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Is there an easy fix for errors such as this one?

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Because usually I end up going to packages.debian.org and installing them one by one, since apt-get -f install rarely does the trick. And if those dependencies have missing dependencies as well (and so on) that can end up taking quite some time.

You'd think this process could be automated.. or is this the only way to go?

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Do aptitude (console) or synaptic (gui) do a better job of resolving these for you? –  adric Apr 13 '12 at 12:17
    
How does this happen to you? Did you download php5-fpm Debian 6 Squeeze package manually from packages.debian.org and are now trying to install it to Debian 5 Lenny? If so, that's not recommended at all. –  Janne Pikkarainen Apr 13 '12 at 12:34
    
@JannePikkarainen Actually, I used the dotdeb-stable repo. I guess that supports debian-squeeze only... Am I to understand that if an error like this ever occurs, and it can't fix itself, it's always due to an incompatibility like that? Because otherwise I guess I just used a bad example. –  natli Apr 13 '12 at 14:23

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Nope.
You must manually unwind the dependencies and figure out what is causing the conflict, then fix it (adric suggested using aptitude or synaptic to help you, but I doubt they'll get you much further along than apt-get would...).

Note that you probably got into this mess by manually installing packages instead of using the apt system -- If you think you know better than the tools provided you need to be prepared to fix things like this yourself, otherwise you should not start down the path of overriding the system and doing things manually, because this is where that path always ends.

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I'm happy as long as I'm not spending more time on it than I have to. Which I apparently am not, thanks! –  natli Apr 13 '12 at 22:09

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