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Bug#1897: apropos not resilient to index.db corruption

Hi Austin,

> Package: man
> Version: 2.3.10-2
> 'man -k' and 'apropos' with a damaged or corrupted index.db
> segfaults.  This is not a very friendly error message.
> I have traced the problem to the following piece of code:
> ...
> Could this infelicity be passed on to the upstream maintainer, please
> ?

Thankyou for your effort it is much appreciated - I will indeed
forward this bug report on to the Wilf - the man_db creator.

> Also, it might be nice to have a database consistancy checker, that
> would tell you if a given database were consistant.

Yes indeed - it might not be too hard to write.

For the present it is not to hard to recreate the database if it is
corrupted using mandb. Maybe the daily man cron job should recreate
the database from scratch every night. The problem being that the
database and the mandb program are not something common to all unix
systems and mandb is initially run for the user by the post install
script. Thus when something does go wrong users dont know where to
look to fix things. A core dump doesnt immediately suggest the fix is
to run the mandb program.

I have heard several other people say they have had corrupt database
files - how do they get corrupted? I have never managed to corrupt
mine (but then I, as the package maintainer, wouldnt would I)


Alvar Bray

Meiko Limited        Phone:    +44 1454 616171
650 Aztec West       Fax:      +44 1454 618188
Bristol BS12 4SD     E-Mail:   alvar@meiko.co.uk
England              WWW:      http://www.meiko.com

Via: Debian GNU/Linux from home.

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