Bug#213846: happens for me too
I'm not sure why you find it hard to reproduce. A quick snippet of
IRC conversation from when I first noticed the bug and chatted about it
<willy> When dpkg runs out of space on the filesystem, it segfaults.
<joeyh> obvious and useful behavior
<joeyh> fill up the FS more with a core file
<willy> yes, i really appreciated that.
<joeyh> heh, I have seen that during d-i testing, I remember
<joeyh> install to a 64 mb filesystem
I have my corefile limit set to 0 so I don't have a core to send you.
It doesn't seem to be terribly difficult to reproduce. In my situation,
I was installing xlibmesa-dri-dbg_4.3.0-0pre1v5_ia64.deb over the same
package version which was in a half-installed state.
"Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon
the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those
conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse
to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince
himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep
he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception." -- Mark Twain