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Re: apt-get has stopped working on my machine

On Wed, Mar 20, 2002 at 11:35:20PM +0000, Jason Wood wrote:
> Hi,
> I sent an email to the list on Saturday, but I have been unable to discover 
> what is wrong with apt-get on my machine. Dselect & dpkg work fine, but 
> apt-get fails, saying :
> Reading Package Lists... Error!
> E: Unable to parse package file /var/lib/dpkg/status (1)
> E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

[If you can reproduce it, it will certainly be worth a bug report.]

Sounds like /var/lib/dpkg/status has become corrupted in some way.

Luckily dpkg (or apt?) does keep backups of that file
(/var/backups/dpkg.status.*) and you may be able to recover by reverting
to that backup. *BUT* that is likely to put /var/lib/dpkg/status 
"out-of-sync" with what *actually* is installed on the machine.

What packages did you last install/deinstall ? A diff between
/var/lib/dpkg/status and /var/backups/dpkg.status.* may refresh your
memory.  Chances are that you have to re-install (/re-de-install) them 
to get things back in sync.

> [[snip]]
> Is there any way that I can get apt-get to be more verbose about exactly 
> where the parsing error is occurring and what it is? I have looked for a 
> newer version of apt-get than the one I have, but I don't think one has come 
> out yet.

Perhaps man apt.conf? It briefly mentions debug options on apt, but none
of them look interesting in this context. But surely, there must be

> Where can I get an older version from, to try that? I am running 
> testing/unstable and apt-get appears to be the same version in both, and 
> trying to go back to stable would be more hassle than it's worth!
> Are there any other hints of things to try to get apt working again, without 
> doing a full reinstall which would be total overkill :-)
> -- 
> Jason Wood
> Persistence is a virtue

Karl E. Jørgensen
==== Today's fortune:
It's later than you think, the joint Russian-American space mission has
already begun.

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