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When I stat on my 11.10 machine aptitude search lightdm I get this:

p   gir1.2-lightdm-1                - Typelib file for liblightdm-1            
p   liblightdm-gobject-1-0          - LightDM GObject client library           
p   liblightdm-gobject-1-dev        - LightDM client library (development files
p   liblightdm-gobject-1-doc        - LightDM client library (documentation)   
p   liblightdm-qt-1-0               - LightDM Qt client library                
p   liblightdm-qt-1-dev             - LightDM client library (development files
p   lightdm                         - Display Manager                          
v   lightdm-greeter                 -                                          
v   lightdm-greeter                 -                                          
v   lightdm-greeter-example-gtk     -                                          
v   lightdm-greeter-example-gtk     -                                          
p   lightdm-gtk-greeter             - LightDM GTK+ Greeter                     
v   lightdm-gtk-greeter-config      -                                          
v   lightdm-gtk-greeter-config      -                                          
p   lightdm-qt-greeter              - LightDM Qt Greeter                       
p   mythbuntu-lightdm-theme         - Mythbuntu LightDM setup

However my system currently runs with lightdm and dpkg -l | grep -i lightdm says:

ii  liblightdm-gobject-1-0                        1.0.6-0ubuntu1.6                        LightDM GObject client library
ii  lightdm                                       1.0.6-0ubuntu1.6                        Display Manager

When I try to install lightdm via apt or via aptitude nothing happens as it seems to be already installed. So I guess aptitude is not working properly?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

If it is a 64bit Ubuntu, then it is most likely one of several aptitude bugs which causes problems with multiarch:

If you don't need 32bit packages on your machine, you can disable multiarch support in dpkg/aptitude by moving


out of the way or commenting out the single line in it. More information can be found in the bug reports above. Because of these bugs I don't use aptitude on my amd64 machines. In Ubuntu 12.04 beta these bugs seem to be fixed.

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Yes indeed its a 64bit installation. I just dropped aptitude from my system as well, ending in a long journey and returning to apt-get again. Recently aptitude also was not able to proper solve dependencies. While apt-get was able to remove Evolution aptitude always wanted to drop the whole system! I think the only thing I am missing will be "aptitude show" as I don't know a current replacement for this yet.. – math Apr 10 '12 at 14:18

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