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Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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6.3.7 What to do if the dpkg command is broken

A broken dpkg may make it impossible to install any .deb files. A procedure like the following will help you recover from this situation. (In the first line, you can replace "links" with your favorite browser command.)

     $ links
       ... download the good dpkg_version_arch.deb
     $ su
     password: *****
     # ar x dpkg_version_arch.deb
     # mv data.tar.gz /data.tar.gz
     # cd /
     # tar xzfv data.tar.gz

For i386, may also be used as the URL.

Debian GNU/Linux Reference Guide
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