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Old 05-17-2007, 12:09 PM   #1
Brian Ryans
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Registered: Dec 2006
Distribution: Debian 3.1r3
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Debian 4 Stable - dpkg/apt-get/aptitude - Database reading issue?

When I attempt to install or remove any package using any of the package-management tools in Debian 4.0 Stable, the 'Reading Database' step never ends, it just stays there with no disk activity.

bryans@obsi:/var/cache/apt/archives$ sudo aptitude
# chose to install nethack-spoilers via aptitude
Selecting previously deselected package nethack-spoilers.
(Reading database ... 
# Stops here. No disk activity.
Here's the line from 'ps aux' for the instance of dpkg that aptitude started:
root     11411  0.1  3.9   9088  6292 pts/1    S+   10:56   0:01 /usr/bin/dpkg --status-fd 11 --unpack /var/cache/apt/archives/nethack-spoilers_3.4.3-1_all.deb
And running 'lsof -p 11411' yields:
dpkg    11411 root  cwd    DIR    3,1    4096      2 /
dpkg    11411 root  rtd    DIR    3,1    4096      2 /
dpkg    11411 root  txt    REG    3,1  336456 442444 /usr/bin/dpkg
dpkg    11411 root  mem    REG    0,0              0 [heap] (stat: No such file or directory)
dpkg    11411 root  mem    REG    3,1 1672256 462378 /usr/lib/locale/locale-archive
dpkg    11411 root  mem    REG    3,1 1241392 297571 /lib/tls/i686/cmov/
dpkg    11411 root  mem    REG    3,1   89370 297585 /lib/tls/i686/cmov/
dpkg    11411 root  mem    REG    3,1   88164 294379 /lib/
dpkg    11411 root    0u   CHR  136,1              3 /dev/pts/1
dpkg    11411 root    1u   CHR  136,1              3 /dev/pts/1
dpkg    11411 root    2u   CHR  136,1              3 /dev/pts/1
dpkg    11411 root    3uW  REG    3,1       0 294575 /var/lib/dpkg/lock
dpkg    11411 root    4w   REG    3,1    4608 298072 /var/lib/dpkg/updates/tmp.i
dpkg    11411 root    5r   REG    3,1    2165 298118 /var/lib/dpkg/diversions
dpkg    11411 root    6r   REG    3,1       0 294613 /var/lib/dpkg/statoverride
dpkg    11411 root   11w  FIFO    0,6          51775 pipe
I recieved a suggestion from a friend to 'rebuild the dpkg database' but I don't know how to go about doing that, or if that'll even work.
Old 05-18-2007, 05:09 AM   #2
Dutch Master
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Registered: Dec 2005
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Could be a number of things, but the most obvious first: is your network up? I.e: can you connect to the internet? Rebuilding the database is a bit tricky and I couldn't find a way of doing it with the tools available, so I suggest to keep it simple:
aptitude auto-clean && aptitude keep-all
You can d/l the nethack package here: and install it with dpkg.


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