User friendly dpkg errors

Dmitrijs Ledkovs dmitrij.ledkov at
Sat Jan 23 03:25:46 UTC 2010

On 23 January 2010 02:01, Ryan Dwyer <ryandwyer1 at> wrote:
> What are the chances of having these error messages changed?
> Before:
> E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily
> unavailable)
> E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), is another
> process using it?
> After:
> Something like "You have another package manager running. Please close it
> and run this command again."
> Before:
> E: Could not open lock file /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (13: Permission
> denied)
> E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), are you
> root?
> After:
> Something like "You must run this command as root."
> Many newbies are instructed to run commands in a terminal. For many, it's
> probably the first time they've ever used one. Getting an error about locks,
> administration, and a directory they've never heard of wouldn't give them a
> good impression.
> Although the error messages are pretty straightforward, users are having
> problems understanding what they mean as shown in Launchpad Answers and the
> Ubuntu Forums.
> Here are some examples, both within the last 24 hours:
> (scroll down)
> -Ryan

The rest of the dpkg output is less then friendly as well - Reading
Database, Unpacking, preparing, setting up, processing triggers,
unpacking again...... It would be great if some kind of bzr like
progress indicator would be shown (e.g. done 31/105 tasks) and then
spit out the errors in full glory when they happen.

With best regards

Dmitrijs Ledkovs (for short Dima),
Ледков Дмитрий Юрьевич

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