[Date Prev][Date Next] [Thread Prev][Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

Bug#36977: dpkg: install-info has name-conflict with GNU texinfo program install-info

Package: dpkg
Severity: grave

the dpkg package includes a perl script /usr/sbin/install-info that is used
(at least) by many package's .prerm or .postinstall etc. scripts.

The GNU texinfo suite also contains a C program called install-info.  they have
similar functions, but not identical.  in particular, recent versions of both
programs do not accept the same argument syntax.  

Users may have good reason to have the GNU install-info on their system and in
their $PATH.  For example, teTeX (the std distribution, not the Debian
packages) includes the program.  (I do a lot of work with TeX, and I prefer to
use my own teTeX installation rather than Debian's because this allows me
better flexibility for experimenting with the TeX installation or with multiple
TeX installations.)

If the .prerm etc. scripts call the GNU program because it is earlier in the
$PATH, they break.  Then all packages whose scripts call install-info cannot be
either installed or uninstalled without some manual fixing quite inobvious to
the naive user.  There are numerous reports of this problem on debian.user and
at least one bug report (mine).  (I'll try to combine this bug report with any
others I see.)

My thoughts on a resolution:

As a workaround, users can "type install-info" and if they don't get
/usr/sbin/install-info, they can rearrange their PATH or 

I don't think that it's unreasonable to have the GNU version's directory in the
$PATH before /usr/sbin, so I don't think dpkg should count on a pathless
invocation of install-info resolving to /usr/sbin/install-info.  I don't think
adding full paths to the .prerm etc scripts will solve all the problems with
having two different executables with the same name on the same system.  My
opinion is that Debian's install-info had better change its name or be made to
be a substitute for the GNU program (all versions?  some versions? seems more
trouble than it's worth.)

I think it will be worthwhile for myself to write a repair script which would
(help) restore /usr/info and /usr/info/dir to the correct state after
commenting out many "install-info" lines in the .prerm etc. scripts in order to
get packages installed/deinstalled.  If I write a useful script, I will send it
as a followup to this report and post it on debian.user.

-- System Information
Debian Release: 2.1
Kernel Version: Linux aleph 2.0.36 #1 Fri Jan 15 18:12:05 EST 1999 i586 unknown

Versions of the packages dpkg depends on:
ii  libc6           2.1.1-1        GNU C Library: Shared libraries and timezone
ii  libncurses4     4.2-3          Shared libraries for terminal handling
pi  libstdc++2.9    2.91.60-5      The GNU stdc++ library (egcs version)

Reply to: