Package trouble: libpetsc2.3.2

Thomas Fischbacher tf at
Fri Nov 16 21:04:57 GMT 2007

Stefan Potyra wrote:

>>When trying to install a package which uses libpetsc and was built on
>>a Debian etch system on Ubuntu, the binary linked against
>> will not work on Ubuntu as the symbol "queue" is
>>used by Ubunbtu's libpetsc2.3.2 but not defined in the library.
>>Debian's libpetsc2.3.2 provides the "queue" symbol in the BSS
> This can be a result of a different build environment between debian and 
> ubuntu. It's not encouraged to install packages built for debian in Ubuntu, 
> and it's also not supported.

The package in question is the "nmag" micromagnetic simulation suite,
developed at the University of Southampton, which is available from:

> One thing you can try is to get the Debian source package for the application 
> in question and rebuilt this on the Ubuntu system.

Our build system is Debian-based, and we would strongly like to provide 
an easy way to install our simulation code to other researchers,
preferably through an unified apt repository for multiple dpkg-based
distributions (such as Debian, Knoppix, Ubuntu):

So, if we wanted to provide a separate Ubuntu .deb package, we would
presumably have to set up and maintain Ubuntu in a chroot environment.

Is this effort really necessary, as we know by now that the problem
really is just a broken libpetsc2.3.2 package in Ubuntu? Installing
the Debian libpetsc2.3.2 package on the Ubuntu system resolves the
problem, and - I am 100% sure - so would fixing the problem that
Ubuntu's libpetsc2.3.2 lacks the "queue" symbol. By the way, I
strongly doubt any program linking against libpetsc will work with
that package if this symbol is not present.

> The source package of petsc (at least for gutsy) is the unmodified package 
> from Debian. However as written above, the build environment may be 
> different.

The definition of the symbol in question seems to be in
petsc-2.3.2/src/sys/fileio/mprint.c (line 147); strangely, the symbol
does get referenced in the Ubuntu library (nm -D shows it as "U"), but
it is not defined. It is in the BSS section in the Debian variant of
the library.

best regards,
Dr. Thomas Fischbacher
t.fischbacher at

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