PureOS 10 - Software Updates Errors (fwupd)

I have a new Librem14 as of end of December 2021. I’m new to Linux in general, but a life long System Engineer with Windows (no hate mail please), so have been having lots of fun getting to know PureOS Bundle with GPG, Debian, GNU and intro to the world of sudo. So far I have setup the PureOS environment and ran into errors getting the PureOS Software Updates to work with this message.
Unable to download updates:
The following packages have unmet dependencies:

After searching here and elsewhere for “PureOS Software Updates”, I could not find any post that specifically addresses this error to complete resolution, so I’m creating one here on how I got it to work. Being a novice here, it would be great for the SME’s to review and provide any needed suggestions/corrections for others to benefit from if others have the same issue… which I suspect will be the case since I got identical results with the base PureOS that came pre-installed and the PureOS Live USB install I did subsequently.

I came across a post here suggesting using these commands, which I did and resulted in a huge number of updates.

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt autoremove
sudo reboot

I then started getting this error and never could resolve it.

Sorry, something went wrong:
Error calling StartServiceByName for org.freedesktop.fwupd: Failed to
activate service ‘org.freedesktop.fwupd’:timed out

Then my new 1GB Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 SSD came in the mail, so I replaced the 860 EVO 250 GB SSD and embarked on installing fresh using the PureOS Live USB that I included in my laptop order.

RESULTS: Identical!

I guess it’s a good thing that the results from doing the same steps as above resulted in the same exact Software Update errors prior to running the sudo commands and after running them. At least we know the bug is consistent across their base build and the LiveOS USB.

So I went on the search for a solution and found another set of commands to run in a loosely related post.

These first 3 did not fix anything.
sudo apt update --fix-missing
sudo dpkg --configure -a
sudo apt install -f

Then saw this other command mentioned in the post and ran it.
sudo apt full-upgrade

This installed the 14 packages that all the previous commands had identified but indicated were not installed with no explanation or solution on what to fix.

I ran “sudo apt autoremove” one last time before rebooting and now everything shows no updates needed in both the Software app and “sudo apt update” command.

Again, as a novice, I was not trying to understand practically what all the commands were accomplishing… so some may not have been neccessary. I invite the SME’s to review and provide a more concise set of commands if anything seems excessive in my blundering.


Implementation of fwupd package within PureOS Byzantium (I’m no SMA, just simple user) is very specific one. You can introduce yourself to it (related update errors you have had) over this post of “mine” (actually through related links about), very recent one.

$ man dpkg − explains things - I’d coarse say (add) that dpkg package exams your system internally and for
$ man apt − explains things - I’d coarse say that apt exams your system compatibility with the entire/current and particular Linux environment.

For example executing sudo dpkg --configure -a is rare thing (command) that you’d ever need again (probably wasn’t needed at all) with PureOS but still very important one making sure that you’ll boot into your Librem 14 system again without any issues. It can still be executed (from your side) from time to time and if no output there you can :blush:.

Exactly and if you like you can put here output of sudo apt-get -f install.

Also, please remember this procedure in order to actually see which Linux packages are about to be upgraded:

  1. $ sudo apt update

  2. $ sudo apt list --upgradable -a

  3. $ sudo apt upgrade

And every time you see that older linux-image-5.1X.X-X-amd64 is about to be upgraded be aware that your last command will be sudo reboot into brand new (just installed) Linux Kernel.

Thanks for your post! It tells me you’ll be just fine (takes time but not much for you), IMHO, as you carefully approach to everything you do.


Perfect - thanks Quarnero for the input!!!
And will try the reduced steps next time :upside_down_face:

  1. $ sudo apt update
  2. $ sudo apt list --upgradable -a
  3. $ sudo apt upgrade
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Did you get it to work? If not, I was able to update “fwupd” using the Synaptic Package Manager. To do this, you first need to install the Synaptic Package Manager by clicking “Activities” (or using the Windows Key on your keyboard), then clicking the square made of dots at the bottom of the panel on the left-hand side of the screen. From there, you scroll down to the shopping bag labeled “Software”. From there, you simply search “Synaptic Package Manager”, and install it from the store.

Once installed, you’re going to want to run the manager, then click on the “Status” button located at the bottom-left-hand side of the screen. From there, go to the contents menu (located just above the section with the buttons: should have contents like “All”, “Installed”, " Installed (auto removable)", “Installed (local or obsolete)”, etc.). You’re going to want to click on one of these contents menus that ONLY has the “fwupd” package in it (I don’t remember the name of this menu as it disappears after you update the files within). [EDIT: it might not only have the “fwupd” package in it if you have other outdated packages that need upgrading] From there, you’re going to want to Right-Click the “fwupd” package, and select the option to “Mark for Upgrade”. Some sort of Confirmation Box will appear that you will need to confirm to continue. Once you’ve confirmed, above the contents menu (still on the left-hand side of the screen) you should see three buttons labeled “Reload”, “Mark All Upgrades”, and “Apply”. You’re going to want to click the “Apply” button with the three gears. This will update the “fwupd” package.

Hope this helps! :slightly_smiling_face: And I hope you like the Synaptic Package Manager! It’s a great GUI that simplifies otherwise complex or tricky Terminal tasks related to package installation, removal, or upgrading.


I just did the upgrade from amber to byzantium via the “fresh install” route, since there were so many issues with the “dist-ugrade” route.

Most things worked, and just needed some tweaking with a few apt-get commands, but – as above – the fwupd package was a problem. Using Synaptic was the way through for me, also, and it has now become another useful tool in the toolkit, so thanks for the prompt! :+1:

As mentioned previously, Synaptic Package Manager should come with this distro, but the powers that be are stubborn. :unamused:

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To nitpick, you undoubtedly mean “Synaptic should be installed by default”. As far as I can tell, we keep the base install simple not to overwhelm newbies. Synaptic is a tool for an advanced user, who’s only an apt-get install away from having it on their system.

Indeed. Both aptitude (for those who prefer the command-line) and synaptic (for gui) are just an apt-get install away. But it is not at all easily clear what you can get your hands on (in terms of packages) until you install synaptic, thanks to the package manager list interface :wink:

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Also, the “we don’t want to overwhelm newbies” argument falls apart when said newbie wants to install the Linux version of his favorite software, say SlimJet for example. Then’s he’s chest deep in overwhelm creek without chest waders or a life jacket.

With Synaptic, you’re at least giving said newbie a chance when it comes to installing third party software.

Newbies these days are those for whom software = apps, and who don’t know software can exist outside the App Store.

For better or worse, if you know SlimJet, you’re a power user, and PureOS doesn’t go out of its way to accommodate your type.

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Based on what data exactly?

Based on the subjective assessment of what user base PureOS wants to support (filtered by my guess, I’m not deciding that).

Also, personal experience. Also, https://www.statista.com/statistics/203734/global-smartphone-penetration-per-capita-since-2005/ and https://www.statista.com/statistics/748551/worldwide-households-with-computer/ .

Also, is this a joke? Knowing software outside the paltry offerings in your store makes you a power user? By that logic, knowing Candy Crush makes me a power user? Knowing Call of Duty makes me a power user? Knowing Adobe Photoshop makes me a power user? Knowing iTunes makes me a power user?

You’re delving deeper into madness with every post you write.

No, people who want to install proprietary software via .debs on PureOS are simply not our core audience. That’s all.

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@jvoros Just thought I’d share with you one more useful tool called GDebi. If you’re unfamiliar with this tool, it makes installing locally downloaded .deb packages a breeze, and even scans the .deb packages for dependencies and offers to install them for you if they aren’t included! If you haven’t checked out GDebi yet, I highly recommend you do! You can find it in Synaptic Package Manager under “Not Installed” (unless you have already installed GDebi, then it would be listed under Installed :wink:).

@Jack_Sparrow - hey, was offline for a bit and just caught up with this thread. Lots of great info from you and @jvoros has been added to my toolkit. Can’t wait to dig in.

You had asked if I got it to work and yes at that time all was good!

Hey @Jack_Sparrow, thanks for the tip.

I had actually looked at GDebi a (good) while ago, but didn’t pursue it, since I was happy enough to re-learn command-line stuff for PureOS again. I was using command-line back in the paleolithic era of the internet (VMS on a Vax, Unix on a DECstation, late 1980s, early 1990s, and a stint at Netscape 25 years ago) after which I ended up having to go into various Windows environments. So, I had seen, and at various times been accustomed to, both approaches. They each have their merits, depending on what you want to do.*

I’ve just re-re-installed PureOS 10 this morning, using a newer .iso image than the one that caused those problems first time around. None of the fwupd or other ‘dependencies’ headaches this time, so the install image looks to be getting the refinements it needs :+1:

The base system is up and running again after a couple of hours. But now, prompted by your message, I might have a go at installing some of the out-of-repo software using GDebi to see how it goes.

There is much to like about Unix - oops!, I mean Linux - not least of which is the privacy and security aspect, especially for PureOS, so hopefully you’ll hang around a bit longer to get to love it as much as the love-sick evangelists around here who take exception to anyone apparently dissin’ the object of their affections :wink:

*For example: no easy way to install Signal Desktop on Linux without using the command-line, as the Linux install instructions show.

Actually, there’s a Signal flatpak available on the official PureOS store. You could also have just one-click installed Signal from there. :grin:

Yes, but as you would have noticed, the PureOS Store is not installed by default in the distro. Trying to install it removes the related gnome-software packages (not necessarily a problem, but there has been commentary around here about the limitations of using just the PureOS store), and does not automatically install the flatpak plugin that would allow it to seamlessly do the Signal Desktop install.


Sometimes command-line is more fun. But, good noticing :+1:
I haven’t gone all-in on PureOS Store yet, because I’m not sure how easily it is possible to roll back from it, if the comments I’ve seen are reliable. I suspect you’re an inveterate tinkerer (like me) no matter what the OS, and our kind just hates to be locked into anything, or told what we can and can’t do, right? :wink:

Oh you don’t have to tell me. I’ve been the talk of the town lately when it comes to disliking being limited to installing software exclusively from the store. :laughing:

Still, the PureOS Store (actually, it’s GNOME Software, to be more accurate) offers a non-command line way of installing Signal. While I agree that using command prompts can be fun, my goal is to try and find ways for Linux to be used within the GUI itself thus allowing me to encourage non-techie friends and family to switch to Linux. As you can see from my previous post, it’s not been easy. :roll_eyes:

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