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I tried ro remove some unused packages in debian with aptitude.
Apparently I left some conflicting packages and now aptitude refuses to run (same as apt-get) I get this error

apt-get: symbol lookup error: /usr/lib/ undefined symbol: _ZNSt7num_getIcSt19istreambuf_iteratorIcSt11char_traitsIcEEE2idE, version GLIBCXX_3.4

The obvious thing for me would be to install aptitude again. But this is an egg and chicken problem...

What should I do? dpkg works.

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What command did you run to remove "unused packages"? – jscott Aug 29 '10 at 4:45
I fooled around with aptitude itself. I think I created the havoc trying to remove X11 and gcc (I don't use those, it's a webserver). – The Disintegrator Aug 29 '10 at 5:03
LOL, had to give you a point for the title "I broke aptitude" – JakeRobinson Aug 29 '10 at 5:54
up vote 4 down vote accepted

You could try to install it using the .deb file from
(scroll to the bottom of the page and select the appropriate architecture)

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lucky me wget still works :-) I had to download several packages but now everything looks ok. Thanks – The Disintegrator Aug 29 '10 at 5:11

To fix this issue, I would immediately UNDO what you've just done; take a look at /var/log/dpkg.log for a history of what you removed, and reinstall those packages using dpkg and their respective .deb files from

If you still want to find out what package (specifically) caused this failure, use the same list of packages above, and uninstall them one at a time until you run into the error.

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