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I'm more or less as good a sysadmin as my serverfault rep mirrors. I have to upgrade a Debian (lenny) server with Plesk control panel. Plesk is supposed to manage that but the upgrade over the control panel doesn't work and I read and hear that this is often the case.

So I have to do it manually and now I'm running into seemingly circular dependency problems...

I get a lot of messages like this:

psa-updates depends on sw-cp-server (>= 1.0-6); however:
  Package sw-cp-server is not configured yet.
dpkg: error processing psa-updates (--configure):
 dependency problems - leaving unconfigured

My sources.list is up to date and working, apt-get clean and apt-get update works fine and completes without errors.

What are the correct ways of solving such problems?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sounds like your previous install/update was interrupted/unsuccessful. You need to check a few things:

  1. That your apt sources list points to a valid server and has the necessary packages there on the server. This ensures that you will be able to update and install packages.
  2. That your local apt-cache is up-to-date. Do a apt-get update on your system. This ensures that apt can find your updates. Sometimes, it looks for an older package that no longer exists on a system.
  3. Do a dpkg -a --configure in case a previous install/update was interrupted. If a previous one was interrupted, there might still be some unsolved configuration problems that prevent new packages from installing successfully.

Hope it works. Good luck!

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Thanks for your answer. Points 1 and 2 I'm familiar with and issues with these have been resolved. Point 3 is new and I will look into it right away! – markus Oct 27 '10 at 15:12
Issuing dpkg -a --configure results in Starting SWsoft control panels server... stale pidfile. failed and a whole bunch of previous errors, as posted in the original question. – markus Oct 27 '10 at 15:21
Oh, sounds like the SWsoft control panel server needs to be restarted. You might get away with just deleting the pidfile manually and stopping/starting the service manually. Then, repeat the dpkg process. – sybreon Oct 27 '10 at 15:49
Can you give me a hint about where to find that pid file? – markus Oct 27 '10 at 16:38
They're typically in /var/run directory. – sybreon Oct 28 '10 at 13:20

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