Diggin' technology every day

October 15, 2012

Ubuntu 10.04 LTS upgrade bug causes issues

Filed under: linux — Tags: , — Nate @ 11:41 am

[UPDATE] – after further testing it seems it is machine specific I guess my ram is going bad. dag nabbit.


I’ve been using Ubuntu for about five years, and Debian I have been using since 1998.

This is a first for me. I came into the office and Ubuntu was prompting to upgrade some packages, I run 10.04 LTS – which is the stable build.  I said go for it, and it tried, and failed.

I tried again, and failed, and again and failed.

I went to the CLI and it failed there too – dpkg/apt was seg faulting –

[1639992.836460] dpkg[31986]: segfault at 500006865496 ip 000000000040b7bf sp 00007fff71efdee0 error 4 in dpkg[400000+65000]
[1640092.698567] dpkg[32069] general protection ip:40b7bf sp:7fff73b2f750 error:0 in dpkg[400000+65000]
[1640115.056520] dpkg[32168]: segfault at 500008599cb2 ip 000000000040b7bf sp 00007fff20fc2da0 error 4 in dpkg[400000+65000]
[1640129.103487] dpkg[32191] general protection ip:40b7bf sp:7fffd940d700 error:0 in dpkg[400000+65000]
[1640172.356934] dpkg[32230] general protection ip:40b7bf sp:7fffbb361e80 error:0 in dpkg[400000+65000]
[1640466.594296] dpkg-preconfigu[32356]: segfault at d012 ip 00000000080693e4 sp 00000000ff9d1930 error 4 in perl[8048000+12c000]
[1640474.724925] apt-get[32374] general protection ip:406a67 sp:7fffea1e6c68 error:0 in apt-get[400000+1d000]
[1640920.178714] frontend[720]: segfault at 4110 ip 00000000080c50b0 sp 00000000ffa52ab0 error 4 in perl[8048000+12c000]

I have a 32-bit chroot to run things like 32-bit firefox, and I had the same problem there. For a moment I thought maybe I have bad ram or something, but turns out that was not the case. There is some sort of bug in the latest apt (I did not see a report on it, though the UI for Ubuntu bugs seems more complicated than Debian’s bug system), which causes this. I was able to get around this by:

  • Manually downloading the older apt package (
  • Installing the package via dpkg (dpkg -i <package>)
  • Exporting the list of packages (dpkg –get-selections >selections)
  • Edit the list, change apt from install to hold
  • Import the list of packages (dpkg –set-selections <selections)
  • apt-get works fine now on 64-bit

However my 32-bit chroot has a hosed package status file, something else that has never happened to me in the past 14 years on Debian. So I will have to figure out how to correct that, or worst case I suppose wipe out the chroot and reinstall it, since it is a chroot, it’s not a huge deal. Fortunately the corruption didn’t hit the 64-bit status file. There is a backed up status file but it was corrupt too (I think because I tried to run apt-get twice).

64-bit status file:

/var/lib/dpkg/status: UTF-8 Unicode English text, with very long lines

32-bit status file:

/var/lib/dpkg/status: data

I’m pretty surprised, that this bug(s) got through. Not the quality I’ve come to know and love ..

September 7, 2010

All I want is a DB9

Filed under: linux,Random Thought — Tags: , , , , , — Nate @ 10:25 pm

Ok maybe that’s not all I want, but it’s a good start.

I got a new laptop recently, a Toshiba Tecra A11, really nice laptop. A couple of jobs ago I had a Toshiba Tecra M5 and liked it a lot, it had a couple glitches with Linux but for the most part it worked well. The Tecra A11 by contrast, no glitches with Linux, at least not yet. I’ve been using it about three weeks now, everything from wireless, to audio, to 3D,  microphone(first time I’ve ever used a microphone in linux, first time in easily ten years I’ve used a microphone on a PC period), and even webcam worked. And most importantly, suspend/resume has been 100% reliable. Really nice to see. It is certified with Ubuntu 10.04 64-bit which is what I’m running.

But that’s not really what this post is about, I wasn’t expecting it, so didn’t look for it, but was overjoyed when I looked and saw that this brand new business laptop had a DB9 serial port, a REAL serial port! Woohoo! I mean my M5 had one too and that was great, I just thought Toshiba had jumped on the train of let’s get rid of serial ports.

What a sight to see. I mean what Linux/Unix/Network geek in their right mind can get by without a serial port? Yeah I know you’ve been able to get those piece of crap USB serial adapters for some time, but I’ll take a DB9 any day! Especially when my favorite network gear uses native DB9 on their stuff too.
(Sorry couldn’t resist getting some purple in there, not enough color on this blog)

I was a fan of the IBM Thinkpad T-series for the longest time, until Lenovo bought them, was introduced to Toshiba a few years ago and they are by far my favorite laptop. If it’s going to be my main machine for work, then it’s gotta be something good. The Tecra line is it, the new T series for me.

Laptop specs:

  • Intel® Coreâ„¢ i7-620M Processor 2.66 GHz (3.33 GHz with Turbo Boost Technology), 4MB Cache,
  • Genuine Windows® XP Professional, SP3 with Windows® 7 Professional Recovery Media,
  • 8GB DDR3 1066MHz SDRAM (4096MBx2)
  • 320GB HDD (7200rpm, Serial ATA),
  • Nvidia® NVSâ„¢ 2100M with 512MB DDR3
  • Keyboard without 10-key numeric pad (black)
  • 15.6″ Diagonal Widescreen HD+ (1600×900) TFT LCD display,
  • Dual Point pointing device (Accupoint + Touchpad) and Media Control Buttons
  • Integrated Webcam and Microphone
  • Bluetooth® Version 2.1 +EDR
  • Toshiba 4-Year On-Site Repair + 4th Year Extended Service Plan

Customized pretty good they built it special for me! Mainly the “non standard” but “reccomended” keyboard(and custom matte LCD I hate the reflective screens). At first I was kind of upset they only offered ground shipping, I would be willing to pay more for faster shipping, but turns out it wasn’t ground after all, and they shipped it directly from China. Once it shipped it got here in about 4 days I think, through Alaska, then somewhere out midwest at which point I thought it was going to be put on a truck and driven back to Seattle only to find it hopped on another plane and flew to me instead.

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