
> wouldn't respond to control-C.
> Whatever happened?????
> <groan.  Sinks head in hands>
> And it isn't even my computer.

Here is what I would do:

1. Check sources.list and 'apt-get update'.

2. 'apt-get upgrade' followed by 'apt-get dist-upgrade. I'd not be
   expecting anything to be done here.

3. 'apt-get install --reinstall systemd-sysv' to ensure the init system
   is in place. (Cargo cult has its uses. :))

4. Reboot. Should be safe because you've done it earlier.

5. Assess the damage. Glance at the output of 'dpkg -l | less'. Is X
   still about? The desktop? Anything obvious missing? Look at the files
   in /var/log/apt. All packages removed and installed are recorded.
   Supposedly aptitude also logs?

6. Proceed to install anything which is you think is missing.

7. Keep the customer in the dark or spin them some tale.

8. Have a glass of sherry.

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