dpkg: error processing package mysql-server (dependency problems)?

When I try to install mysql-server, an error comes like:

dpkg: error processing package mysql-server (--configure):
dependency problems - leaving unconfigured
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

What does it mean. Any ideas?


Thank you for visiting the Q&A section on Magenaut. Please note that all the answers may not help you solve the issue immediately. So please treat them as advisements. If you found the post helpful (or not), leave a comment & I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.

Method 1

dpkg returning an error code 1 doesn’t mean anything specific but it usually has to do with dependency issues. In your case, you tried to install two versions/instances of the same package i.e. mysql-server and mysql-server-5.7. So do the following to remove any redundant dependency issues and install a functioning mysql package

sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get purge mysql*
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get install -f
sudo apt-get install mysql-server-5.7
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

this should fix the problem at hand. But in the future, have care about the package names you add after sudo apt-get install since the wrong list of package names – for example redundant entries in the list – results in failure to install either of the packages or worse – you might even find yourself wading through the hellish depths of #DEPENDENCY-HELL

Method 2

All of the answers I’ve been able to find for this question have been of the form “purge your Mysql install and re-install it.” But in my case, I already have a working/active Mysql install. For me, the reason why dpkg --configure -a fails is because Mysql is already installed. Why dpkg thinks that the postinstall script needs to be run for my already-installed-and-upgraded Mysql I may never know, but it does.

After considerable time scouring for answers, I found a solution that should work if there are others who already have a working Mysql 5.7 and just want to get past this bogus postinstall script. You can edit the postinstall script directly as (on Ubuntu):

sudo vi /var/lib/dpkg/info/mysql-server-5.7.postinst

And then, on the second line, just add exit 0 and then run dpkg again and you should get something like:

$ sudo dpkg --configure -a         
Setting up mysql-server-5.7 (5.7.28-0ubuntu0.18.04.4) ...

You definitely would not want to follow these instructions if your Mysql installation had not previously completed (there’s a reason that the postinstall script insists on running). But for those who might end up with dpkg in a wonky state, as I have, the above can save you a lot of time purging and reinstalling an already-working version of Mysql.

Method 3

This should help

sudo apt-get purge mysql*
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

And now reinstall mysql

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

Method 4

If you’re on a VPS or similar, your error may be due to lack of RAM.

Running apt-upgrade seems to require some RAM, so it may force-close mysql, hence the problem to recover from the error.


1) Stop mysql manually before any apt-upgrade

sudo /etc/init.d/mysql stop

2) Fix:

sudo dpkg --configure mysql-server-X.X

(if version not known, use just mysql-server to find out (will not fix error)

3) Check:

sudo apt-get upgrade

Start mysql manually if it wasn’t started by apt.

Method 5

My answer from askubuntu.

None of the apt methods worked for me, try this:

Find locking process

$ ps -eaf
root      7316     1  0 00:19 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/dpkg --status-fd 35 --configure --pending
root      7808  7316  0 00:19 ?        00:00:00 /usr/bin/perl -w /usr/share/debconf/frontend /var/lib/dpkg/info/mysql-se
root      7817  7808  0 00:19 ?        00:00:00 /bin/bash /var/lib/dpkg/info/mysql-server-5.7.postinst configure
mysql     7973  7817  0 00:20 ?        00:00:00 mysqld --user=mysql --init-file=/var/lib/mysql-files/tmp.iNyY06ty0K --so

Kill it

do sudo kill -9 7973, basically the mysql one.

Now purge

sudo apt-get purge mysql-server-5.7 # Or whatever you are trying to purge.

Method 6

I had a similar issue. This is how I fixed mine.

  1. Restart MySQL service sudo service mysql restart
  2. Then fix broken installations sudo apt install -f

Method 7

i face same error due to problem in my upgrade from ubuntu 18.04 to ubuntu 20.04 , what i did is get mariadb instead also make sure when you do pruge mysql that if asked you to remove dbs in the dir
tell it not to delete the dbs so you will have your old databases with no data loss

what i did was this cmds

sudo apt-get purge mysql*
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
sudo apt-get install mariadb-server

Method 8

try this solution using aptitude this will replace all the file corrupted.

This is work on my 18.04

cr. https://www.digitalocean.com/community/questions/mysql-installation-error-dpkg-error-processing-package-mysql-server-5-5-configure?answer=61604

Method 9

In my case I had to run:

systemctl stop mysql.service

to stop MySQL before being able to install mysql without errors using:

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

Method 10

To solve the dependency issue, try:

sudo apt-get purge
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get check

And reinstall the package again by: sudo apt-get install mysql-server.

Source: Thread: Dpkg: Dependency problems – leaving unconfigured.

Other commands to try:

sudo apt-get install -f
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo dpkg --configure -a

Related: How can I Resolve dpkg dependency? at Ask Ubuntu.

Method 11

The problem can be much simpler (in my case) I had a missconfigured value in my configuration file [my.cnf] which lead to the error.
After cleaning up my.cnf mysql-server was restarted successfully

Method 12

If you are working on Debian 10, you need to first install GNUPG:

sudo apt-get install gnupg

That’s all; now you can try dpkg again.

Method 13

I tried almost every possible way but nothing was working for me. Then I found the problem that I was facing was due to less available ram. You can check your current ram status by free -h (in my case available was less than 1 GB). To clear ram restart your device. Then type following commands

sudo apt-get purge mysql*
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade

then again install mysql-server by

sudo apt-get install mysql-server

Method 14

Also pay attention to the terminal you are using, if it is ZSH many uninstall commands will not work like: sudo apt-get purge mysql* and the reinstallation process will fail, to fix this it is simple type in your terminal the word bash so that the terminal used is Bash, run the sudo apt-get purge mysql* command again and also the following commands below to confirm that you removed everything.

sudo apt-get remove mysql-server mysql-client mysql-common
sudo apt-get autoremove
sudo apt-get autoclean
sudo rm -rf /var/lib/mysql
sudo rm -rf /etc/mysql

Finally, run mysql --version to make sure there is no version on your machine and you can try installing again.

Method 15

I was in the same situation. After completely removing MySQL, I reinstalled it, killed the PID using port 3306, and reinstalled MySQL again. It’s working now.


All methods was sourced from stackoverflow.com or stackexchange.com, is licensed under cc by-sa 2.5, cc by-sa 3.0 and cc by-sa 4.0

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