Re: apt dying with "Failed to exec method /usr/lib/apt/methods/"
David Bruce, 13.12.2011:
> Running a fairly new i386 Sid install, nothing special in sources.list
> - for the last week or so, "sudo aptitude safe-upgrade" dies with:
> E: Method has died unexpectedly!E: Sub-process returned an error
> code (100)E: Method /usr/lib/apt/methods/ did not start
> correctlyFailed to exec method /usr/lib/apt/methods/E: Method has
> died unexpectedly!E: Sub-process returned an error code (100)E:
> Method /usr/lib/apt/methods/ did not start correctlyE: Internal error:
> couldn't generate list of packages to download
> >From googling, it seems there were errors like this reported a year or
> so ago related to the old "volatile" archive, but I don't use that.
> Here's my
> # deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 22.214.171.124 _Squeeze_ - Official i386
> NETINST Binary-1 20110628-13:01]/ squeeze main
> #deb cdrom:[Debian GNU/Linux 126.96.36.199 _Squeeze_ - Official i386 NETINST
> Binary-1 20110628-13:01]/ squeeze main
> deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
> deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ unstable main contrib non-free
> deb http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main
> deb-src http://security.debian.org/ squeeze/updates main
> # squeeze-updates, previously known as 'volatile'
> #deb http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ squeeze-updates main
> #deb-src http://ftp.us.debian.org/debian/ squeeze-updates main
> Any thoughts? In response to some searching, I've tried "sudo
> dpkg-reconfigure apt" and "sudo apt-get install --reinstall apt", with
> no effect.
I don't use aptitude and I didn't get the same error but what happened
to me might be related, or might provide a lead to help you fix things.
During an update to sid last week or the week before, my
/var/lib/dpkg/status became corrupt somehow. Eventually, I fixed my
issue by copying the /var/lib/dpkg/status-old file over the bad
Long version, with details:
I use dselect usually. Last week, at the end of the updating step,
there was an error message saying that the
/var/lib/dpkg/available file had a problem: Some package named
libart-2.0-2 had more than one priority field. I looked at the file in
an editor and what had happened was that the information for that
package was cut off in the middle of the textual description, running
together with the next package's info --- resulting in one big paragraph
with some fields reappearing. I tried to see if putting a blank line
right there would get me further. It didn't. In fact, after this
try, when I looked in the file, the same problem was there again.
Presumably it gets automatically generated based on new package info
that's downloaded. Anyway, then I decided to try plain apt-get update
and apt-get upgrade, which got me some messages about unsatisfied
dependencies so I decided to wait a couple of days. After a few days,
the dependency problems were gone but apt-get update or apt-get upgrade
now gave me a message saying /var/lib/dpkg/status was problematic.
(Actually, what gave me the message could have been using dselect's
select step after a successful apt-get update. Can't remember for
sure.) That led me to the dpkg man page and finally to replacing
/var/lib/dpkg/status with the older version. (Besides status-old,
there are more backups of that file in /var/backups.)