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Bug#47323: dpkg occationally destroys <package>.list

Package: dpkg

When I install/upgrade packages I now and then
get an error message about how the
<package>.list file for some package contains an empty filename.
As far as I remember, this <package> is usually one that
the package being installed depends on in some way.

dpkg quits after this, and apt-get/dselect gives up also.

When I look at /var/lib/dpkg/info/<package>.list I see
that the usual list of plaintext filenames isn't there, the
content is binary.  I don't know why this happens, but it is
annoying.  It is always only one ruined package, this makes me believe
dpkg does the trashing shortly before the error message.

I have seen this for a long time, (since slink) but I thought it was a
bad disk.
But now I see this on two newer machines also.

I rebuild the <package>.list file by running dpkg --contents against
the package.deb file.  Then I trim off unnecessary stuff from the file
This gets boring after a while.  It happens only occationally, perhaps
once per 50 packages installed. 

A wild guess:
I dpkg using mmap for looking at file lists?  If it does, and it is
a writeable mapping, then a random pointer error could do something
like this.

Kernel versions: 2.3.6 - 2.3.20
C library: libc-2.1.2.so
Hardware doesn't matter, this happens with scsi drives, ide drives,
single and multiple processors.

Helge Hafting

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