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When I try to update 11.10 with current updates, I receive this error message stating Does Not Have Super Cow Powers. Why is it not updating with the current security packages?

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Are you putting sudo first e.g. sudo aptitude update && sudo aptitude upgrade ? – arochester Mar 21 '12 at 17:10
Yes I am putting sudo in front. – James Mar 21 '12 at 17:11
it happens when aptitude dist-upgrade is ran. This ran fine until the most current security patches need to be installed. – James Mar 21 '12 at 17:14
Please post the exact command you ran and the entire output that you got from aptitude. – Iain Lane Mar 21 '12 at 17:18
Without @James answering Iain's question, I don't think this question will be useful to anyone ever, therefore I am proposing it is closed. – 8128 Jun 2 '12 at 20:26

When you run aptitude with an unrecognized command or with the --help flag, you get a screen briefly describing all the kinds of operations aptitude can perform. At the end, it says:

This aptitude does not have Super Cow Powers.

Since you're getting this text (the whole thing, not just the Super Cow Powers thing) while presumably trying to perform some real operation, this means you've mistyped your command. We can't give you more specific information unless you show us exactly what you're entering into the Terminal to produce this message.

This is not about the Super Cow Powers. That's just the final line of the long message you get when you tell aptitude to do something it doesn't know how to do.

While I cannot tell you exactly what you should have typed because I don't know what you did type, I can provide more information about Super Cow Powers, which hopefully will address the confusion surrounding this (intentionally silly) term.

Super Cow Powers is a term for an easter egg in apt-get (see also APT). There are related easter eggs in aptitude. See this article and this other article.

ek@Apok:~$ apt-get moo
  / |    ||   
 *  /\---/\ 
    ~~   ~~
...."Have you mooed today?"...
ek@Apok:~$ aptitude moo
There are no Easter Eggs in this program.
ek@Apok:~$ aptitude -v moo
There really are no Easter Eggs in this program.
ek@Apok:~$ aptitude -vv moo
Didn't I already tell you that there are no Easter Eggs in this program?
ek@Apok:~$ aptitude -vvv moo
Stop it!
ek@Apok:~$ aptitude -vvvv moo
Okay, okay, if I give you an Easter Egg, will you go away?
ek@Apok:~$ aptitude -vvvvv moo
All right, you win.

                       -------/      \
                      /               \
                     /                |
   -----------------/                  --------\
ek@Apok:~$ aptitude -vvvvvv moo
What is it? It's an elephant being eaten by a snake, of course.

What it means to say that aptitude does not have Super Cow Powers is that it does not have the ability to display the Super Cow displayed when you run apt-get moo. This is one of the very few capabilities present in apt-get but not in aptitude. ;-)


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That is a reference to "The Little Prince" by Antoine de Saint Exupery – csper Dec 26 '13 at 4:08

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