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I upgraded ubuntu, but the upgrade broke firefox, adobe flash plugin and corrupted the package database. I ran the suggested catalog repair, no change. I ran apt-get -f install, no change. I ran apt purge packageName, no change. How can I resolve this circular dependency?

Here are some details:

installArchives() failed: dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of adobe-flashplugin:
 firefox (12.0+build1-0ubuntu0.12.04.1) breaks adobe-flashplugin (<= 11.1.102.63-0precise1) and is installed.
  Version of adobe-flashplugin to be configured is 10.0.32.18-1intrepid1.
dpkg: error processing adobe-flashplugin (--configure):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
No apport report written because MaxReports is reached already
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of adobe-flash-properties-gtk:
 adobe-flash-properties-gtk depends on adobe-flashplugin (= 11.2.202.235-0precise1); however:
  Version of adobe-flashplugin on system is 10.0.32.18-1intrepid1.
dpkg: error processing adobe-flash-properties-gtk (--configure):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
No apport report written because MaxReports is reached already
Errors were encountered while processing:
 adobe-flashplugin
 adobe-flash-properties-gtk
Error in function: 
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of adobe-flash-properties-gtk:
 adobe-flash-properties-gtk depends on adobe-flashplugin (= 11.2.202.235-0precise1); however:
  Version of adobe-flashplugin on system is 10.0.32.18-1intrepid1.
dpkg: error processing adobe-flash-properties-gtk (--configure):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
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2 Answers

Edit the following file with root permission (e.g. sudo vim):

/var/lib/dpkg/info/adobe-flashplugin.prerm

Go to the line:

set -e

Delete the line. Save the file and reissue your upgrade commands. (I actually proceeded to remove and re-add flash and Firefox.)

N.B. caveat emptor: the fix may have side-effects I haven't seen yet but I've survived a week.

Explanation:

The problem is the adobe-flashplugin "prerm" (pre-remove) script expects update-alternatives to exit cleanly. Our (I had the same problem) systems aren't exiting cleanly there. The fix says ignore the error and keep going.

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Was this an upgraded system? It looks like you are using the adobe-flash plugin from Intrepid. Uninstall the Flash plugin, then Firefox, then reinstall Firefox, then the Flash plugin.

sudo apt-get remove --purge adobe-flashplugin
sudo apt-get remove --purge adobe-flash-properties-gtk
sudo apt-get remove firefox
sudo apt-get install firefox
sudo apt-get install flashplugin-installer
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Removing broken package did not work in my case. However, after following Arkade's answer, above operations become possible. –  theUg Jun 12 '13 at 23:26
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