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Old 01-17-2004, 08:56 PM   #1
Registered: Jan 2003
Distribution: Mandrake 9 & SuSE 81.
Posts: 40

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dpkg unable to access status area

I'm using a Debian-based system, DamnSmall Linux (based on Knoppix). I'm trying to install a driver for my Conextant modem which is in a *.deb package.
When I execute dpkg -i xxxxxx.deb I receive the error:
dpkg: unable to access status area.

Any idea what I'm doing wrong.
I'm running this as root.
Maysville KY USA
Old 02-01-2004, 09:31 PM   #2
Homer Jay
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Registered: Dec 2003
Location: Berlin/Germany
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 22

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Try dpkg-deb --info xxxxxx.deb and dpkg-deb --contents xxxxxx.deb
to check that file first.
Then: is /var/lib/dpkg/status present?
What does dpkg -l say?
Have you ever installed another package on this box using dpkg -i?
Perhaps you could run strace dpkg -i xxxxxx.deb
to find out what this
unable to access status area.
Old 02-01-2004, 09:43 PM   #3
Registered: Feb 2004
Distribution: Debian
Posts: 286

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I don't know about you, but I often find drivers packaged in files with misleading names. Try the command "file xxxxx.deb". I have a funny feeling it's actually compressed or something.
Old 02-06-2004, 05:32 AM   #4
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Registered: Feb 2004
Posts: 1

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short answer

1) To make room the files and directories under /var/lib/dpkg are deleted so the tool are not directly usable

2) It is possible to restore them (having access to the net) using the command:
sudo dpkg-restore


long answer and references From the dsl site:

"To make room I had to delete the entire /var/lib/dpkg/ from the iso to make room. It is available as a separate download (dpkg.tar.gz). It's integrity should be high. Below is the list of Debian packages currently in Damn Small Linux.

Also, keep in mind that Damn Small is not pure Debian based. there are applications in DSL that are not on this list." [ ]

"Notes on using apt-get:
DSL is based on Debian, so it is possible to use apt-get after a hard drive install once the dpkg database is restored.

The way to do this is to download the compressed dpkg file from here and move it to '/var/lib/', then uncompress it:
tar zxvf dpkg.tar.gz

After that just 'apt-get update' and then Apt should be fully functional.

If you have net access, type 'sudo dpkg-restore' in your term window.

Now for the warning:
Damn Small is not derived purely from Debian, if you 'apt-get install' the wrong application you may break something, for instance, the X servers."
[ ]


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