dpkg error-“subprocess pre-removal script returned error exit status 2” SOLVED (for distros based on debian packages)

Screenshot from 2013-07-21 17:58:19

I don’t know how many of you have encountered such an error while trying to re-install some packages through synaptic package manager. It was necessary for me to fix the error because it happened while re-installing one of the most important package ‘bash’. Recently when I tried to re-install bash, after downloading the .deb file installation was terminated showing the above error. There may be other methods different from the one described below. But I prefer this one.

Make sure to close synaptic and open up the terminal. Keep a copy of the following file into the home folder incase of any errors.
cp /var/lib/dpkg/status status
Open up the file for editing.
nano /var/lib/dpkg/status
Now search for the exact name of the package with problems and find it. In my case, I found the entry for the package bash(marked in the figure above). Select and delete that information and that much information only, i.e. you will remove “Package: bash” to “Description: “. Remember, package description may be multiline and you will need to remove all the lines till a blank line. Don’t forget to leave a line blank between the package description above and the one below. Save the file and exit. Launch synaptic and then search for the package. You will see the package as not installed. Mark it for installation and install it.

For me, since it was bash causing the problem I couldn’t even execute some of the commands and I was fed up. This method was completely successful. Hope this will be helpful for some of you in solving package installation errors. If the error still remains, after performing the above steps, please let me know through your valuable comments.

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