I followed an online guide which asked me to use the commands

Sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop

This fails and it says that it depends on ubuntu-session And there are broken packages

I proceed to do the following commands

Sudo apt-get clean

Sudo apt-get auto-clean

Sudo apt-get update --fix-missing

Sudo apt-get -f install

Sudo dpkg --configure -a

But the packages are still broken and I am unable to install ubuntu-session

I tried installing ubuntu-session

Sudo apt-get install ubuntu-session

But I get the broken packages message again with the following as an error: Depends on gnome-session-common (= but is to be installed. E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

I'm on my mobile phone so I can't format this properly.

Also reformatting is not possible as I wish to keep my files.

some screen shots when trying to install Ubuntu desktop/session:


Edit: I have tried: sudo apt-get upgrade -f before everything typed above but I get the same results.

Also this is the link I was following to fix the "session failed to start" problem: https://itsfoss.com/failed-to-start-session-ubuntu-14-04/

I followed it but none of the solutions worked for me.

2 Answers 2


Fixed with the following steps:

  • Ctrl+Alt+F1 on login screen
  • install aptitude sudo apt-get install aptitude
  • sudo aptitude install ubuntu-desktop
  • follow instructions aptitude gives

Aptitude will downgrade/remove broken packages before proceeding with the install.


Open a Terminal and type the following:

sudo apt-get install x11-common
sudo apt-get install xserver-common
sudo apt-get install xserver-xorg
sudo apt-get install gnome

Then you have to install a Linux Desktop Environment such as:

  • budgie-core
  • unity
  • ubuntu-walyland
  • ubuntu-desktop

For example:

sudo apt-get install ubuntu-walyland

Just choose which desktop environment fits your needs or install them all and remove what you don't like afterwards.

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