[Pkg-exim4-users] Upgrade from Debian 4 to 5 leads to exim4 problems

James E Keenan jkeen at verizon.net
Sun Sep 20 20:05:04 UTC 2009

Today I upgraded a Linux server from Debian 4.0 to 5.0.3.  I have had  
this server since October 2005, when it was at Debian 3.1.  I  
successfully upgraded to 4.0 in 2007 and, more the most part, today's  
upgrade went smoothly.

The exception was exim4.  Following the upgrade, when I work on  
packages that depend on exim4, I get error messages like this:

Setting up exim4-config (4.69-9) ...
DEBCONFsomethingDEBCONF found in exim configuration. This is most  
caused by you upgrading to exim4 4.67-3 or later without accepting the
suggested conffile changes. Please read
/usr/share/doc/exim4-config/NEWS.Debian.gz for 4.67-2 and 4.67-4
2009-09-20 15:25:22 Exim configuration error in line 31 of /var/lib/ 
   malformed macro definition
Invalid new configfile /var/lib/exim4/config.autogenerated.tmp, not  
/var/lib/exim4/config.autogenerated.tmp to /var/lib/exim4/ 
dpkg: error processing exim4-config (--configure):
  subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 1
dpkg: dependency problems prevent configuration of exim4-base:

... and so forth.  In the course of the Debian upgrade I was prompted  
several times to make choices and, in every instance, I chose the  
default prompt.  In the case of exim4, this meant maintaining my  
current configuration file.

But, apparently that was the wrong choice.  My upgrade log shows the  

upgrade-lenny.script:2888:Configuration file `/etc/exim4/conf.d/main/ 
upgrade-lenny.script:2897:*** 01_exim4-config_listmacrosdefs (Y/I/N/O/ 
D/Z) [default=N] ? N
upgrade-lenny.script:2898:Installing new version of config file /etc/ 
exim4/conf.d/main/02_exim4-config_options ...

... and a bit later ...

upgrade-lenny.script:2922:2009-09-20 10:06:58 Exim configuration  
error in line 31 of /var/lib/exim4/config.autogenerated.tmp:
upgrade-lenny.script:2924:Invalid new configfile /var/lib/exim4/ 
config.autogenerated.tmp, not installing
upgrade-lenny.script:2925:/var/lib/exim4/config.autogenerated.tmp to / 

... and it continues with the same type of errors I am now getting.

I have tried to 'apt-get remove' exim4, but get exactly the same  
errors.  Note:  When I originally installed exim4 years ago, I did  
modify exim4.conf.template to get mailman to run on top  of it.  That  
is the *only* modification to exim4 that I made in that timespan.

I read in the docs:

     It _is_ necessary to either accept the offered configuration file
     change _or_ to manually check a manually changed exim config. Exim
     will _NOT_ run if a configuration file of an older version is
     being used with a more recent exim4-config.

However, I am unclear what a "manual check of a manually changed exim  
config" entails.

Checking the mailing list archives, I see that Wm. Josiah Erikson  
encountered this problem in April 2009.  In response, Andreas Metzler  

"This is all about dpkg conffiles. You should have one (or more)
.dpkg-dist files in /etc/exim4. You will need to port forward your
local modification of the respective file to the dpkg-dist version and
use this one instead."

I do have /etc/exim4/exim4.conf.template.dpkg-dist dating from Sept  
2008, but I don't understand what "porting forward my local  
modification of the respective file to the dpkg-dist version" means.

Can anyone advise me as to what I can do to get exim4 working again?

Thank you very much.
James E Keenan

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