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shell-init: could not get current directory

On my machine that's not doing PAM, I'm noticing after I took out
cracklib-runtime and cracklib2, and then try to reinstall cracklib2, I
get a bunch of diagnotic messages saying:

shell-init:  could not get current directory: getcwd: cannot access
parent directories: No such file or directory

But then after doing that five times it seems to install okay.  Then,
when I do the apt-get install cracklib-runtime on this machine, it takes
about one twentieth the time it takes on my machine that ends up with
the successful install of cracklib, and finally when this apt-get
install cracklib-runtime is done it leaves no
/var/cache/cracklib/*_dict.* files at all, whereas I do get these on the
one where said install takes a long time.  Am I getting close to the
problem here?  Help?  Anyone?

This is Potato, if that helps.

Physically I'm at:  5101 N. 45th St., Tacoma, WA, 98407-3717, U.S.A.

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