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I was performing a normal update (Ubuntu 10.10, 64 bit), and the software update failed. Software center throws the error "Items cannot be installed... Want to repair"? I press repair button, and then the error "Package operation failed".

I looked around on the net and found a couple things to try:

**sudo apt-get install -f**
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Correcting dependencies... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
After this operation, 283kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? **y**
(Reading database ... 211397 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing icedtea6-plugin ...
update-alternatives: unknown argument `--quiet'

Usage: update-alternatives --install <link> <name> <path> <priority>
       update-alternatives --remove <name> <path>
       update-alternatives --help
<link> is the link pointing to the provided path (ie. /usr/bin/foo).
<name> is the name in /usr/lib/opkg/alternatives/alternatives (ie. foo)
<path> is the name referred to (ie. /usr/bin/foo-extra-spiffy)
<priority> is an integer; options with higher numbers are chosen.
dpkg: error processing icedtea6-plugin (--remove):
 subprocess installed pre-removal script returned error exit status 2
No apport report written because MaxReports is reached already
                                                              Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
**sudo dpkg --configure -a**
**sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade**
mikew-MBU:~ $ sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
Hit stable Release.gpg
Ign stable/non-free Translation-en                                                          
Ign stable/non-free Translation-en_US                                                       
Hit stable Release                                                                           
Ign stable/non-free amd64 Packages                                                           
Ign stable/non-free amd64 Packages                                            
Hit stable/non-free amd64 Packages
Hit maverick Release.gpg
Ign maverick/universe Translation-en
Ign maverick/universe Translation-en_US
Hit maverick-security Release.gpg
Ign maverick-security/universe Translation-en
Ign maverick-security/universe Translation-en_US
Hit maverick Release
Hit maverick-security Release
Hit maverick/universe Sources
Hit maverick-security/universe Sources
Hit maverick/universe amd64 Packages
Hit maverick-security/universe amd64 Packages
Reading package lists... Done
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
You might want to run 'apt-get -f install' to correct these.
The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 icedtea6-plugin : Depends: openjdk-6-jre (= 6b20-1.9.10-0ubuntu1~10.10.2) but 6b20-1.9.10-0ubuntu1~10.10.3 is installed
E: Unmet dependencies. Try using -f.
**sudo apt-get clean**
**sudo apt-get install -f**
(same error as above)

I can see that a dependency on openjdk is broken, but I'm not sure what to do next to actually fix the issue. I need to install other software on my machine, and this is holding me back.

Any ideas?


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Somehow I resolved this a few days back, but it was unclear how I did it. At any rate, the problem occurred again today, when upgrading. I found a site in japanese that showed the answer:

$ which update-alternatives
$ sudo which update-alternatives
$ sudo mv /usr/local/bin/update-alternatives /usr/local/bin/update-alternatives.old
$ sudo apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
2 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 0B of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y
Setting up flashplugin-installer ( ...
Flash Plugin installed.

So, long and short of it is that there were 2 different update-alternatives, and I just had to make sure that it was running the "correct" one.


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