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This happened during this mornings dist-upgrade along with apport failure.

:~$ sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
3 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 0 B of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? 
Setting up linux-image-3.5.0-32-generic (3.5.0-32.53~precise1) ...
Running depmod.
update-initramfs: deferring update (hook will be called later)
Examining /etc/kernel/postinst.d.
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/apt-auto-removal 3.5.0-32-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-32-generic
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/dkms 3.5.0-32-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-32-generic
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/initramfs-tools 3.5.0-32-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-32-generic
update-initramfs: Generating /boot/initrd.img-3.5.0-32-generic
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/pm-utils 3.5.0-32-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-32-generic
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/update-notifier 3.5.0-32-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-32-generic
run-parts: executing /etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub 3.5.0-32-generic /boot/vmlinuz-3.5.0-32-generic
/usr/sbin/grub-mkconfig: 36: /etc/default/grub: Syntax error: EOF in backquote substitution
run-parts: /etc/kernel/postinst.d/zz-update-grub exited with return code 2
Failed to process /etc/kernel/postinst.d at /var/lib/dpkg/info/linux-image-3.5.0-32-generic.postinst line 1010.
dpkg: error processing linux-image-3.5.0-32-generic (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 2
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of linux-image-generic-lts-quantal:
 linux-image-generic-lts-quantal depends on linux-image-3.5.0-32-generic; however:
  Package linux-image-3.5.0-32-generic is not configured yet.
dpkg: error processing linux-image-generic-lts-quantal (--configure):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of linux-generic-lts-quantal:
 linux-generic-lts-quantal depends on linux-image-generic-lts-quantal; however:
  Package linux-image-generic-lts-quantal is not configured yet.
dpkg: error processing linux-generic-lts-quantal (--configure):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
No apport report written because the error message indicates its a followup error from a previous failure.
                          No apport report written because the error message indicates its a followup error from a previous failure.
                                                    Errors were encountered while processing:
 linux-image-3.5.0-32-generic
 linux-image-generic-lts-quantal
 linux-generic-lts-quantal
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

On apport:

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/grub-pc/+filebug/f276b6c8-c9ff-11e2-ae36-68b5996a96c8?field.title=package+linux-image-3.5.0-32-generic+3.5.0-32.53~precise1+failed+to+install%2Fupgrade%3A+run-parts%3A+%2Fetc%2Fkernel%2Fpostinst.d%2Fzz-update-grub+exited+with+return+code+2

and "Launchpad.net ~ Lost something? ~ This page does not exist, or you may not have permission to see it."

This is a simple Mythbuntu/XFCE4 x86_64 system as part of a HTPC.

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Try apt-get -f install –  Mitch May 31 '13 at 15:29

2 Answers 2

The first error is where to begin looking:

/usr/sbin/grub-mkconfig: 36: /etc/default/grub: Syntax error: EOF in backquote substitution

Since /etc/default/grub — like most files in /etc/default — consists of shell variable declarations which don't change much, I suspect that file got altered.

It might also be a good idea to fsck your boot-disk, as there aren't many things that change the file. Interestingly, the standard distribution file (which can be found in /usr/share/grub/default/grub) has only 34 lines, which lends support to the guess that something or someone borked /etc/default/grub.

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/etc/default/grub was indeed borked. However, this is apparently a separate error. The system is still failing to upgrade the kernel and still failing to file a bug with launch pad. :( Thanks. /forcefsck done, no proms found. –  keepitsimpleengineer Jun 1 '13 at 16:22
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Following guntbert's answer to Unmet dependencies: linux-generic...

I ran

apt-get remove linux-generic
apt-get install linux-generic
apt-get update
apt-get dist-upgrade
update-grub

This fixed the problem.

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