Short bio: Computer Scientist, FOSS supporter (read more)
Tux Machines (TM)-specific
When you install an application package in a Debian-based system, sometimes prerequisite application packages are unavailable. These missing packages are known as broken dependencies. Left unresolved, they can cripple your system's ability to install new packages. They're a disaster that isn't supposed to happen in Debian, thanks to the Advanced Packaging Tool (APT) and the scripts contained in Debian packages. That makes broken dependencies all the more devastating when they happen. Some users have even been known to reinstall the whole operating system, despairing of otherwise having a functioning package management system. However, depending on how the broken dependencies arose, you have several options to try before you consider reinstalling.