There was an Ubuntu package that did not install in my laptop for no apparent reason. That was j2re1.4. When it was about to perform pre-configuration, the following message appeared:
Preconfiguring packages …
j2re1.4 failed to preconfigure, with exit status 10
Selecting previously deselected package j2re1.4.
(Reading database … 72112 files and directories currently installed.)
Unpacking j2re1.4 (from …/j2re1.4_1.4.2.02-1ubuntu3_i386.deb) …
dpkg: error processing /var/cache/apt/archives/j2re1.4_1.4.2.02-1ubuntu3_i386.deb (–unpack):
subprocess pre-installation script returned error exit status 10
Errors were encountered while processing:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
My googling the problem solved it. I found out that the problem was rooted in the system’s default way of installing packages, wherein license-related queries are skipped or ignored. The Java package contains a set of license-related questions that must be answered before the actual installation could ensue. That was why j2re1.4 would not install.
Thanks to this Launchpad link it solved my problem: https://launchpad.net/distros/ubuntu/+source/sun-java5/+bug/46096.