I can't install libav-dbg due to dependency issues with version numbers of installed packages, that do not correspond to those in the repository. How is this possible, and how can i resolve the issue?

Description of the problem:

Trying to install libav-dbg yields following dependency problems:

Reading package lists...
Building dependency tree...
Reading state information...
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies:
 libav-dbg : Depends: libavcodec55 (= 6:10.2-1) but 10:2.1.3-dmo2 is to be installed or
                      libavcodec-extra-55 (= 6:10.2-1) but it is not going to be installed
             Depends: libavformat55 (= 6:10.2-1) but 10:2.1.3-dmo2 is to be installed
             Depends: libswscale2 (= 6:10.2-1) but 10:2.1.3-dmo2 is to be installed

Running apt-cache policy libavcodec55 shows, that a different version is installed than is in the repository.

  Installed: 10:2.1.3-dmo2
  Candidate: 10:2.1.3-dmo2
  Version table:
 *** 10:2.1.3-dmo2 0
        100 /var/lib/dpkg/status
     6:10.2-2 0
          600 http://debian.ethz.ch/debian/ unstable/main amd64 Packages
     6:10.2-1 0
          650 http://debian.ethz.ch/debian/ testing/main amd64 Packages

In the online debian package documentation I do not find any reference to a version "10:2.1.3-dmo2".

Information about my system:

I am running debian testing with apt-pinning to unstable, but I only used unstable for an unrelated package (python3-matplotlib). I kept to the repo to install programs.

Measures tried to resolve issue:

apt-get -t testing install libavcodec55

Reading package lists...
Building dependency tree...
Reading state information...
libavcodec55 is already the newest version.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded

apt-get --reinstall install libavcodec55

Reading package lists...
Building dependency tree...
Reading state information...
Reinstallation of libavcodec55 is not possible, it cannot be downloaded.
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.

Trying to remove the package libavcodec55 for later reinstallation would also remove plenty of other packages (must be due to dependencies?). So this is not practicable unless there is a way to suppress the removal of all the other packages.

apt-get remove libavcodec55

Reading package lists...
Building dependency tree...
Reading state information...
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  audacity-data automoc digikam-data dvdauthor dvgrab enblend enfuse freeglut3
  genisoimage htdig hugin hugin-data hugin-tools kde-base-artwork
  kde-wallpapers-default kde-workspace-data kde-workspace-kgreet-plugins
  kdenlive-data kipi-plugins-common liba52-0.7.4-dev libastro-dev libastro1
  libboost-filesystem1.54.0 libboost-filesystem1.55.0 libboost-system1.54.0
  libcln6 libdc1394-22-dev libdirac-dev libfaac-dev libfaad-dev libfftw3-3
  libfftw3-double3 libfftw3-long3 libflac++6 libglew1.10 libgsm1-dev libhdf5-7
  libkdcraw-data libkephal4abi1 libkipi-data libksane-data libksane0
  libkscreensaver5 libksignalplotter4 libmlt-data libmp3lame-dev
  libopencore-amrnb-dev libopencore-amrwb-dev libopencv-core-dev
  libopencv-flann-dev libopencv-gpu-dev libopencv-imgproc-dev libopencv-ml-dev
  libopencv-photo-dev libopencv-video-dev liborc-0.4-dev libpano13-3
  libpano13-bin libphonon-dev libportsmf0 libprocessui4a libpyside1.2
  libqalculate5 libqalculate5-data libqextserialport1 libqgpgme1
  libqtlocation1 libquazip0 libquicktime2 libraw1394-dev libsbsms10
  libschroedinger-dev libshiboken1.2 libshp2 libsoprano-dev libsoundtouch0
  libsox-fmt-alsa libsox-fmt-base libsox2 libsoxr0 libswscale-dev
  libtheora-dev libvamp-hostsdk3 libvigraimpex4 libwxbase3.0-0 libwxgtk3.0-0
  libx264-dev libxvidcore-dev libzthread-2.3-2 marble-data oxygencursors
  python-pyside.qtcore python-pyside.qtdeclarative python-pyside.qtgui
  python-pyside.qthelp python-pyside.qtnetwork python-pyside.qtopengl
  python-pyside.qtscript python-pyside.qtsql python-pyside.qtsvg
  python-pyside.qttest python-pyside.qtuitools python-pyside.qtwebkit
  python-pyside.qtxml recordmydesktop swh-plugins
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
The following extra packages will be installed:
  libavcodec-extra-55 phonon-backend-null
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  audacity digikam digikam-private-libs ffmpegthumbs freespacenotifier
  frei0r-plugins gimp gstreamer1.0-libav katepart kde-runtime kde-style-oxygen
  kde-window-manager kde-workspace kde-workspace-bin kdebase-workspace
  kdelibs-bin kdelibs5-dev kdelibs5-plugins kdenlive kdepim-runtime
  kdepimlibs-kio-plugins kdepimlibs5-dev kdoctools khelpcenter4 kipi-plugins
  klipper kscreen ksysguard libakonadi-calendar4 libakonadi-contact4
  libakonadi-kcal4 libakonadi-kde4 libakonadi-kmime4 libakonadi-socialutils4
  libakonadi-xml4 libav-tools libavcodec-dev libavcodec55 libavdevice54
  libavfilter4 libavformat-dev libavformat55 libchromaprint-tools libcv-dev
  libcvaux-dev libgegl-0.2-0 libhighgui-dev libkabc4 libkactivities-bin
  libkactivities-models1 libkalarmcal2 libkatepartinterfaces4 libkblog4
  libkcal4 libkcalutils4 libkdcraw-dev libkdcraw23 libkde3support4
  libkdewebkit5 libkemoticons4 libkexiv2-dev libkfile4 libkgapi2-2 libkhtml5
  libkimproxy4 libkio5 libkipi-dev libkipi11 libkmediaplayer4 libknewstuff2-4
  libknewstuff3-4 libknotifyconfig4 libkolab0 libkontactinterface4 libkparts4
  libkpimidentities4 libkpimtextedit4 libkpimutils4 libkprintutils4
  libkrossui4 libksane-dev libktexteditor4 libktnef4 libkutils4
  libkworkspace4abi2 libkxmlrpcclient4 libmailtransport4 libmarble-dev
  libmarblewidget18 libmicroblog4 libmlt++3 libmlt6 libokularcore4
  libopencv-calib3d-dev libopencv-calib3d2.4 libopencv-contrib-dev
  libopencv-contrib2.4 libopencv-dev libopencv-features2d-dev
  libopencv-features2d2.4 libopencv-gpu2.4 libopencv-highgui-dev
  libopencv-highgui2.4 libopencv-legacy-dev libopencv-legacy2.4
  libopencv-objdetect-dev libopencv-objdetect2.4 libopencv-ocl-dev
  libopencv-ocl2.4 libopencv-stitching-dev libopencv-stitching2.4
  libopencv-superres-dev libopencv-superres2.4 libopencv-ts-dev
  libopencv-ts2.4 libopencv-videostab-dev libopencv-videostab2.4
  libopencv2.4-java libopencv2.4-jni libplasma3 libplasmaclock4abi4
  libplasmagenericshell4 libstreamanalyzer0 libsyndication4
  libtaskmanager4abi4 libweather-ion6 marble-plugins melt minidlna mplayer2
  okular phonon phonon-backend-vlc plasma-dataengines-workspace plasma-desktop
  plasma-scriptengine-javascript plasma-widgets-workspace python-pyside
  python-pyside.phonon systemsettings vlc vlc-dbg vlc-nox vlc-plugin-notify
The following NEW packages will be installed:
  libavcodec-extra-55 phonon-backend-null
0 upgraded, 2 newly installed, 145 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
Need to get 2'855 kB of archives.
After this operation, 310 MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] Abort.

1 Answer 1


*** 10:2.1.3-dmo2 0

100 /var/lib/dpkg/status

It looks like you installed libavcodec55 with dpkg -i libavcodec55*.deb and not from an apt repository.

From the "-dmo2" in the version number, I would say it was a package from http://www.deb-multimedia.org.

You can try uninstalling libavcodec55, libavcodec-extra-55, libavformat55 and libswscale2:

apt-get remove libavcodec55 libavcodec-extra-55 libavformat55 libswscale2

And then install them from from the repository:

apt-get install libavcodec55 libavcodec-extra-55 libavformat55 libswscale2

If you don't want to remove packages that depend on those, you can use:

dpkg -r --force-depends libavcodec55 libavcodec-extra-55 libavformat55 libswscale2

Your system will be in a inconsistent state, but you can fix that with apt-get -f install, which installs missing dependencies, that is, the packages you just removed, but from the repository.

(By the way, libav* packages in deb-multimedia are from ffmpeg proper, while those packages in Debian are from the libav fork.

You might have a good reason for wanting the packages in deb-multimedia instead of the ones in Debian, but in that case you should use deb-multimedia's repository instead of manually installing the DEBs.)

  • This is actually possible, I may have done this when I first installed debian... I just edited my post simultaneously to your answer regarding the issue, that removing libavcodec55 removes a whole bunch of other programs too.
    – imsodin
    Jul 22, 2014 at 18:09
  • You can try this: dpkg -r --force-depends libavcodec55. Jul 22, 2014 at 18:21
  • The Problem were packages form deb-multimedia.org. As suggested, I had to remove all packages with a version that has a trailing "-dmo*" with dpkg -r --force-depends and then run apt-get -f install to reinstall missing dependencies. Please add this to your answer so that I can set your answer to accepted. Thanks for your help!
    – imsodin
    Jul 22, 2014 at 18:51

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