Ubuntu – Not all updates can be installed: partial upgrade


I'm trying to update my vmware player Ubuntu vm to Saucy Salamander via the Software Updater app. Sadly while it was installing packages vmware player gave this really weird error I've never seen before. I can't remember what it was, but I could either proceed by clicking retry or pass onto vm, or similar options. The pass onto vm option caused the vm to crash completely.

Upon trying to boot up the vm again, I got this strange error saying I can either take ownership of the vm or cancel the boot. Really weird, but the take ownership option said it could damage my vm.

I decided to shut down Windows 7 instead. Upon restarting my pc, I can boot up my vm fine, and while Software Updater starts up okay, it keeps greying out when it finishes checking for updates.

Launching Software Updater from the command line by running

$ sudo update-manager

reveals these errors are occuring:

Error loading .desktop file /usr/share/applications/gnomine.desktop: constructor returned NULL
Error loading .desktop file /usr/share/app-install/desktop/gnome-mines:gnome-mines.desktop: constructor returned NULL
Error loading .desktop file /usr/share/applications/gnome-sudoku.desktop: constructor returned NULL
Error loading .desktop file /usr/share/app-install/desktop/gnome-sudoku:gnome-sudoku.desktop: constructor returned NULL
Error loading .desktop file /usr/share/applications/mahjongg.desktop: constructor returned NULL
Error loading .desktop file /usr/share/app-install/desktop/gnome-control-center-signon:update-accounts.desktop: constructor returned NULL

No idea how to proceed, but this is my third boot now and it's the same story.

Ubuntu working perfectly, but Software Updater/update-manager is completely fried. Any advice guys? Ubuntu nooby talking here, but does this mean the problem is superficial? It's just something to do with the GUI and can be easily fixed? It's not like I was attempting anything mental for goodness sake.

Could this fix the error?

sudo apt-get install -f

Before I run it, what does the f flag do exactly?


Left it running for about 60 minutes, and it resolved itself! It says I can only do a partial update though, and that problem can be caused by damaged or unofficial software. Is this damage caused by the error before? Full message:

Not all Updates can be installed
Run a partial upgrade, to install as many updates as possible.

This can be caused by:
* A previous upgrade which didn't complete
* Problems with some of the installed software
* Inofficial software packages not provided by Ubuntu
* Normal changes of a pre-release version of Ubuntu

Partial Upgrade Close

Should I be worried? The update is still in process so I don't know if I'll run into the same error again.

Best Answer

Yes, do try and run

sudo apt-get install -f

From the --help usage text we find

-f  Attempt to correct a system with broken dependencies in place

You can get to this by using

apt-get install --help

Another good way to read up on usage is with man pages. The man page for apt-get states

-f, --fix-broken
       Fix; attempt to correct a system with broken dependencies in place.
       This option, when used with install/remove, can omit any packages
       to permit APT to deduce a likely solution. If packages are
       specified, these have to completely correct the problem. The option
       is sometimes necessary when running APT for the first time; APT
       itself does not allow broken package dependencies to exist on a
       system. It is possible that a system's dependency structure can be
       so corrupt as to require manual intervention (which usually means
       using dselect(1) or dpkg --remove to eliminate some of the
       offending packages). Use of this option together with -m may
       produce an error in some situations. Configuration Item:

There's nothing wrong with running the partial upgrade, incidentally, it generally fixes the problems in the package manner. Please let me know if you continue having these problems afterward. Best regards