"apt show" reports misleading conflicts

Asked by Bernd Wechner on 2016-06-21

Packages are reported to conflict with themselves when they actually conflict with a different architecture version of themselves.

For example (and as illustrated below using "apt show" and "apt-cache depends") musepack-tools is reported to conflict with musepack-tools (according to "apt show") but in reality (as revealed by "apt-cache depends") conflicts with musepack-tools:i386.

That is misleading and concerning when read for the first time by probably anyone and apparently a known issue:


I consider it a bug and file so accordingly. "apt show", should not mislead as it does, but show at least the same output as "apt-cache depends" does here.

Example runs:

$ apt show musepack-tools
Package: musepack-tools
State: installed
Automatically installed: no
Version: 2:0.1~r459-1ubuntu3
Priority: optional
Section: universe/sound
Maintainer: Ubuntu Developers <email address hidden>
Architecture: amd64
Uncompressed Size: 342 k
Depends: libc6 (>= 2.15), libcue1, libmpcdec6 (>= 1:0.1~r435), libreplaygain1
         (>= 1.0~r412)
Conflicts: musepack-tools
Description: MusePack commandline utilities
 Musepack is an audio compression format with a strong emphasis on high quality.
 It's not lossless, but it is designed for transparency, so that you won't be
 able to hear differences between the original wave file and the much smaller
 MPC file.

 It is based on the MPEG-1 Layer-2 / MP2 algorithms, but since 1997 it has
 rapidly developed and vastly improved and is now at an advanced stage in which
 it contains heavily optimized and patentless code.

 This package contains various commandline utilities for MusePack files:
 * mpcenc (encoder)
 * mpcdec (decoder)
 * mpccut (cut MPC files without reencoding)
 * mpcgain (gain calculation)
 * mpc2sv8 (conversion to MusePack SV8 from older SV)
Homepage: http://www.musepack.net

$ apt-cache depends musepack-tools
  Depends: libc6
  Depends: libcue1
  Depends: libmpcdec6
  Depends: libreplaygain1
  Conflicts: musepack-tools:i386

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: apt 1.0.1ubuntu2.14
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.16.0-38.52~14.04.1-generic 3.16.7-ckt10
Uname: Linux 3.16.0-38-generic x86_64
ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.21
Architecture: amd64
Date: Tue Jun 21 10:56:12 2016
InstallationDate: Installed on 2015-09-04 (290 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Linux Mint 17.2 "Rafaela" - Release amd64 20150627
SourcePackage: apt
UpgradeStatus: No upgrade log present (probably fresh install)

Question information

English Edit question
Ubuntu apt Edit question
No assignee Edit question
Last query:
Last reply:

This question was originally filed as bug #1594627.

Bernd Wechner (bwechner) said : #1

Mint is not supported by the Ubuntu community in any way. It's support community is entirely separate from Ubuntu's.

I suggest you post on the Mint forum here:

Bernd Wechner (bwechner) said : #3

That Mint is not supported by the Ubuntu community in any way is a prudent and sensible observation, but relevant only if the issue concerned is Mint specific.

In fact there's every reason to believe that even though Ubuntu is not supported by the Debian community in any way (and so the cycle goes), that this is in fact a bug/feature in the "apt" code which I suspect is untouched when the Debian release is Ubuntufied and the Ubuntu release is Mintified.

So in summary, I think the question of users distro is indeed relevant if and only if the issue is specific to that distro and this one I suspect is a Debian issue, but in all honesty I was just giving apport-bug a spin to see how it worked.

I see little point in posting to the Mint forum unless there's reason to believe it's Mint specific or you think that the Mint development community has efficient ways of upstream reporting to Ubuntu or Debian as needed I guess. Happy to try, just didn't expect that to be a particularly direct or efficient way for the observation to reach "apt" maintainers.

What is the output of:

apt-cache policy musepack-tools libmpcdec6 libreplaygain1 libcue1


Ronaldo R.Oliveira (morcberry) said : #5

Mint is based on Ubuntu, then for me all ok :)
but you should put your questions also at Mint forum.
with 2 forums working together more chance of solve the problems :-P

Can you help with this problem?

Provide an answer of your own, or ask Bernd Wechner for more information if necessary.

To post a message you must log in.