[Pkg-citadel-devel] Bug#908551: apt-listchanges: apt update hangs if no mail system

Robert Luberda robert at debian.org
Tue Sep 11 22:11:34 BST 2018

RJ writes:

reassign 908551 citadel-server  902-4

> Versions of packages apt-listchanges suggests:
> ii  citadel-server [mail-transport-agent]  902-4

> -- Desription of problem:
> When performing a apt update today (Monday, September 10, 2018) there
> was a news bit about the Apache/2 package that required reading and
> confirmation.
> Upon confirmation the apt-listchanges script returned to attempt to send
> mail to the configured user email (which is just 'root' in this case.)

Yes, apt-listchanges tries to execute `/usr/sbin/sendmail -oi -t'
command. It skips sending mails if the command does not exist.

> IF a system either does not have a mail service installed 

You have citadel-server installed, that provides mail service, so it's
not the case.

> or is
> impropery configured, apt-listchanges will hang while attempting to send
> an email before it allows the update process to continue.

IMHO if a mail service is improperly configured than it should fail
instead of hanging... Then apt-listchanges would display warning message
like this (BTW. I've just temporaily installed the latest version of
citadel-server, trying to reproduce the bug, but its sendmail command
just fails, not hangs):

  apt-listchanges: Mail to root: apt-listchanges: changelogs for vox
citmail: can't connect: No such file or directory
apt-listchanges warning: Cannot send mail to root: Command
'['/usr/sbin/sendmail', '-oi', '-t']' returned non-zero exit status 3.

Then apt-listchanges would continue. I agree, that apt-listchanges could
have set some timeout for  the sendmail command, and I can try to add
such timeout in next version.

> ** I was able to work around this by editing the apt-listchanges script
> file by commenting out the offending Mail section as follows:

A simpler solution would be to run `dpkg-reconfigure apt-listchanges'
and give an empty list of e-mail addresses in the question related to
mail addresses.

> As with the other related 'Wishlist' bug reports for apt-listchanges,
> there should be additional prompts added to this file to:
> (1) Ask if the user wants to mail a report (default N). 

This is done during apt-listchanges installation time, providing that
your debconf settings allows the question about e-mail address list to

> - Also notify
> user that the process may hang if no mail subsystem exists (which I
> believe is now the case starting with stretch) or is improperly
> configured. (Just 'root')

I think that the sendmail command should hang when misconfigured or for
any other reason - that's why I am reassigning the bug report to
citadel-server. (BTW. I am not sure if this is possible in case of
citadel-server, but maybe sendmail command was trying to send e-mails
via network? How long did you wait before deciding that the command hung?).

> (2) See other 3 reports related to MAIL for additional prompt suggestions.

Could you please be more specific? Which other 3 bug reports are related
to this one?


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