Can we fix apport to stop reporting all upgrade bugs against dpkg?

Brian Murray brian at
Mon May 2 20:58:08 UTC 2011

On Sun, May 01, 2011 at 09:24:26AM +0200, Raphael Hertzog wrote:
> Hello,
> whenever an upgrade fails early in the unpack (either broken preinst,
> corrupted archive, etc.), APT still tries to configure it and
> it results in a supplementary error in the upgrade log that looks like
> this:
> dpkg: error processing onboard (--configure):
>  package onboard is already installed and configured
> Apport is analyzing this error message and decides that dpkg is the
> culprit and the result is that there are hundreds of similar bugs
> reported against dpkg. I have been reassigning them as they come since a
> few weeks but it's getting boring very quickly.
> APT needs to be fixed obviously but Michael Vogt has not been able to
> reproduce it apparently. And then it only solves the problem for future
> releases and I doubt we want to fix all the already-released APT. 
> Introducing a work-around in the already released apport seems more
> plausible. What do you think?
> Cheers,
> PS: An example of such a report with corrupted packages:

This particular bug report was reported during a distribution upgrade of
Ubuntu from Maverick to Natty.  This is recognizable by the attachments
named 'VarLogDistupgrade'.  The call to apport was actually made by
update-manager, in and  So for
this particular example the fix would need to happen in update-manager
as it is choosing the package to pass to apport.  Additionally, I think
it would make sense to fix which package is chosen as a stable release

Have you found other, non-distribution upgrade, bug reports where the
bug is also filed about the wrong package?

I've been looking at some apport-package bug reports recently and think
there are quite a few improvements that could be made to reduce the
quantity of them being reported and increase their quality.

Brian Murray
Ubuntu Bug Master
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