Is there a standard procedure to 'unit test' an Ubuntu system against the deb packages?

Assume, a system has ubuntu-desktop installed according to the package manager. Can I find out, whether the file system has all the files in ubuntu-desktop and dependencies?

related question: Find packages with corrupted files

1 Answer 1


For the most part, deb packages come with a md5 file containing signatures of all files in the package. These files are located at /var/lib/dpkg/info/$pkg.md5sums.

To simplify the periodic check of all installed packages, the debsums package can be of help. Install it, clean the cache with:

sudo apt-get clean

then run sudo debsums_init to generate md5 sums for packages that do not provide them (the packages are downloaded to generate such sums).

Next, edit the file /etc/default/debsums and set CRON_CHECK=weekly to configure a cron weekly job for the check of debsums.

You can run the check manually with the command:

sudo debsums -cs

Regarding the integrity of the dependencies, I suppose that the command:

sudo apt-get -f install

should signal and try to resolve any problem it finds relative to installed packages, but the Debian/Ubuntu package management system is a very complex object, and could be very difficult to find and resolve its problems.

  • 1
    If sudo debsums -cs says nothing, does it mean that everything alright ?
    – R S
    Dec 4, 2018 at 5:48
  • sudo apt-get -f install gives "post-installation script subprocess returned error" about. "[some file] not found". What to do? Feb 13, 2019 at 8:23
  • if there is an error, reinstall the package: dpkg --search /some/fqpn/some.file; apt-get --reinstall install package;
    – rjt
    Jul 26, 2019 at 0:10

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