I'm getting this error:

dpkg: unrecoverable fatal error, aborting:
 files list file for package `linux-image-extra-3.13.0-39-generic' contains empty filename

I think it might have some thing to do with an old kernel, but I can't uninstall it with sudo apt-get remove or purge since it keeps erroring.


You can also try the following:

rm /var/lib/dpkg/info/linux-image-extra-3.13.0-39-generic.list

Then update your system.

  • I did this, then ran sudo apt-get update. It kept erroring with the same error, so I kept removing the relevant .list file. Finally, it updated and I was able to reinstall my broken package. Do you know why this method works? – Alex Jun 15 '15 at 10:51

Try this solution:

cd /var/lib/dpkg


sudo cp diversions diversions.bak
sudo cp diversions-old diversions-old.bak

Then make diversions back to old:

sudo cp diversions-old diversions

Now try update:

sudo apt-get update

Then re-install your package:

sudo apt-get install --reinstall packagename

Another possible solution: Quoted from http://www.richud.com/wiki/Ubuntu_Dpkg:_unrecoverable_fatal_error

sudo gedit -w /var/lib/dpkg/status 

Remove the whole section of linux-image-extra-3.13.0-39-generic

Then run

sudo apt-get install -f

You should then get still the initial errors "dpkg: warning: files list file for package `xxxxxxxxxxx' missing

Now run

sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

Yet again you should see "dpkg: warning: files list file for package `xxxxxxxxxxx' missing, assuming package has no files currently installed.".

Now do this replacing xxxxxxx with all the package names above that appear.

sudo apt-get install --reinstall xxxxxxxxxx
  • These didn't work, but thank you for your answer. – Alex Jun 15 '15 at 10:50
  • So why downvoting? – Maythux Jun 15 '15 at 11:10
  • That is not me :) – Alex Jun 15 '15 at 23:05

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