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.


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.

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!

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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Hmm. Reading that thread, it occurs to me that perhaps it would have been better to lead with the idea that you are experimenting with Linux usability from a strict-GUI viewpoint so as to help encourage others - who might not be confident in using the command-line - to make the switch over from telemetry data-sucking OSes like Windows and MacOS.

In the past there has been some trolling on these forums (e.g., don’t go near the Round Table :scream:), so the folk here might be tempted to interpret frustration and friendly “bewildered critique” with aggression and hostile criticism. Purism as a company - among others in the privacy space, such ProtonMail and /e/ - have been subjected to a fair bit of hostility and conspiracy-mongering. I’ve watched with interest for quite a few years. In mid 2020 the opportunity to switch from Windows to Linux presented, so I made the switch, signed up and stopped lurking. Happy as a clam to have done so.

In synaptic if you search on pureos, you’ll see pureos-store plus a bunch of associated files. If you select that, it seems to mark gnome-software (and related) for removal. That’s what I meant by distinguishing between the PureOS Store and the GNOME Software application that comes bundled with PureOS, at least for laptop. No doubt they will be similar, and the PureOS version may even be a reworking of the GNOME code. But I suspect the PureOS Store is intended as part of the ‘convergence’ between LibremX devices, where X=5, 14, 15, etc, of the PureOS software base, and is no doubt intended to run on the phone as well.

That may even explain the fact why Signal can, apparently, be loaded via a flatpak from the PStore, since there has been a fair bit of chatter over the years here about getting Signal to work on the phone. If it comes in via a flatpak and avoids CL install, that would be progress towards that goal. But I was talking about Signal Desktop. Is that what you meant?

I’m glad I didn’t. I got to reveal just how toxic the Linux community really is. 50+ replies of people trying to force the Terminal down my throat before someone FINALLY replies with the correct GUI application. It makes sense why Linux often ends up on “Top 10 Cult Products” internet lists. The fanbase literally acts like a cult. Want a standard GUI experience? Nope, can’t have it on Linux even if it’s available. Got to use the Terminal because that’s the way of the cult.

I mean, in the case of ProtonMail, it’s more than just “conspiracy-mongering”. There’s legitimately good reasons as to show that ProtonMail might just be a flat-out scam (attempting to capitalize on people wanting “secure” email and delivering an inferior product); forget about “glowies”, conspiracies, and whatnot.

In the case of PureOS. Again, I can’t see any conspiracy mongering. It’s painfully obvious it’s just a bunch of bumbling developers desperately trying to cash in on the success of System76 via the “privacy and security” angle. Their biggest problem is their failure to improve GUI usability (or usability in general for that matter). They’re also not very customer friendly either, but then again, what company is these days?

Ah, I didn’t even see the officially branded PureOS Store until I searched for it after you wrote this comment. I’ve just being calling the prebundled GNOME Software the “PureOS Store”. It hadn’t even occurred to me than an official PureOS store even exists. With that being said, given that the PureOS Store is clearly branded BETA, I think you are indeed correct in saying that it is intended as part of the “convergence” between the Librem X devices. We’ll probably be seeing it overtake GNOME Software on the desktop in future releases of the OS.

Yes that is what I was talking about. And it should be noted that Signal Desktop can be installed via the GNOME Software flatpak on the Desktop version of PureOS: no command line needed. And yes, it is the actual Desktop version of Signal. Thank the Flathub community for doing what the Signal developers are sadly all too lazy to do themselves. :roll_eyes:

What can I say? Around any contested topic there are at least 6 levels of position-taking (on both sides) ramping up with increasing polarisation: Conciliators; Pragmatists; Moderates; Ideologues; Zealots; and Flamethrowers. This sequence also tends to indicate the relative volume (in terms of sound) that accompany the positions. Choose any topic you like and you’ll probably be able to discern the position-roles in terms of their public statements (and tone).*

Usually, Cs, Ps and Ms from both sides can come up with a more-or-less functional working relationship, albeit strained sometimes, but still functionally workable enough, if not exactly deliriously hugging. Whereas Is, Zs and Fs will mistrust anyone more towards the centre - and they frequently feel more in common with their opposing counterparts than with the centre. But, my (old man) advice would be to try not to judge the total community based on loud voices clearly coming from more extreme positions. As Master Yoda might say: “a waste of your life energy, that would be, yes, mmmm”.

Cool! Added that little factoid to my growing collection, thanks! :+1: Only an infinite number more to go…

*If this interests you, look up “Assimilation-Contrast Effect”. I learned this stuff from Don Beck. (Sorry, can’t help myself - occupational hazard: I’m an ex-academic. :wink:)