Package ssh is not available, but is referred to by another package. This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or is only available from another source

Today, I helped my friend to install Debian. It was done via two GUI remote desktop connections (i.e., slow), and therefore I would like to access the server via SSH. So I tried to install the SSH package:

sudo apt-get install -y ssh

and I received the following message:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree... Done
Package ssh is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

Actually this is a very easy problem. Debian tries to download SSH from the package source (defined in /etc/apt/source.list) but the package (SSH) is not available. To solve this problem, we can simply edit the source list:

sudo nano /etc/apt/source.list

and insert (if not exists) or update (if exists) the following links into your file:

deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ lenny main contrib non-free
deb http://security.debian.org/ lenny/updates main contrib non-free

Since we’ve update the package source list, we need to update the package database of the system:

sudo apt-get -y update

Now we can install the package again:

sudo apt-get install -y ssh

and upgrade the entire system (optional):

sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade

Have fun with Debian.

–Derrick

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