[volunteers] gruyere weirdness (apparently now fixed)

Rick Moen rick at linuxmafia.com
Tue May 3 00:53:58 PDT 2016

So, this just happened while doing apt-get update && apt-get dist-upgrade:

System appears to be totally functional, ergo those messages were
harmless (and also concerned packages not installed on our system), 
even though apt-geti _really_ doesn't like metadata about some of the
not-installed packages within /var/lib/dpkg/available.

Doing a fresh 'apt-get update' did NOT rebuild /var/lib/dpkg/available.
I forced constriction of a fresh /var/lib/dpkg/available file by doing:

apt-get install dselect
dselect update
apt-get --purge remove dselect

Anyway, we now are at:
root at gruyere:/etc # cat issue
Ubuntu 12.04.5 LTS \n \l
root at gruyere:/etc

FYI, if you search on 
   Ubuntu "version number does not start with digit"
you tend to see the suggestion of running ' sudo dpkg --clear-avail'.
However, all that does is zero out the /var/lib/dpkg/available file.
No new example of the file then gets created, strangely.  I had to use
dselect to force creation of one -- which was strange, but worked.

Unless the world has changed greatly, what's supposed to happen is that
'apt-get update' fetches *Packages files (and others) to
/var/lib/apt/lists, and then merges the *Packages metadata down to a
single file, which is then written to /var/lib/dpkg/available as the
catalogue of available packages.

Somewhere, there are also binary index files for the available &
installed package databases.

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