Update-Manager Bug Reporting

Marius Gedminas marius at pov.lt
Mon Oct 11 15:31:53 UTC 2010

On Thu, Oct 07, 2010 at 04:04:31PM -0700, Raven P. wrote:
>   Hi there,
> Just went to update using the 10.10 Meerkat Beta and got this lovely 
> little bit:
> > Could not initialize the package information
> >
> > An unresolvable problem occurred while initializing the package 
> > information.
> >
> > Please report this bug against the 'update-manager' package and 
> > include the following error message:
> >
> > 'E:Malformed 3rd word in the Status line, E:Error occurred while 
> > processing openoffice.org-report-builder-bin (UsePackage2), E:Problem 
> > with MergeList /var/lib/dpkg/status, E:The package lists or status 
> > file could not be parsed or opened.'

Your /var/lib/dpkg/status file is corrupted.  This could be the result
of an unclean shutdown, a software bug (unlikely, IMHO), or a hardware
problem (unreliable/overclocked RAM may sometimes flip bits that then
get written out to disk).

If you pastebin the contents of that file, we can take a look and try to
suggest corrections/guess the cause of the corruption.

Or you may try restoring to the previous version of that file, stored in
/var/lib/dpkg/status-old, but beware that dpkg will not know the correct
status of the last package installed/updated/removed.

Marius Gedminas
"I'll be Bach."  -- Johann Sebastian Schwarzenegger
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