I always get this error when I attempt to install a package using apt-get. I would appreciate help. This seems a common problem with every other package, but I've never encountered a problem with the dpkg itself.

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    the apt-get -f install prompts the same message – muffin Feb 2 '17 at 4:45
  • Recover some backups of dpkg: sudo cp /var/backups/dpkg.status.0 /var/lib/dpkg/status – David your friend Feb 2 '17 at 7:00
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    Can't find a source to download version '1.17.5ubuntu5.4' of 'dpkg:amd64' – muffin Feb 2 '17 at 8:25
  • Please update & add output from command: cat /etc/apt/sources.list Have you tried using Synaptic/Aptitude to reinstall packages. – David your friend Feb 9 '17 at 4:01

Ubuntu dpkg recovery

Recover dpkg status file

cp /var/backups/dpkg.status.0 /var/lib/dpkg/status

Reinstall - dpkg

cd /var/cache/apt/archives/ 
dpkg --force-depends -i dpkg_*.deb

Reinstall - apt

cd /var/cache/apt/archives/
dpkg --force-depends -i apt_*.deb
dpkg --force-depends -i apt-utils_*.deb
apt-get update

Missing files in /var/lib/dpkg/info?

Use dpkg to list installed packages..

dpkg -l | grep ii

Reinstall from output using apt...

dpkg -l | grep ii | awk '{print "apt-get --reinstall -y install", $2}' > /tmp/reinstall

Now, install ucf which may be of importance to installation of kernel or others...

apt-get --reinstall install ucf

Source: http://staff.adams.edu/~cdmiller/posts/Ubuntu-dpkg-recovery/

| improve this answer | |
  • 1
    it still has the same error despite all the commands listed. – muffin Feb 3 '17 at 1:19
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    "The package dpkg needs to be reinstalled, but I can't find an archive for it." >> exact error listed – muffin Feb 3 '17 at 1:19

I found a solution that worked for a user with a related problem...

sudo -i    
mkdir /tmp/dpkg    
cd /tmp/dpkg

#i386 version
wget https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+archive/primary/+files/dpkg_1.18.4ubuntu1.1_i386.deb    


#amd64 version
wget https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+archive/primary/+files/dpkg_1.18.4ubuntu1.1_amd64.deb    

ar x dpkg*.deb data.tar.gz    
tar xfvz data.tar.gz ./usr/bin/dpkg    
sudo cp ./usr/bin/dpkg /usr/bin/    
sudo apt-get update    
sudo apt-get install --reinstall dpkg

Source: https://askubuntu.com/a/474681/562148

| improve this answer | |
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    the dpkg package is no longer valid i guess? the wget returns a not found – muffin Feb 2 '17 at 4:46
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    What does w/ mean to a learner, please use full english words and not short hands! – George Udosen Feb 2 '17 at 5:10
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    since you use wget to download the package to reinstall it, then you don't need to navigate to tmp where its stored temporary after installing it – Pavlos Theodorou Feb 2 '17 at 5:48
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    You're right, @George! My bad, friend! – David your friend Feb 2 '17 at 5:50
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    sudo apt-get install --reinstall dpkg >> gives me the same error because apt-get requires dpkg but then dpkg is the one i need to reinstall.. – muffin Feb 2 '17 at 6:41

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