An Ubuntu 22.04 LTS Fix Is Coming For A Very Annoying & Serious APT Problem

Written by Michael Larabel in Ubuntu on 14 July 2022 at 08:50 AM EDT. 48 Comments
UBUNTU --
Recently on Ubuntu 22.04 LTS I've noticed that after installing dependencies for a number of benchmarks that the Ubuntu Linux installation is simply broken... I can start off with a clean install of Ubuntu 22.04 desktop but then after installing the dependencies for a number of tests, the Ubuntu installation is effectively unusable until going back and reinstalling numerous default packages. The desktop is no longer installed, networking support was dropped, and many other packages went missing. It turns out it's due to problematic and unintentional APT package management behavior that is now being fixed.

I was quite puzzled at first what was going on with how a simple apt install was leading to such a broken system but difficult to debug with the process being scripted/automated for the testing and when going to check on the system to find the Ubuntu desktop rebooted and just at the console and without networking support, etc. That was happening on several systems across multiple clean installs. It turns out the issue is due to APT and currently propagates itself if running sudo apt install libudev1 if running a clean install of Ubuntu 22.04 prior to applying stable release updates.


Running this simple command unattended or without paying much attention on a clean Ubuntu 22.04 LTS desktop install could leave your system in a thrashed state.


The udev1 device library is installed for some of my benchmarks and only after coming across this bug report did everything come together with the same problems I was having on numerous test systems. Since May prior to the Ubuntu 22.04 LTS release it's been noted that, "installing the package libudev1 results in a large number of critical packages being removed and rendering the system essentially unusable."

The fundamental problem was summed up as, "apt will try to fulfill the request to install the newest libudev1 without upgrading other packages and as this conflicts with other, non essential, packages it will remove those." But for the packages it removes can include ubuntu-desktop and other key packages for users...

Two months later this patch is being worked on for upstream APT and for eventual back-porting to Ubuntu 22.04. This change will upgrade installed reverse dependencies that would have broken "Depends" after an upgrade of the dependency. For future versions of Ubuntu/Debian it looks like this merge for APT is being pursued to upgrade all other binaries in a source package when you upgrade/install one of them.
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Michael Larabel is the principal author of Phoronix.com and founded the site in 2004 with a focus on enriching the Linux hardware experience. Michael has written more than 20,000 articles covering the state of Linux hardware support, Linux performance, graphics drivers, and other topics. Michael is also the lead developer of the Phoronix Test Suite, Phoromatic, and OpenBenchmarking.org automated benchmarking software. He can be followed via Twitter, LinkedIn, or contacted via MichaelLarabel.com.

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