[Aptitude-devel] Bug#992309: apt: term.log aborts when packages have failures but installation is retried

David Kalnischkies david at kalnischkies.de
Tue Aug 17 10:43:50 BST 2021

On Tue, Aug 17, 2021 at 03:13:20AM +0200, Christoph Anton Mitterer wrote:
> I've seen the following already few times, but always used apt via aptitude,
> so maybe the problem is actually within that.
> What happens is the following:
> - I upgrade/install/remove a number of packages.
> - Amongt one/several of them there is an error during installation and one
>   gets a line like:
>   Errors were encountered while processing:
>   packagename1
>   packagename2
>   ...
> - At the point, /var/log/apt/term.log ends with the ususal:
>   Log ended: <date>
> - However, aptitude seems to retry once...

A quick look at the code (src/generic/apt/download_install_manager.cc)
suggests aptitude runs 'dpkg --configure -a' explicitly if libapt reports
encountering a failure and as such completely runs outside the control
of libapt and its logging (among many other things).

A quick git blame isn't very conclusive on why that is done, just that
it seems to be done for at least 10 years.

I am not sure if its a good idea to run that always unconditionally, but
then it is likely what a user runs unconditionally manually anyway, and
not much different to what happens if you run things like 'apt install
--fix-broken', as you either luck out or not so…

So perhaps we should indeed offer a way to do this a bit more automatic
for the user. I would first like to hear if the current aptitude devs
have any idea why that is run and their opinion on it though.

(This could be a reassign, but all they could do is removing the line
 in question or reassign it back to us as a feature wish, so lets skip
 the ping pong for now while thinking about this a bit longer)

Best regards

David Kalnischkies
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