Why doesn't Synaptic start?

  • deshmukh

    When I start synaptic package manager normally (Super-Synaptic), it asks for a password. When I enter password, nothing happens!

    When I start synaptic form terminal using synaptic-pkexec, I get:

    No protocol specified
    ** (synaptic:2760): WARNING **: Could not open X display
    No protocol specified
    (synaptic:2760): Gtk-WARNING **: cannot open display: :0

    And I am back to the prompt.

    When I start synaptic form terminal using sudo synaptic, it asks for sudo password in the terminal on entering it, it gives:

    (synaptic:2721): IBUS-WARNING **: The owner of /home/..../ibus/bus is not root!

    Then several messages like:

    (synaptic:2842): Gtk-WARNING **: GtkNotebook 0x84c1128 is mapped but visible child GtkLabel 0x8693970 is not mapped

    And synaptic starts with administrative privileges.

    What is happening? How do I get the normal behaviour (Super-synaptics-password) sequence back?

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    Related Question

    Why can't you have multiple instances of Synaptic?
  • Questioner

    I would just like to know the reason.

  • Related Answers
  • Flimm

    Synaptic is just a graphical front-end to APT (Debian's package manager: Advanced Packaging Tool).

    APT automatically locks one of a few special files (/var/lib/dpkg/lock among others) as it runs any operation. It is theoretically possible to programme APT to allow for concurrent processes to modify the package database. However, in practise, it is difficult to do so without risking corruption. Since most users don't need to use the packaging tool in this way, the developers have decided to disallow concurrency by implementing a lock.

    If you want to install several packages at once, you can do this by ticking all of those packages in Synaptic, or listing them on the command-line, like this: sudo apt-get install package1 package2 package3

  • Gilles

    You can run multiple instances of Synaptic. But only one of them can have administrative access. That's to prevent simultaneous modifications of the package databases, which could easily lead to them being corrupted.

    You can run any number of instances of Synaptic with read-only access by typing synaptic at a command prompt.

  • Little Jawa

    Basically: Synaptic is working at very low level for installing/configuring software. Having two instances working at the same time, changing settings and stuff, would most probably lead to corrupted software, with unusable features - and if it is about system software, it could render your OS unusable.

    Then Synaptic just can't be launched twice at the same time, to prevent such problems.

    You could see it as a "security feature" ;-)