Background of the ProblemThis happened in my Kubuntu/Ubuntu 12.04 Precise. Up until a few weeks ago, my copy of LibreOffice version 3.6 from the PPA was working great. [It was faster, more stable, more bug fixes and even some new much needed features.]
But then suddenly it just stopped working. I still don't know why this happened exactly, though I have finally been able to track the cause to the probable package that triggered the whole meltdown.
When I tried running LibreOffice through the apps menu, nothing happened. So I ran the command 'libreoffice' from console, and got the error message:
/usr/lib/libreoffice/program/oosplash: not foundI wasn't sure what this problem was. I thought maybe some dependency had gone bad.
Unsuccessful Things I Tried(1) I found I did not have a Java JRE installed, so I installed default-jre. But this didn't help.
(2) Try to reinstall LibreOffice, but APT tells me it cannot reinstall the libreoffice package back of broken packages. So manually remove extra libreoffice components.
apt-get remove --purge libreoffice-core libreoffice-writer libreoffice-calc libreoffice-impress libreoffice-draw libreoffice-math libreoffice-baseFirst try ininstalling LibreOffice, but cannot. APT eventually tells me:
The following packages have unmet dependencies:(3) I had been using this PPA: http://ppa.launchpad.net/libreoffice/ppa/ubuntu/
libreoffice : Depends: libreoffice-core (= 1:3.5.4-0ubuntu1.1) but it is not going to be installed
Depends: libreoffice-writer but it is not going to be installed
Depends: libreoffice-calc but it is not going to be installed
Depends: libreoffice-impress but it is not going to be installed
Depends: libreoffice-draw but it is not going to be installed
Depends: libreoffice-math but it is not going to be installed
Depends: libreoffice-base but it is not going to be installed
Recommends: libreoffice-gnome but it is not going to be installed or
libreoffice-kde but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
Tried using the program ppa-purge; even let it remove 100 separate packages at one point in order to "undo" the integration from this PPA that was probably causing problems on my system. But it did nothing to fix the problem!
(4) Tried manually editing the file /var/lib/dpkg/status, to check for a false positive on the program but nothing weird was installed or remaining! [Though I could not find anywhere it
Successful Fix (Part 1)Here is what I did that finally fixed the dependency problem. While manually trying to install libreoffice-core, I noticed the error message said:
libreoffice-core : Depends: libexttextcat0 (>= 2.2-8) but it is not going to be installedI checked out libexttextcat0 and it said:
libexttextcat0 : Depends: libexttextcat-data (= 3.2.0-1ubuntu1) but 3.3.1-2~precise1 is to be installedFinally I used 'apt-cache policy' to look at libexttextcat-data and it said:
libexttextcat-data:This library had installed a later version (3.3.1-2) from somewhere that was no longer in my apt-repositories and apt couldn't figure this out (as being a serious problem for fixing via downgrade).
*** 3.3.1-2~precise1 0
500 http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/ precise/main amd64 Packages
So I removed both libexttextcat-data and libexttextcat0 and then tried to install LibreOffice. Suddenly everything was ready to work again! But then came part 1.5.
Successful Fix (Part 1.5) The System is UncleanAt this point, I tried installing version LibreOffice 3.6 again from the PPA. This actually worked and installed just fine and it ran just fine. However I was a little worried about leftover crud from the prior botched installs.
After successfully installing LibreOffice 3.6, I purge uninstalled it and all its associated programs. Then I ran a check on the system, and sure enough found a bunch of left-over crud that hadn't been removed.
Successful Fix (Part 2)So now I was left with a lot of crud left over from the previous botched installation of LibreOffice 3.6 which would simply not be uninstalled because the system (APT/DPKG) thought it wasn't installed.
This was going to require manual clean up, but thankfully it's not a very difficult task in Linux. I had to manually run a search-and-delete every single copy of anything related to LibreOffice on my system. After every trace of libreoffice named files were gone from my system, I was ready to install libreoffice for the final time.
However now if I tried to installed LibreOffice 3.6 from the PPA, the package maintainer (APT) behaved strangely. It acted like it installed the programs but actually did NOT install them. Nothing happened. So I used the command:
ppa-purge ppa:libreoffice/ppaAnd removed the LibreOffice 3.6 PPA version and repository, and downgraded the program to version 3.5, installing from the official Ubuntu repositories and everything worked.
Word to the Wise: If you are installing a package and it asked you about installing a Configuration file, and you need to choose to keep your old file or install the Package-Maintainer's version, ALWAYS install the package maintainer's version, unless you have a really good reason not to.