"Exec format error" bugs

Reinhard Tartler siretart at ubuntu.com
Tue Jan 19 06:45:27 GMT 2010

On Mo, Jan 18, 2010 at 15:26:57 (CET), Florian Diesch wrote:

> Reinhard Tartler <siretart at ubuntu.com> writes:
>> another pattern of bugs I've encountered end with "Exec format
>> errors". Normally I would expect that if someone tried to execute and
>> amd64 binary on a i386 system. However, this does not seem to be the
>> case e.g. in this bug:
>> https://bugs.edge.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/dirac/+bug/482413
>> Moreover, googling shows that this is not a that uncommon problem (about
>> 1670 hits for me):
>> http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=dpkg+"Exec+format+error"
>> I wonder where this is caused from. A possible explanation would be that
>> the download was corrupted in some way. However apt is supposed to
>> cryptographically verify the integrity of downloaded archive, so either
>> there is some serious problem with apt here, or there must be some other
>> explanation for this pattern.
> I've seen a few cases where this was caused by the post-install script
> being an empty file, maybe caused by I/O errors during install

Can we do better than closing the bugs with "we believe that your
computer has hardware problems, please retry with reinstallation of
ubuntu and reopen if you still experience this issue"?

Reinhard Tartler, KeyID 945348A4

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