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I've somehow broken my Ubuntu 14.04 install.

A project I'm working on required me to install Jupyter notebook, which created some path issues (apparently I should have installed with anaconda rather than pip?). In any event, to fix this I tried uninstalling everything, and reinstalling with anaconda. Jupyter still didn't work, and now Python didn't work either. Turns out it went deeper than that though, my Ubuntu crashed altogether and I had to use recovery mode to reinstall enough things to get it back to a state where I could login without a safe mode.

What I've gathered now is somewhere along the line I uninstalled something in Python, or Python completely. In trying to fix it, I've had it tell me I cannot remove it in the current state, rather, need to reinstall first. Doing so caused issues, because apparently I needed a working version of Python to install what I needed to install ... rather circular. Python is broken, but need Python to fix Python.

For example, trying to individually fix the python packages, with something like:

sudo dpkg --configure python3-apt

returns an error "package is in a very bad inconsistent state; you should reinstall it before attempting configuration". Trying to reinstall fails.

I've tried pretty much any solution I've found online that looked reasonable, no luck. It isn't just a python path issue. Both:

sudo apt-get install -f

and

sudo apt install --reinstall python3-apt

returns a bunch of stuff, but the end says a lot:

Errors were encountered while processing:
/var/cache/apt/archives/python3-apt_0.9.3.5ubuntu3_amd64.deb
/var/cache/apt/archives/python3-distupgrade_1%3a0.220.10_all.deb
/var/cache/apt/archives/python3-update-manager_1%3a0.196.25_all.deb
/var/cache/apt/archives/update-manager_1%3a0.196.25_all.deb
/var/cache/apt/archives/python3-problem-report_2.14.1-0ubuntu3.29_all.deb
/var/cache/apt/archives/python3-apport_2.14.1-0ubuntu3.29_all.deb
/var/cache/apt/archives/software-properties-common_0.92.37.8_all.deb
/var/cache/apt/archives/software-properties-gtk_0.92.37.8_all.deb
/var/cache/apt/archives/python3-software-properties_0.92.37.8_all.deb  
/var/cache/apt/archives/python3-uno_1%3a4.2.8-0ubuntu5.3_amd64.deb

The only reasonable thing I've come across and haven't tried is to reinstall Ubuntu altogether (see here). I have backed up all of my files onto an external drive (in case it all crashes), but, I don't know how to do that sort of Ubuntu reinstall + don't want to risk not being able to figure it out. Someone else installed Ubuntu for me onto my laptop. Dual boot. The Windows 8 still works fine.

List of programs errors have occurred with:

ubuntu-release-upgrader-gtk 
python3-uno 
python3-apt 
apport-gtk 
update-manager-core 
python3-update-manager 
python3-crypto 
python3-louis 
update-notifier 
unattended-upgrades 
ubuntu-release-upgrader-core 
python3-distupgrade 
python3-apport 
python3-problem-report 
python3-software-properties 
update-manager 
apport 
update-notifier-common 
software-properties-gtk 
flashplugin-installer 
software-properties-common

When I tried to fix update-manager, it won't let me due to unmet dependencies with other packages. When I try to fix those packages, it won't let me fix them either, owing to unmet dependencies with the previous package. Circular again.

Whenever I try to install anything, before it asks whether I agree to install X MB to my machine, it shows (but never actually does install these things):

The following extra packages will be installed:
    python3-apport python3-apt python3-distupgrade python3-problem-report
    python3-software-properties python3-uno python3-update-manager
    software-properties-common software-properties-gtk update-manager
Suggested packages:
    python3-launchpadlib python3-apt-dbg python-apt-doc
The following packages will be upgraded:
    python3-apport python3-apt python3-distupgrade python3-problem-report
    python3-software-properties python3-uno python3-update-manager
    software-properties-common software-properties-gtk update-manager
10 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 17 not upgraded.
22 not fully installed or removed.

Also, I cannot open Ubuntu Software Center or Software Updater.

Requested outputs:

which python 
which python3

both return nothing. Immediately allows me to enter a new terminal command, without any error message or output whatsover. Somewhere along the line I think I uninstalled python3, but python2.7 is still present.

echo $PATH

returns

/home/myname/MESA/mesasdk/bin:/home/myname/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/games:/usr/local/games:/home/mynames/bin:/usr/lib/jvm/jdk1.7.0/bin:/opt/intel/bin

where MESA is a program for school.

Can anyone help me navigate out of this mess I've accidentally created? I don't want to mess anything further up. Your help would be greatly appreciated!

Update

I've decided to uninstall Ubuntu 14.04, and reinstall the latest Ubuntu in its' place, following this, as suggested on here. Thank you all who helped me with this issue!

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  • sudo apt install --reinstall python3-apt
    – Kaz Wolfe
    Sep 20 '18 at 20:43
  • @KazWolfe Thanks! No luck tough. That returns to me some of the same errors: "Errors were encountered while processing: ..." etc. code again
    – Canada709
    Sep 20 '18 at 20:49
  • @karel Checking that out now
    – Canada709
    Sep 20 '18 at 20:49
  • "sudo apt-get remove python" causes an error: "dpkg: error processing package update-manager (--remove): package is in a very bad inconsistent state; you should reinstall it before attempting a removal"
    – Canada709
    Sep 20 '18 at 20:53
  • Please add output of which python and which python3 to the question.
    – N0rbert
    Sep 20 '18 at 20:54
0

Solution is found in the answer here.

I overwrote Ubuntu 14.04 with a new installation of Ubuntu 18.04, after backing up all of my files.

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