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Bug#168154: dpkg: available got corrupted: empty file details field `MD5sum'

Package: dpkg
Version: 1.9.17
Severity: normal

Just installed new tetex packages, and got this error just before
after the unpack phase:

Unpacking replacement tetex-bin ...
Preparing to replace tetex-doc 1.0.2+20000804-9 (using
.../tetex-doc_1.0.2+20011202-3_all.deb) ...
Unpacking replacement tetex-doc ...
Preparing to replace tetex-extra 1.0.2+20000804-9 (using
.../tetex-extra_1.0.2+20011202-3_all.deb) ...
Unpacking replacement tetex-extra ...
texhash: Updating /var/lib/texmf/ls-R... 
texhash: Updating /var/spool/texmf/ls-R... 
texhash: Done.
dpkg: parse error, in file `/var/lib/dpkg/available' near line 9611
package `tetex-extra':
 empty file details field `MD5sum'
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (2)

I fixed the problem by totally deleting the offending MD5sum line,
which appeared to be of the form:

MD5sum: \n

(I.e. a single space before the newline).

Until the problem was fixed, dpkg was unrunnable (bombed out when
trying to read the available file).

I have kept the broken available file if anyone wants it.

-- System Information
Debian Release: testing/unstable
Kernel Version: Linux pear 2.4.0 #4 Thu Mar 8 12:57:53 GMT 2001 i686 unknown

Versions of the packages dpkg depends on:

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