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Cannot install any software from the Software Center due to ttf-mscorefonts-installer package error

I was trying to install ubuntu-restricted-extras from the command line, as instructed here: Can't play dvd with movie player

Near the end, I came to a EULA screen that wouldn't let me past it. Clicking OK, hitting enter, nothing worked.

After aborting that attempt at installing, I find that attempting to install anything leads to the following message:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/aptdaemon/worker.py", line 961, in simulate
trans.unauthenticated = self._simulate_helper(trans)
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/aptdaemon/worker.py", line 1085, in _simulate_helper
    return depends, self._cache.required_download, \
File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/apt/cache.py", line 226, in required_download
pm.get_archives(fetcher, self._list, self._records)
SystemError: E:I wasn't able to locate file for the ttf-mscorefonts-installer package. This might mean you need to manually fix this package.

(The above was an attempt to install 7zip from the Software Center.)

How do I undo what I've done? Tell me how this can be fixed without re-installing the OS.

I'm not particularly Linux-savvy, so please help me to understand how I can investigate this problem, and hopefully regain the ability to install software without reinstalling the OS.

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This question might help with the issue of the EULA screen: askubuntu.com/questions/16225/… –  Alvin Row Jun 28 '11 at 3:07
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marked as duplicate by jokerdino, hbdgaf, Ringtail, bodhi.zazen, fossfreedom Apr 2 '12 at 7:19

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

2 Answers

up vote 2 down vote accepted

Here's a good article on what to do when apt-get breaks. http://www.linux.com/archive/feed/48910

Basically, try to re-install with -f flag (to force) the offending package. If that doesn't work try remove, then with -f flag.

Also - a good practice that doesn't seem to be actively encouraged by the Ubuntu installer is to have /home and / on different partitions, so that you can freely reinstall the core OS without affecting most of your settings, which makes recovering from fatal issues easier. Great tip when you're still learning.

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Thanks, back to normal . . . still can't watch movies, no longer care. –  Eric Wilson Jun 28 '11 at 2:17
    
-1 Please include the actual solution in the answer - Linkrot can strike at anytime –  jrg Aug 9 '11 at 13:03
    
@jrg link rotted. Boo –  jokerdino Apr 1 '12 at 6:23
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Traceback (most recent call last): File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/aptdaemon/worker.py", line 961, in simulate trans.unauthenticated = self._simulate_helper(trans) File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/aptdaemon/worker.py", line 1085, in _simulate_helper return depends, self._cache.required_download, \ File "/usr/lib/python2.7/dist-packages/apt/cache.py", line 226, in required_download pm.get_archives(fetcher, self._list, self._records) SystemError: E:

I wasn't able to locate file for the ttf-mscorefonts-installer package. This might mean you need to manually fix this package.

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