I'm running a 64-bit install of Xubuntu 12.04. It took me a little while to get Google Earth working. The 64-bit Google earth package requires some 32-bit gtk libraries provided by ia32-libs. However, when I ran a simulation to install ia32-libs and it's dependencies, it wanted to remove a ton of programs, including the xubuntu-desktop meta-package. As a work-around, I used getlibs to get the 32-bit libraries I needed, and then installed Google Earth with the deb package and the --ignore-depend option to dpkg. Awesome, Google Earth is installed and is working great!

Now, however, Update Manager keeps complaining about a "Partial Upgrade", and apt-get won't let me install any new applications. It wants me to do a fix-broken install, but when I do a simulation of apt-get -f install I get some very bad news, they want to uninstall the Google Earth I just worked so hard to install!

$> apt-get -f -s install     
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Correcting dependencies... Done
The following packages will be REMOVED:
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Remv googleearth []

TL;DR The --ignore-depends passed to dpkg is not propagating to apt-get, so now I can't install any new applications until I uninstall Google Earth, because of it's missing dependencies (even though it works fine without them). How can I fix this?

1 Answer 1


Looks like I found my own answer, so I'll leave it here in case anyone runs into this same problem.

Since Google Earth was working fine without the depencies that synaptic thought it needed, I thought I'd try editing the deb file to ignore said dependencies. I used the synaptic package manager to see which dependencies were missing, and then used the videbcontrol script from this great forum post to remove those dependencies from the deb file. I uninstalled the previous package via deb -r googleearth, and then installed the modified package instead. Viola, Google Earth still works great and synaptic is happy :)

  • You know, you can accept your own answer(Checkmark to the left of it)
    – nanofarad
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 20:42
  • Warning: Messing with the control file to modify deb dependencies is usually a very bad idea!
    – ish
    Commented Jun 7, 2012 at 22:11

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