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I've been experiencing severe stability issues for the past couple days, and I've narrowed it down to being a part of X, since everything goes back to normal for a bit when I restart lightdm.

I use one of those video driver PPAs that builds packages right from git, which I know is at my own risk. I've already tried using synaptic to force a version of xserver-xorg-intel from a more stable PPA, and that didn't have much effect, but the version of libdrm currently in the repo dates from the same time as these problems began, so I imagine that's the culprit. However, when I try to use synaptic to force a stable version of the various libdrm packages (-intel and :i386 and so forth), it warns me that virtually every application in my system that depend on X will have to be removed as well. Needless to say, I don't want to have to do this. Do I have a reasonable option other than waiting for the PPA (oibaf, if anyone's curious) to update again?

Unfortunately, I already did an apt-get clean when I thought the stability issues might be due to dpkg corruption, so I don't have a slightly older version locally to revert to.

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Have you tried PPA-purge? – RolandiXor Feb 15 '13 at 4:58
up vote 0 down vote accepted

Solved it. I had to mark packages for upgrade in a specific order so as to trigger the fewest possible number of broken dependencies, then unmark those that had been triggered in the correct order (and some of them simultaneously, i.e. wine and wine:i386 which depend on each other). The machine hasn't been up for long enough to know whether I've resolved my issue, but this is definitely the best idea I've had so far!

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