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I've just done a fresh install of 5.1 on my machine. I'm trying to setup openssh-server which was not installed on the base package.

I've already done a 'sudo apt-get update' and 'sudo apt-get upgrade'. But when i try and install openssh-server i seem to get a circular dependency problem. Does anyone know how to fix? See below for details:


    ~$ lsb_release -a
    No LSB modules are available.
    Distributor ID: elementary
    Description:    elementary OS 5.1 Hera
    Release:    5.1
    Codename:   hera

But when i try and install openssh-server I see this:

nherriot:~$ sudo apt-get install openssh-server
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies.
 openssh-server : Depends: openssh-client (= 1:7.6p1-4)
                  Depends: openssh-sftp-server but it is not going to be installed
                  Recommends: ssh-import-id but it is not going to be installed
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

And if I check for ssh-import-id I see that it is already at the newest version:

nherriot:~$ sudo apt-get install ssh-import-id
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
ssh-import-id is already the newest version (5.7-0ubuntu1).
0 to upgrade, 0 to newly install, 0 to remove and 0 not to upgrade.

And if i check for openssh-client I have this already installed:

nherriot:~$ sudo apt-get install openssh-client
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
openssh-client is already the newest version (1:7.6p1-4ubuntu0.3).
0 to upgrade, 0 to newly install, 0 to remove and 0 not to upgrade.

This seems to be at the correct version number 1:7.6p1-4 as the version requested correct?

And if I check for the state of the package openssh-sftp-server I get this:

nherriot:~$ sudo apt-get install openssh-sftp-server
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
or been moved out of Incoming.
The following information may help to resolve the situation:

The following packages have unmet dependencies.
 openssh-sftp-server : Depends: openssh-client (= 1:7.6p1-4)
                       Recommends: openssh-server or
                                   ssh-server
E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.

Which seems to be circular! i.e. I already have openssh-client at the correct version, and I'm trying to install openssh-server!

Have you got any advice on how to solve this for elementary OS 5.1 ?

Kind regards, Nicholas

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  • 1
    We need to take a look at your ppas. Please add the output of egrep -v '^#|^ *$' /etc/apt/sources.list /etc/apt/sources.list.d/* to your question.
    – Vlad
    Commented Jan 15, 2020 at 12:06
  • I've worked out a solution! If this happens to anyone else I did this: 1) Open up 'synaptic' with $> sudo synaptic. 2) mark for complete removal of 'openssh-client' 3) apply changes to remove this package. 4) mark for installation the ubunutu 'openssh-server' which includes a number of SSH tools in the same package as well as the client. Solved! :-/ .... Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 9:41
  • Can you post your solution like an answer and later accept it in order than it is visible that your problem is resolved? It will be more helpfull for a people in a situation like yours, it will be visible for all of us that there is a solution already and you will receive some reputation points because of that.
    – Bo rislav
    Commented Jan 16, 2020 at 21:11

1 Answer 1

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The solution i found:

  1. Open up 'synaptic' with $> sudo synaptic.
  2. mark for complete removal of 'openssh-client'
  3. apply changes to remove this package.
  4. mark for installation the ubunutu 'openssh-server' which includes a number of SSH tools in the same package as well as the client. Solved! :-/

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