when trying to install application using apt-get, I always get

/bin/sh: /usr/sbin/dpkg-preconfigure: not found

for example:

$sudo apt-get install libssl-dev  
[sudo] password for camino:   
Reading package lists... Done  
Building dependency tree         
Reading state information... Done  

Do you want to continue [Y/n]? y  
WARNING: The following packages cannot be authenticated!  
  libssl-dev libssl0.9.8  
Install these packages without verification [y/N]? y  

/bin/sh: /usr/sbin/dpkg-preconfigure: not found  
Setting up debconf (1.5.35+maemo3+0m6) ...  
exec: 19: /usr/share/debconf/frontend: not found  
dpkg: error processing debconf (--configure):    
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 2  
Errors were encountered while processing:  

$sudo dpkg-reconfigure libssl-dev  
sudo: unable to execute /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure: No such file or directory  

$ls /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure  

$which dpkg-reconfigure  

bash: /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure: /usr/bin/perl.real: bad interpreter: No such file or directory

Any suggestions?

  • What the heck did you do to get your system into this state? There are protections against uninstalling core system packages.
    – ephemient
    Oct 27 '10 at 3:20
  • sorry,I cannot remember whether I have deleted something or not
    – camino
    Oct 27 '10 at 6:18
  • @Camino Please do not add the solution into your question. Write a separate answer or add it as a comment to the answer you marked as the correct one.
    – Jan Doggen
    Sep 4 '14 at 9:23

Your system is so broken that I will recommend a fresh installation.

Rationale: If these very broken things are just the tip of the iceberg then this system will give you a LOT of problems in time to come. Get it in a known state - the easiest way to do so is with a fresh install.

(and then don't do the things you did, again).

  • If somebody knowledgeable had direct access to the machine in question, they might be able to wget and ar and tar (or maybe dpkg-deb still works, who knows) the system back into a usable state, but over SU… the easiest thing to do is almost certainly reinstall.
    – ephemient
    Oct 27 '10 at 22:42
  • @ephemient - how would you determine when you are done fixing things? Oct 28 '10 at 6:41

bash: /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure: /usr/bin/perl.real: bad interpreter: No such file or directory

perl.real? What the heck? Something or someone has modified your /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure to contain a wrong path to Perl.

Edit the /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure with your favourite text editor and sudo, for example sudo nano -w /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure and change the beginning of the file from

#!/usr/bin/perl.real -w


#!/usr/bin/perl -w

  • thank you!,the perl issue has been fixed,but the apt-get still can not work
    – camino
    Oct 27 '10 at 7:25
  • ... and in what way it fails? Please update your original question and be more verbose. Oct 27 '10 at 7:56

i resolved this using sudo apt install --reinstall po-debconf et voilà, after that command i can install new programms

(Ubuntu 14.04 32bit - running on Eee PC 1000HE)


I suspect their may be something wrong with apt or dpkg-config or possible your bash session.

Try running this because it probably can't hurt

sudo su -      (this lets you become root and uses its settings)

apt-get update && sudo apt-get update && sudo aptitude full-upgrade

exit           (get out of root)

The two apt-get updates are intentional. If there is a problem with one, the second run may fix the first run. You can also replace full-upgrade with safe-upgrade if you don't want to clean unused packages.

  • I tried this, and got an error: sudo: aptitude: command not found Jan 30 '17 at 21:49

Unless you only messed up your PATH variable, you may have somehow deleted an important program.

-What does your $PATH variable say? -Have you deleted any directories since apt-get has last worked?

  • $echo $PATH /usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr
    – camino
    Oct 27 '10 at 6:15

try sudo aptitude remove -> sudo aptitude update --> and then try to intall again sudo aptitude install libssl-dev and sudo dpkg-reconfigure libssl-dev

  • $sudo dpkg-reconfigure libssl-dev sudo: unable to execute /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure: No such file or directory but in fact /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure do exist $ls /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure /usr/sbin/dpkg-reconfigure
    – camino
    Oct 27 '10 at 6:17

Thanks all .

the issue has been fixed ,

I use dpkg to show info about debconf

$dpkg -l |grep debconf

ri  debconf        1.5.35+maemo3+0m6               Debian configuration management system  
ii  debconf-i18n   1.5.35+maemo3+0m6       full internationalization support for debcon   
ii  po-debconf     1.0.16                      tool for managing templates file translation  
ii  ssl-cert       1.0.23ubuntu2             simple debconf wrapper for OpenSSL  

it is very strange that debconf is maemo , so I copy debconf and frontend from other's ubuntu machine,
it works now!
but dpkg -l still show it was maemo.



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