Package Installation error and solution

Sponsored Link
Some times you might see the following error message when you try to install any package using apt-get or synaptic
E: The package webmin needs to be reinstalled, but I can't find an archive for it.

E: The package mfc8500lpr needs to be reinstalled, but I can't find an archive for it.

This error might be with any package in the above examples webmin and mfc8500lpr packages this error mostly occour when you try to install a debian package in to ubuntu system


E: The package package name needs to be reinstalled, but I can't find an archive for it.

Package name in the above error could be any package


Run the following command

For webmin Pakage

dpkg --remove --force-remove-reinstreq webmin

You can replace webmin to any of your package name which is giving the error

You may also like...

52 Responses

  1. Hantms says:

    I’m having a simimlar problem, but with a different package.

    All the solutions so far don’t work, apt-get remains broken so I can’t install or uninstall anything.

    This is what happens:

    dpkg –remove –force-remove-reinstreq virtualbox

    dpkg – warning, overriding problem because –force enabled:
    Package is in a very bad inconsistent state – you should
    reinstall it before attempting a removal.
    (Reading database … 109242 files and directories currently installed.)
    Removing virtualbox …
    (Kernel module not found)…fail!
    invoke-rc.d: initscript virtualbox, action “stop” failed.
    dpkg: error processing virtualbox (–remove):
    subprocess pre-removal script returned error exit status 1
    Creating group ‘vboxusers’. VM users must be member of that group!

    No precompiled module for this kernel found — trying to build one
    Messages displayed during module compilation will be logged to /var/log/vbox-install.log
    Compilation of kernel module failed, aborting installation
    dpkg: error while cleaning up:
    subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 1
    Errors were encountered while processing:


    And that’s it. Without the –force-remove-reinstreq option it also doesn’t work.

    Any clues? I don’t want to reinstall the whole of Ubuntu again if at all possible.
    Edit/Delete Message

  2. Brian Burch says:

    Yes, I’m at exactly the same point with virtualbox. I installed VirtualBox_1.3.2_Ubuntu_Dapper_x86.deb from a downloaded file with dpkg -i, just as described in the VirtualBox User Manual. It worked fine for a while. Then I installed a new version of the linux kernel and (silly me) decided to install the latest VirtualBox_1.3.4_Ubuntu_dapper_i386.deb WITHOUT making a new 1.3.2 kernel module…. boom!

    Now I’m hopelessly stuck – can’t go forward, back or even sideways. If hantms found the answer, please let me know asap.

  3. Brian Burch says:

    OK, I’ve fixed it! The process is quite long and specific to VirtualBox.

    1. delete all files beginning with virtualbox in /var/lib/dpkg/info/

    2. sudo dpkg –remove –force-depends –force-remove-reinstreq virtualbox

    Then, follow the instructions in the VirtualBox FAQ as follows….

    3. edit /etc/init.d/virtualbox and change line 129 exit 1 to zero (after the kernel module failure detection).

    4. reinstall with sudo dpkg -i VirtualBox_blah.deb – expect it to fail in postinstall.

    5. edit /var/lib/dpkg/info/virtualbox.postinst line 39 exit 1 to zero.

    6. resume the failed install with sudo dpkg –configure –pending (this will also fail because it still can’t build the kernel module).

    At this stage, you can breath a sigh of relief after synaptic starts successfully! search for virtualbox and you will find it installed OK. Also, dpkg –status virtualbox is reassuringly clean.

    7. use synaptic to install the linux-headers-xxx package that matches your running kernel.

    Follow the VirtualBox User Manual to build the correct kernel module….

    8. cd /opt/VirtualBox-blah/src/ ; sudo make; sudo make install. (phew!)

    9. sudo /etc/init.d/virtualbox start works fine.

    Hope that helps someone.

  4. Simon says:

    Awesome. Exactly what I was looking for, worked in an instant. Thanks for posting this ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Ahmad says:

    this way solved my problem with virtualbox

    Run the following command

    For webmin Pakage

    dpkg –remove –force-remove-reinstreq webmin

  6. Christophe says:

    dpkg –remove –force-remove-reinstreq webmin

    it worked also perfectly for me! Thanks a lot!

  7. Ankur says:

    Hey thanks That solved my prb

  8. Finally says:

    Finally !!!!

    Having a similar problem with another package. Of course every piece of advise failed until I saw Brians Step 1 above. Seems the key was to delete the files in the /var/lib/dpkg/info/ directory related to your installation (in my case MFC665*). Once done with that THEN run the following:

    sudo dpkg –remove –force-depends –force-remove-reinstreq mfc665cwcupswrapper

    Without this first step the above command always failed. Now by removing the files dpkg finds no files, assumes the install was removed and updates (in my case) Adept.

    Thanks Brian… 2 days of searching…. finally resolved.

  9. Happiest guy on earth says:

    This is truly the best x-mas present so far!

    I had the same problem that Finally had (darn those stupid brother mfc) and now it seems resolved!

    Hugs and kisses to admin, Brian Burch and Finally for this article!

  10. Antti says:

    Thank you so much for this guide!

    My Christmas was also saved. ๐Ÿ™‚

  11. LeRoy Miller says:

    Wish it worked for me ๐Ÿ™

    I tried to install the NDAS drivers and admin tools for the networkable NDAS hard drives — my first mistake, as they are not supported, and written for debain – a few people did get it to work under ubuntu — but not me ๐Ÿ™ Running 7.10 Gutsy, can not do any apt-gets or install any packages.Really hate the idea of reinstalling over one failed package. Here is the output I am getting when using the above method.

    dpkg – warning, overriding problem because –force enabled:
    Package is in a very bad inconsistent state – you should reinstall it before attempting a removal.
    (reading database … 134678 files and directories currently installed.)
    removing ndas-admin …
    /etc/init.d/ndas: 38: Syntax error: Bad substitution
    dpkg: error processing ndas-admin (–remove):
    subprocess pre-removal script returned error exit status 2
    System startup links for /etc/init.d/ndas already exist.
    /etc/init.d/ndas: 38: Syntax error: Bad substitution
    dpkg: error while cleaning up:
    subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 2
    Errors were encountered while processing:

    I looked in the /var/lib/dpkg/info/ directory and didn’t see anything that belonged to ndas-admin (nothing with that name anyways)…
    I’m kind of at a lose, so if anyone has any ideas please let me know thanks.

  12. LeRoy Miller says:

    Well, after looking and searching, and not finding anything — I sat down and was thinking….and decided that I would deleted the /etc/init.d/ndas file that was giving the errors — I reran dpkg with the force enabled, and just as I thought, /etc/init.d/ndas file came back!!! Which made me think, that there had to be some ndas-admin files someplace on the hard drive –

    I did a locate ndas* and came up with a long list –
    I then deleted (sudo rm) the files I felt were causing problems — mainly the INSTALL and make files…

    reran dpkg with the force remove — got a couple of weird errors, but it did solve the problem, and now I am able to install the updates, — over 100 at this point!! Oh Well, better then having to wipeout my system and start over…

    I guess the point to this post is — if You get ERRORS when you try to remove the failed package — do a locate and see if you can find anything that might look as if it belongs to the failed package — remove that and then run dpkg.

    (THen again, I could have broken my system even worse if I was wrong….so use at your own risk)

    Thanks for the help thou.

  13. Henley says:

    Thanks so much, Finally. I’m working with an eeepc 8g, and I had the same problem with a brother printer driver. Using the information here, I was able to delete the files in the /var/lib/dpkg/info/ folder and get everything working again. Before fixing, couldn’t update any software with the builtin utility. THANKS AGAIN!

  14. Gavin Lamont says:

    Hit this problem with Google Earth. The above solution (dpkg –remove –force-remove-reinstreq) cleared it right up. Thanks.

  15. Seramavalavan V says:


    Thanks a ton for your support/solution.

    This works fine me after removing the files from /var/lib/dpkg/info/ with dpkg โ€“remove โ€“force-depends โ€“force-remove-reinstreq option.

    Thanks you very much again and keep a good work going on.


  16. Many thanks. I’ve recovered apt-get a few times, this time required the removal of the files /var/lib/dpkg/info before the dpkg –remove –force-remove-reinstreq webmin which had me stumped! Can’t print any more from linux but at least OS works

  17. Mahendiran says:

    i need telnet ubuntu server package 8.04.1 .

  18. ntesla66 says:

    Thank you Thank you Thank you (bow grovel and worship) Saved me from having to wipe system after botched NI488.2 driver install

  19. Aku says:

    Worked for me! Thanks a lot hantms!

  20. esteban says:

    I tried to install a package that was already installed. Not sure why this would be a big issue but….The suggested command didn’t work for me instead, since I know the package was installed correctly I used gedit to open /var/dpkg/status, did a search for the package and just changed the appropriate spot from ‘Status: (whatever the error message was)’ to ‘Status: install ok installed’. All was fine, but as I said I knew for a fact that this package was correctly isntalled.

  21. Peter says:

    I tried the suggested command in a Terminal window, but it said only a system administrator can perform this operation. (I’m quite new at Linux, I installed Ubuntu today, so far I like it…) I have only one user account on the system, and I don’t know how can I log on as a system administrator.
    The problematic package is ‘hl1650lpr’ which is a Brother printer driver.
    Any help would be appreciated.

  22. Peter says:

    OK, I found out how I do it as a system administrator. So I tiped
    sudo dpkg –remove –force-remove-reinstreq hl1650lpr
    The problem is the following:
    1. It says I should reinstall the package before I could uninstall it. But if I try to reinstall hl1650lpr[…].deb package it says I can’t install it, because the package is either corrupted or I don’t have the right permissions. So I am stucked at this point.
    2. Right after the terminal orders me to reinstall the package it countinues with the operation and results this:
    /var/lib/dpkg/info/hl1650lpr.postrm: 3: /etc/init.d/lpd: not found
    post-removal script exits with error code 127 (translated from Hungarian)
    So I really don’t know what to do, and this problem is really annoying, since I can’t use any package manager application: niether Synaptic nor Add/Remove works any more…

  23. Rengifo Ortega says:

    Hello Peter,
    Did you find a solution to this issue.I have exactly the same problem…

  24. Peter says:

    Hi Renginfo Ortega,
    Unfortunately I couldn’t find any working solutions for this problem. I had to reinstall the entire system. I read through several forums, including the Hungarian and English Ubuntu forums, but nowhere could I find a solution.
    If you have a Brother printer, I recommend you to install it via System -> Administration -> Printer. After reinstalling Ubuntu I could install my Brother HL-1030 laser printer that way and it works fine.
    Hope I could help.
    Al the bests,

  25. Rengifo Ortega says:

    Thanks for you reply Peter… I guess i will have to do the same. Even when it sucks !

    Best regards

  26. I had a circle of postrm script errors from
    trying to remove the brother brhl2070n driver.
    My mistake was installing it with dpkg when I
    had removed cups and lprng and lpd previously
    with apt.
    The solution, after following the procedure
    already prescribed, was to go to /etc/init.d/ and
    remove lprng and lpd startup scripts. The error
    was nothing more than a failure to restart
    something that was not running and could not
    be restarted. Just installed lprng with no
    problem. I am using debian on an old BP6 system so I can’t afford a hog like CUPS.
    Regards, and thanks, daveA

  27. Almost forgot ๐Ÿ™‚
    I’m going to try my luck with dpkg-dev and a
    /usr/local/debian repository. Hopefully, that
    will keep me out of trouble in the future.
    (cross fingers). Regards, daveA

  28. Ben says:

    Thanks a lot for this post! Saved me a headache!

  29. Brandon says:

    Saved me too. Used the method in Finally’s post. Thanks!

  30. Pedro says:

    thank you Brian Burch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *