How to Solve the dpkg was interrupted Error on Debian Web Servers


Running a Debian based server can be a thrilling experience for any system administrator. However, it can also become a frustrating experience when you encounter certain errors that seem out of your control. One common issue that Debian system administrators encounter is the “dpkg was interrupted” error during a software package installation or upgrade. This issue can disrupt a routine task and delay your productivity. But like any problem worth solving, it poses an opportunity to learn something new.

Understanding the Issue

The “dpkg was interrupted” error generally occurs when a software package installation or upgrade process is abruptly stopped. This could be due to a sudden system reboot, unexpected power loss, or even an unfortunate closing of the terminal session during an ongoing package installation process.

“dpkg” is the Debian package management utility, which handles the installation and removal of software packages. When dpkg is in the process of installing, upgrading, or removing a software package and is mysteriously interrupted, it reports this state as an error because it hasn’t successfully completed its task.

The Solution

Given the circumstances explained earlier, the solution is to simply allow dpkg to configure itself and finish the job it started. This will clear the issue and get your Debian server back on track.

First, execute the following command as a sudo or root user:

sudo dpkg --configure -a

This command will instruct dpkg to try and finish any operations that were previously interrupted. Once this command executes successfully, it should resolve the error.

However, if you still see the same error or do not have the necessary permissions, you may need to alter the permissions of the ‘dpkg’ file using the ‘chmod’ command. Chmod is a command in Linux and other Unix-like operating systems that allows you to change the permissions of files.

Execute the following commands:

sudo chmod 0755 /var/lib/dpkg/info
sudo chmod 0755 /var/lib/dpkg/info/*

These commands will alter the permissions for ‘dpkg’ files and resolve any permission related issues that might be causing problems.


Dealing with dpkg errors may at first seem like a daunting task. But with some understanding of how dpkg works and patience to follow through troubleshooting steps, it is quite manageable. It’s crucial to be vigilant and take necessary precautions to avoid interrupting the dpkg during its operations. Despite the challenges, like a true knight in shining armour, every problem gives us an opportunity to learn and improve our skills! Happy learning!

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