I broke my MX Linux by error using Debian SID APT source


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Jun 9, 2022
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Hello, I recently broke by accident my MX Linux (21.3) computer.

Context: I wanted to install a package from Debian SID, so I added Debian SID to APT sources but I seen there were thousands of updates available, so I decided to upgrade the softwares. Problem: during the process, APT crashed several times due to softwares not being installed as depencies were missing, etc... I tried APT with --fix-missing but even that command crashed, so I removed the Debian SID source from APT and run apt update && apt upgrade -y && apt clean && apt autoremove -y and it was working back.
Then my mouse and keyboard were very buggy (my keyboard was unresponsive and my mouse was clicking everytime) but I already had this problem before and I restarted my computer to fix the problem.

Problem: Now everything works fine except my WiFi manager which disappeared. My Bluetooth was still present until I restarted my computer a second time. I think it's due to the "bad updates" and the autoremove which removed software that was needed before adding the Debian SID source. (Also I tried to use commands to reset/restart the network manager but nothing worked)

Is there is a way to, without reinstalling my Linux distro, fix these problems ?
Thanks in advance.

(Also since I don't have any internet connection, I can't use APT :( without downloading the packages on ANNOTHER computer...)

HGStyle asked:
Is there is a way to, without reinstalling my Linux distro, fix these problems ?
Thanks in advance.

A couple of alternatives, apart from reinstalling are possible if you can get online through tethering a mobile phone to the computer. You can configure that with wpa_supplicant. Check here: https://wiki.debian.org/WiFi/HowToUse.

To investigate the problems, in the first place one can run: "aptitude why <pkg>", and, "aptitude why-not <pkg>", to see what it says about why a package did or did not install, and what conflicts exists. That may provide information about which packages to install or remove.

If you can get online, one way of trying to get the system coherent again is to try and run apt with the "full-upgrade" option which allows apt to decide to remove packages as well a install. If things aren't too awry, apt may correct the system.

Another alternative is more challenging, which is to enter into the "dependency hell" situation, find out what the dependencies of the troublesome packages are with the "apt rdepends <pkg>" command, and try and gather what is needed and expel what is not. Chasing dependencies of dependencies is the hassle here. It can be time consuming and incomprehensible at times, but it can work. BTDTBTTS. Re-installing is a simpler and likely a quicker option.
Quicker to reinstall than to try to chase packages and dependencies.
I run Debian Sid with rpios on my pi400. I make sure timeshift does daily system backups as well as using Pika-backup for my user configs.
Yes my system is a FrankenDebian, but it works for me.
Re-installing is a simpler and likely a quicker option.

... and then make sure you install Timeshift and take a snapshot before you make any radical changes.


Wow, I got lots of replies ! Thanks, I've manually made a backup of all my files, and I'm reinstalling my OS right now. I didn't knew about FrankenDebian, now it's a lesson learned. Didn't knew that System Rescue can backup computer data, I'll take a look. Thanks :)

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