Dies with "Uncaught exception: Unable to read from stdin: Success"

Bug #458524 reported by ZioNemo on 2009-10-22
This bug affects 4 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
aptitude (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

Binary package hint: aptitude

The Machine is a Virtual machine created in VirtualBox 3.0.8
Host is a new Karmic amd64 install.
Guest is a brand new karmic netinstall via mini.iso
I don't know if the above is relevant, but I suppose so.
When I start aptitude at the console it displays the normal panel, but any action, including simply hitting down-arrow crashes the program with the message:

Uncaught exception: Unable to read from stdin: Success

I saw nothing relevant on syslog.
I assume this is a bad interaction with the console since aptitude works flawlessly through ssh.

I am available for any further info.
The problem is easily repeatable on this VM.

ProblemType: Bug
Architecture: i386
Date: Thu Oct 22 22:09:24 2009
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 9.10
Package: aptitude
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 2.6.31-14.48-generic
SourcePackage: aptitude
Uname: Linux 2.6.31-14-generic i686

ZioNemo (zionemo) wrote :
ZioNemo (zionemo) wrote :

One more data point:
This bug seems related to the release, not the virtualization.
I installed Karmic-rc-server (no X) on a brand new Zotac ION motherboard (Atom-330/Nvidia-ION_chipset/4GB_RAM) and I have the same behavior at the console.

I also strongly doubt this is an aptitude problem (even though it is very easy to reproduce using aptitude) because I see strange behavior at the console (missing echo of typed commands, missing CR-LF when hitting return (prompts one following the other instead of one on top of the other).

This looks real bad and should be fixed before release.
I am available to help debugging.


clarox (yarr-mailinator) wrote :

I'm experiencing the same issue, on Karmic-rc-server-amd64. However, I think I can add some additional info to shed some light on this:

A thread on the Debian bugtracker mentions that this may be related to a broken libcwidget3. Updating it with 'aptitude update; aptitude upgrade' does not fix it as of post time.

However, I've noticed that the issue may not be with aptitude at all, but with the terminal. Scrolling the bash history on the ttys sometimes prints control characters instead of acting as up/down arrows. If I log in via ssh, aptitude works fine. Based on that, I think that the culprit is more likely the framebuffer device.

Patrick Baenziger (padyx) wrote :

Experiencing the same bug reproducibly on Karmic Server 9.10 AMD64
When using aptitude and selecting any item with the 'Enter' key (after pressing 'u' for update), aptitude crashes with "Uncaught Exception: Unable to read from stdin: Success"

Afterwards, my tty1 is rendered unusable:
Suddenly, the prompt becomes "root@mycomputer" instead of "username@mycomputer" and every key has to pressed twice to appear on screen.
Logout with CTRL-D is possible, but unusable - commands are misrecognised: exit as xit, or similar.

Changing to tty2 with ALT-F2 works. No log entry in /var/log/messages or /var/log/aptitude.

ALSO appears when using apt-get directly! (Some error in red background about a maintenance shell, will post it as soon as I see it again)

Can confirm the issue wirth control characters of clarox: Bash history gives me sometimes control chars instead of the last command typed.

Hope, this is might help you :)
Will be happy to provide further information, if you tell me how to give it to you ;)
This really is a nasty bug, renders the server almost unusable.

Patrick Baenziger (padyx) wrote :

I noticed the error today, when using dpkg-reconfigure, too. So, this seems to be not limited to aptitude, but more general for all console applications which use that kind of 'graphical' output.

Then, I checked whether it works over SSH.
Then this happened: While I can use it perfectly over SSH (no strange messages, correct appearance, correct keyboard behaviour), a message appeared on tty1 (NOT over SSH, on the server screen itself):

General error mounting filesystems. A maintenance shell will now be started. CONTROL-D will terminate this shell and retry"

Then a root prompt appears...

Please not that I did not try to mount any file system, I simply used aptitude.
/var/log/messages or /var/log/debug did not contain any information.

Urop (urop) wrote :

I've just upgraded my server install to Karmic and now I have exactly the same problem. I have also seen Patrick Banziger's post #5 error message, but from the server, not over SSH, the first time I launched it after the upgrade. Now when I press u from aptitude I get Patrick's post #4 behaviour and error messages. Is there any information I can provide to help fix this? It's a pretty serious problem.

Urop (urop) wrote :

For info, I upgraded to Lucid and this problem went away.

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