[Pkg-alsa-devel] Bug#716874: libasound2-dev: unhandled symlink to directory conversion: /usr/share/doc/PACKAGE

Andreas Beckmann anbe at debian.org
Sat Jul 13 20:06:55 UTC 2013

Package: libasound2-dev
Severity: serious
User: debian-qa at lists.debian.org
Usertags: piuparts


an upgrade test with piuparts revealed that your package installs files
over existing symlinks and possibly overwrites files owned by other
packages. This usually means an old version of the package shipped a
symlink but that was later replaced by a real (and non-empty)
directory. This kind of overwriting another package's files cannot be
detected by dpkg.

This was observed on the following upgrade paths:


For /usr/share/doc/PACKAGE this may not be problematic as long as both
packages are installed, ship byte-for-byte identical files and are
upgraded in lockstep. But once one of the involved packages gets
removed, the other one will lose its documentation files, too,
including the copyright file, which is a violation of Policy 12.5:

For other overwritten locations anything interesting may happen.

Note that dpkg intentionally does not replace directories with symlinks
and vice versa, you need the maintainer scripts to do this.
See in particular the end of point 4 in

For switching from a symlink to a directory, the *preinst* script
should do something like this:


        if [ -L $DOCDIR ]; then
                rm $DOCDIR

>From the attached log (usually somewhere in the middle...):

0m46.0s ERROR: FAIL: silently overwrites files via directory symlinks:
  /usr/share/doc/libasound2-dev/changelog.Debian.gz (libasound2-dev:amd64) != /usr/share/doc/libasound2/changelog.Debian.gz (libasound2:amd64)
  /usr/share/doc/libasound2-dev/changelog.gz (libasound2-dev:amd64) != /usr/share/doc/libasound2/changelog.gz (libasound2:amd64)
  /usr/share/doc/libasound2-dev/copyright (libasound2-dev:amd64) != /usr/share/doc/libasound2/copyright (libasound2:amd64)


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