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Posted by prox, from Seattle, on February 05, 2017 at 22:10 local (server) time

As I was doing upgrades on a few of my Raspberry Pi machines (running Raspbian), I ran into a situation where apt-get would SIGABRT on any action.  Depending on the shell, the message to the user is a little different and also overwrites a different amount of APT's status message.  Here's Zsh:

(storm:20:50:EST)% sudo apt-get --purge remove quagga-pimd quagga-isisd quagga-ospfd quagga-ospf6d
zsh: abort      sudo apt-get --purge remove quagga-pimd quagga-isisd quagga-ospfd

Here's Bash:

prox@storm:~$ sudo apt-get --purge remove quagga-pimd 
Aborted package lists... 48%

No matter what the operation (install, upgrade, update, remove), APT would just get a SIGABRT.  There was nothing in the kernel log buffer and the RPi 3 I was on at the time wasn't out of disk space or memory.  Since this RPi had just completed a dist-upgrade and I had rebooted it, everything was more-or-less up-to-date with the "testing" channel of Raspbian.  I searched the web and couldn't find anything related to "abort" or "SIGABRT" on Debian or Raspbian.  There were also no bugs filed against any of the relevant packages.  So, I figured that I had just hit a bug and started downgrading.  I used dpkg-repack on another RPi 3 of the following packages, which I downgraded to:


On the upgraded RPi, I'd been running APT 1.4~beta4, libc 2.24-9, and dpkg 1.18.18.  Unfortunately, none of the downgrades did the trick.  My next step was to downgrade the kernel, but I started to think something was maybe gummed up with APT itself, possibly in its database since it always received the SIGABRT about 50% of the way through reading package lists.  I ended up looking up the various storage directories and decided to clear out /var/lib/apt/lists.  I did another apt-get upgrade and things started working again:

(storm:21:55:EST)% sudo apt-get update
Get:1 jessie InRelease [22.9 kB]
Get:2 testing InRelease [15.0 kB]
Get:3 jessie/main armhf Packages [141 kB]                   
Get:4 testing/main armhf Packages [11.7 MB]           
Get:5 jessie/ui armhf Packages [53.6 kB]                
Get:6 testing/contrib armhf Packages [56.0 kB]                                                                     
Get:7 testing/non-free armhf Packages [95.1 kB]                                                                    
Get:8 testing/rpi armhf Packages [1,360 B]                                                                         
Fetched 12.1 MB in 24s (493 kB/s)                                                                                                                              
Reading package lists... Done
(storm:21:59:EST)% sudo apt-get --purge remove quagga-pimd quagga-isisd quagga-ospfd quagga-ospf6d
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  libquagga0 quagga-bgpd quagga-core quagga-ripd quagga-ripngd
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  quagga* quagga-isisd* quagga-ospf6d* quagga-ospfd* quagga-pimd*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 5 to remove and 8 not upgraded.
After this operation, 957 kB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue? [Y/n] 

Apparently something had gotten corrupted in the downloaded package lists and APT didn't handle it properly.  I'd submit a bug for this but I didn't think to backup /var/lib/apt/lists beforehand so I'm not sure how to reproduce this.  Anyway, if you get a SIGABRT when running apt-get, rm /var/lib/apt/lists/* and things will be happy again.

Also, in other news, Lady Gaga's Super Bowl LI performance was pretty decent.  The drones were a nice touch.

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