Every time LMDE upgrades, it breaks my packages. At the very least, it breaks the nvidia driver (I should probably switch to source-based) but this last time, it auto uninstalled almost everything NVidia/Gnome/X11/Mate/Cinnamon/etc.
You might be asking, "Why didn't you read the release notes that said to not upgrade yet?"
Well, to be honest, I was used to the simplicity of the daily non-breaking Ubuntu updates. This new Debian tri-weekly breaking rolling update is a new beast to get used to. I put rolling update in italic because I don't understand how updating more packages less often is 'rolling'.
Anyways, I spent the last 3 days trying to fix my box. It would boot fine - into a command line... but I really prefer to use Firefox/Chrome/Opera over links to do my web searching.
I am sure these instructions are not the correct way to do things. You might even say it could be a bad idea to get into someones head. But since that was the only thing I tried that allowed me to start booting into X again, here we go.
First off, I determined something I thought should be installed. I don't know what the process in my head is for that, other than just selecting some random names I thought out to be there. For example 'gdm'.
Secondly, I need to find out the correct name for it. IE: it's 'gdm3' not 'gdm'. For this, I did:
and found the one that looked right (in this case 'gdm3').apt search gdm
Then, I needed to know whether it was actually installed yet or not -- and at which revision. For that I did:
apt-cache policy gdm3
This showed that it was not currently installed! Well that doesn't sound right.
If step 3 showed the correct (updated) candidate:
If it fails to install, it might list some unmet dependency. If so, I start over at STEP 3 (or STEP 2 if that doesn't work) using that dependency as the new name to test.apt install gdm3
If STEP 3 showed the wrong (or no) candidate, I looked at the numbers [priority] at the beginning of each URL. It might show something like '500' for the one you want to install but '*** 700' for the one you have installed or it wants installed. Look at the URL for the one with the higher unwanted priority.
edit /etc/apt/sources.list and comment out the URL from STEP 5
Go to STEP 3.apt updateapt dist-upgrade
Like I said, these are probably not a good template to follow; however, next time instead of wasting 3 days trying to fix an upgrade I'll start here.