[Debconf-devel] Bug#808464: suddenly being asked for interactive keyboard configuration

Holger Levsen holger at layer-acht.org
Sun Dec 20 11:27:11 UTC 2015

package: debconf,keyboard-configuration
severity: serious
x-debbugs-cc: reproducible-builds at lists.alioth.debian.org


first of all: I'm at lost where this really comes from, as this happened the 
first time on December 16th (and since then I saw and aborted it daily) and 
neither debconf nor keyboard-configuration have been uploaded since them. I 
see this in two jenkins jobs which have been unchanged since months:


Which do "apt-get install -y --install-recommends diffoscope" in sid, which 
now fails like this: 

Setting up keyboard-configuration (1.134) ...
debconf: unable to initialize frontend: Dialog
debconf: (Dialog frontend will not work on a dumb terminal, an emacs shell 
buffer, or without a controlling terminal.)
debconf: falling back to frontend: Readline
Configuring keyboard-configuration

Please select the layout matching the keyboard for this machine.

  1. English (US)
  2. English (US) - Cherokee
  3. English (US) - English (Colemak)
  4. English (US) - English (Dvorak alternative international no dead keys)
  5. English (US) - English (Dvorak)
  6. English (US) - English (Dvorak, international with dead keys)
  7. English (US) - English (Macintosh)
  8. English (US) - English (US, alternative international)
  9. English (US) - English (US, international with dead keys)
  10. English (US) - English (US, with euro on 5)
  11. English (US) - English (Workman)
  12. English (US) - English (Workman, international with dead keys)
  13. English (US) - English (classic Dvorak)
  14. English (US) - English (international AltGr dead keys)
  15. English (US) - English (left handed Dvorak)
  16. English (US) - English (programmer Dvorak)
  17. English (US) - English (right handed Dvorak)
  18. English (US) - English (the divide/multiply keys toggle the layout)
  19. English (US) - Russian (US, phonetic)
  20. English (US) - Serbo-Croatian (US)
  21. Other

and then it hangs forever. We discussed this on #debian-qa:

<h01ger> so why do we see this in sid now: 
(scroll down)
<ntyni> could be something to do with some of the debconf frontends being 
uninstallable but I can't really see why that would make it interactive
<ntyni> is it using DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive ?
<h01ger> ntyni: yes. the jenkins code used here hasnt changed at all. 
<ntyni> h01ger: I'm guessing DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive never took effect 
for some reason and the Dialog frontend is now falling back to a different 
frontend (Readline) that tries harder to ask its questions even without a real 
<h01ger> hm
<ntyni> h01ger: I wouldn't expect those messages about Dialog and Readline 
frontends at all if DEBIAN_FRONTEND=noninteractive was in effect
* h01ger nods
<ntyni> h01ger: but I'm not 100% positive on that
weirly enough has a different frontend it seems

any ideas anyone?

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