Broken dpkg dialogs

Peter Garrett peter.garrett at
Thu Jan 12 02:05:59 UTC 2006

On Wed, 11 Jan 2006 17:24:55 -0800
Chris Dean <ctdean at> wrote:

> [Resent copy]
> I'm having a problem with the dialog boxes that are drawn when I use
> dpkg (or apt-get).  

Not quite sure what you mean here - do you mean the curses-based debconf
boxes that sometimes pop up for configuration? (Debconf questions etc) ?

> All the information is there, but they aren't
> being drawn correctly.  There are control characters instead of the
> nice lines I'm used to seeing.
> I'm ssh-ing in from a Mac, so that could have something to do with it.
> I have tried multiple terminal programs on the Mac, and they all work
> fine on my plain Debian boxes, and are all broken on my Ubuntu boxes.
> Any ideas on how to fix this?
I'm just guessing here: might it be a utf-8 encoding issue? I don't know
without checking if the Mac terminal supports utf-8. Or as above, is it a
lack of ncurses libraries on the Mac ? (i guess the latter isn't likely
since you say it works fine with Debian though)

As I say, purely guessing...


Unix is hard to learn. The process of learning it is one of multiple small
epiphanies. -- Neal Stephenson

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