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I can't seem to update, try via update manager & get this message:

The package system is broken. If you are using third party repositories then disable them, since they are a common source of problems. Now run the following command in a terminal: apt-get install -f The following packages have unmet dependencies:

libc6: Depends: libc-bin (= 2.13-20ubuntu5) but 2.13-20ubuntu5.1 is installed
libc6:i386: Depends: libc-bin (= 2.13-20ubuntu5) but 2.13-20ubuntu5.1 is installed

When manually entering command apt-get install -f I get the below message:

:~$ apt-get install -f
E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (13: Permission denied)
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), are you root?'

I get loads of Firefox crashes & now simply when copying a file from one folder to another the system crashes, seems to be degenerating - clearly I'm not very techy (don't know what or where 3rd party repositories are or how to disable them..) need some help.

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2 Answers

sudo apt-get install -f

Do not forget you need admin rights to update your system.

If all is lost a re-install might be an option. Save the important files to an usb stick or a cd and re-install.

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Try to execute these commands. They will help to clear/fix broken packages/dependencies and also try to install required library packages needed:

1. Fix using Command Line:
    $ sudo apt-get autoremove
    $ sudo apt-get --purge remove
    $ sudo apt-get autoclean
    $ sudo apt-get clean
    $ sudo apt-get -f install
And then try to upgrade again:
    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get upgrade

2. Fix using Synaptic Package Manager (preferred)
  • Fist install synaptic package manager if you don't have already installed. You can install forcefully previous version of your packages:

    $ sudo apt-get install synaptic
    
  • Then open synaptic package manager -> click Custom Filters down-left -> click Broken top-left, it will list all broken packages try to all broken packages. Also if any residual packages are there on more option you will get as residual packages.
  • Search for packages first libc-bin then libc6, one by one, select it, chose Package from the menu -> Force Version and chose some previous version from the list. Then click Apply to install it.
  • Try to upgrade again, if everything goes ok:

    $ sudo apt-get update
    $ sudo apt-get upgrade
    

Hope it works for you.

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