E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages

this happens with all packages that have dependencies. My system is blocked. I can't install anything. Doesn't matter which package. sudo apt-get update goes perfect no errors whatsoever.

I tried most solutions offered in forums.

sudo apt-get clean && sudo apt-get update, sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade, Sudo apt-get -f install, sudo apt-get -f remove, sudo apt-get --fix-broken install, sudo apt-get clean, sudo apt-get autoclean, sudo apt-get autoremove,sudo dpkg --configure -a, sudo apt-get update,

etc... etc.... etc....

tried to bypass it by "aptitude" and a lot more

I checked hold packages, tried synaptic.edit=> fix broken packages.

Synaptic can't find anything broken. Also apt-get update ends clean.?? But every attempt to install a package with apt-get install or aptitude, where a dependency is needed, i get "...is needed but it is not going to be installed" and "Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages."

If synaptic doesn't find anything and ap-get update runs ok, Where is that broken package? This silly thing,blocks all possibility to install anything. Even when I remove an installed package and remove the dependencies, and try to reinstall it again, i get the error.

I was happy with my installation. I don't want to reinstall the os. Help.

lemonslice, Thanks for your response. I tried to add it in the text field but it became a mess. I created a txt file. Find the info you requested here in this linked file:

link to file

  • Can you please include a list of your held packages, PPAs, /etc/apt/sources.list file ?
    – lemonslice
    Dec 1, 2016 at 6:38
  • I added the info in a linked file.
    – leeuwtje
    Dec 1, 2016 at 13:37
  • What does sudo apt dist-upgrade say ?
    – lemonslice
    Dec 2, 2016 at 7:14
  • $ sudo apt dist-upgrade Reading package lists... Done Building dependency tree Reading state information... Done Calculating upgrade... Done 0 to upgrade, 0 to newly install, 0 to remove and 0 not to upgrade.
    – leeuwtje
    Dec 2, 2016 at 10:33
  • 1
    I think I solved my problem. a matter of not checking what's obvious....here is a picture of software&updates and the default settings: askubuntu.com/questions/680965/software-updates-defaults
    – leeuwtje
    Dec 5, 2016 at 14:03

1 Answer 1


I think I solved my problem. a matter of not checking what's obvious....here is a picture of software&updates and the default settings:

For some reason the 2 upper settings; canonical en community were off....After switching them on and do a sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade -y, the problem was solved. I can install packages again. I noticed the problem when I started trying installing dependencies manually, till I found that the dependencies gave a "no installation candidate:" error. Than I checked the software&update settings...

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