Error: failed to prepare transaction (could not satisfy dependencies) on Arch Linux

Continuing with the theme from the last couple of weeks, we’re going to talk about an issue that cropped up when upgrading my Arch Linux system.

After resolving a couple of other issues with specific packages, I attempted to upgrade my system with yay -Syu and was greeting with yet another error:

:: Synchronizing package databases...
 core is up to date
 extra is up to date
 multilib is up to date
:: Starting full system upgrade...
resolving dependencies...
looking for conflicting packages...
error: failed to prepare transaction (could not satisfy dependencies)
:: installing alsa-lib (1.2.12-1) breaks dependency 'alsa-lib=1.2.11' required by lib32-alsa-lib
:: installing alsa-plugins (1:1.2.12-1) breaks dependency 'alsa-plugins=1:' required by lib32-alsa-plugins
 -> error installing repo packages

This error was showing up previously, but since I had another error ahead of it, it wasn’t a cause for concern at that time.

I took my usual troubleshooting approach, but tends to start with just trying the command again, in case it was a fluke. That’s followed by isolating the package in question, in this case alsa-lib and lib32-alsa-lib, and attempting to update them directly.

While that tends to resolve most of my issues, that wasn’t the case for this one. The same error was returned with each attempt I made.

Mirror mirror

After a bit of research, and chatting up an AI model, I found that the issue was due to faulty mirror.

I was skeptical that was the case, as I configure my Arch systems to automatically update the mirrors on a schedule. Note to self: figure out if mirrors are actually updating on a schedule on my Arch rig.

Unsure what actually caused this, but the fix wasn’t difficult. Simply running the reflector service got this sorted.

sudo systemctl start reflector.service

After that ran, I had new mirrors, and was able to finally proceed with updating my Arch Linux system.

Josh Sherman - The Man, The Myth, The Avatar

About Josh

Husband. Father. Pug dad. Musician. Founder of Holiday API, Head of Engineering and Emoji Specialist at Mailshake, and author of the best damn Lorem Ipsum Library for PHP.

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