Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

I removed Firefox by the following command:

sudo apt-get remove --purge firefox

Then, I used Chrome browser for a while. Now, I want to re-install Firefox on my system, but I get the following error:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Suggested packages:
  latex-xft-fonts firefox-gnome-support
The following NEW packages will be installed:
0 upgraded, 1 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
1 not fully installed or removed.
Need to get 0 B/23.7 MB of archives.
After this operation, 49.8 MB of additional disk space will be used.
(Reading database ... 452129 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking firefox (from .../firefox_18.0.2+build1-0ubuntu0.12.04.1_i386.deb) ...
dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/firefox_18.0.2+build1-0ubuntu0.12.04.1_i386.deb (--unpack):
 trying to overwrite '/usr/lib/firefox/plugins', which is also in package acroread 9.5.1-1precise1
No apport report written because MaxReports is reached already
                                                              Processing triggers for bamfdaemon ...
Rebuilding /usr/share/applications/bamf.index...
Processing triggers for desktop-file-utils ...
Processing triggers for gnome-menus ...
Processing triggers for man-db ...
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

I tried to solve the problem by

sudo apt-get -f install

But that too generates a similar error. Would somebody please explain me the problem and its solution?

share|improve this question
Maybe " which is also in package acroread 9.5.1-1precise1" is part of the problem? – user25656 Feb 6 '13 at 10:45
It seems that this is a bug of the acroread package. It simply conflicts with Firefox on this: /usr/lib/firefox/plugins/ I suggest to get this into a bug report. – gertvdijk Feb 6 '13 at 11:22
up vote 3 down vote accepted

It's a conflict with the package "acroread". Where did you get this package from?

You could uninstall acroread:

sudo apt-get remove acroread

Then it should be possible to install Firefox again.

I just checked the latest version (9.5.3) from This package doesn't seem to have the conflict, so you could re-install this package.

Another way would be to just overwrite the directories/files (there are dpkg-options...) or to delete/rename the directories/files before the installation of Firefox. But that's definitely not recommended...

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.