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Old 04-01-2003, 09:22 PM   #1
revmyo
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Distribution: SuSE 8.0 Pro
Posts: 16

Rep: Reputation: 0
Unhappy man pages, gdbm fatal error


I have a feeling this will be one of those linux questions that no one responds to, but here goes, anyway:

I'm running SuSE 8.0 Pro on a fairly muscular box. Out of the blue, when I run "man" on any topic that's NOT in section 1 (e.g. "man syslogd"), I get this: "gdbm fatal: read error". I use "man" a lot, so it's kind of a pain.

I searched around in Google groups and also here at Linux Q's, but I didn't find enough info to go on, except that someone mentioned "xman", which I now use instead and which works fine. But I really do want to find out what has gone wrong, so I can fix it properly. I haven't learned yet how to completely reinstall the man pages or system or whatever it is, but it seems some other posters tried that and it didn't help. SuSE support is pretty useless, as usual.

Sigh... Any ideas?

Thanks,
myo
 
Old 04-03-2003, 10:16 AM   #2
aherm
Member
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Location: upNorth
Distribution: openSuSE/uBuntu
Posts: 410

Rep: Reputation: 30
Try update your gdbm and man packages

Source RPM: gdbm-1.8.0-688.src.rpm
Source RPM: man-2.3.19deb4.0-463.src.rpm

Search it here:
http://rpm.pbone.net
www.rpmseek.com

Type this on your Konqueror location:
info:gdbm
man:gdbm

Hope that will help ;-)


Have a lot of fun :-)

Last edited by aherm; 04-03-2003 at 09:30 PM.
 
Old 03-04-2004, 12:45 PM   #3
paulsm4
Guru
 
Registered: Mar 2004
Distribution: SusE 8.2
Posts: 5,863
Blog Entries: 1

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
gdbm fatal: read error: try mandb -csp

Hi -

PROBLEM:
---------------
I had exactly the same problem with SusE:

1. Many of the "man" pages worked OK (example: "man ls" => NO PROBLEM)

2. Most "man" lookups, however, failed:
man connect =>
"gdbm fatal: read error".

3. If I did an "apropos SUBJECT", then specified the section, it worked:
a) man connect
<= GDBM FATAL: READ ERROR
b) apropos connect
<= THE SOCKETS "CONNECT()" API DOCUMENTED IN SECTION 2
c) man 2 connect
<= THIS WORKS OK

CAUSE:
-----------
I tried a "mandb -c" to recreate the index, and discovered "whatis" couldn't
parse many (about 300 or so) man pages.

In other words, the global "man" index could not be build because of
numerous local "whatis" parse errors.

EXAMPLE:
a) su - root
b) mandb -c =>mandb: warning: /usr/share/man/man1/eyuvtoppm.1.gz: whatis parse for eyuvtoppm(1) failed
mandb: warning: /usr/share/man/man1/pnmtotiffcmyk.1.gz: whatis parse for pnmtotiffcmyk(1) failed
mandb: warning: /usr/share/man/man1/pgmnoise.1.gz: whatis parse for pgmnoise(1) failed
<= MANY MORE ERRORS LIKE THIS

SOLUTION:
----------------
Rebuild the "man" index using "mandb -csp" instead of "mandb -c"
<= THIS SUCCESSFULLY REBUILDS THE "MAN" INDEXES
YOU SHOULD NO LONGER GET ANY "GDBM" ERRORS ... EVEN
THE OFFENDING PAGES (LIKE "pgmnoise") SHOULD WORK OK

Cheers .. PSM
 
Old 03-04-2004, 02:41 PM   #4
revmyo
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2003
Distribution: SuSE 8.0 Pro
Posts: 16

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: 0
Thumbs up Mandb error...

Many thanks! This was really helpful. I'm really surprised, though... I think my original post was something like a year ago!

Blessings,
Denis
 
Old 02-14-2005, 12:25 PM   #5
hawe
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2005
Distribution: Debian Sarge
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: 0
Still useful. Thanks.
Hawe
 
Old 01-17-2014, 09:16 AM   #6
heatfanjohn
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jan 2014
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Thumbs up How to correct: gdbm fatal: malloc error when running man-db

Still useful over 10 years later!

Thank you!
 
Old 07-08-2014, 01:21 PM   #7
clrn0979
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Jul 2014
Posts: 1

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
I had the same issue when I installed new programs. Everything would install fine, but when it came to install the mandb for the program it would say gdbm fatal error. I issued the command sudo mandb -c it went through and look for all the mandb files and corrected the errors. Now when I install a program and it comes to install the mandb I don't get that error. Cudos my friend for the find... Simply awsome..
 
  


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