dpkg's install-info conflicts with teTeX's install-info

Bug #24246 reported by Christoph Bier on 2005-10-19
12
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
dpkg (Ubuntu)
High
Scott James Remnant (Canonical)

Bug Description

Installation and/or upgrade of some packages fails with "subprocess
post-installation script returned error exit status 1". This is just because
teTeX's install-info is called instead of dpkg's install-info. I installed
teTeX-3.0 from source and it took a long time till I found the cause for the
problems. Here is some more information:

chris@skull:~$ which install-info
/usr/local/bin/install-info

chris@skull:~$ ls -l `which install-info`
lrwxrwxrwx 1 root root 33 2005-08-07 13:30
/usr/local/bin/install-info -> /usr/local/teTeX/bin/install-info

chris@skull:~$ echo $PATH
/home/chris/adabas/bin:/home/chris/adabas/pgm:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/bin/X11:/usr/games

A workaround to get the affected packages (wget, cpio, texinfo, info,
util-linux, gv) installed/upgraded and to upgrade from Hoary to Breezy was to
temporarily adapt the PATH environment. I was successful with
PATH="/usr/local/sbin:/usr/sbin/:/usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/usr/bin/X11"
export PATH

But this is no long-term solution. I think this is a severe problem but I don't
have any idea how to fix it.

You should not have overwritten the files when you installed texinfo; there's a
texinfo package which is correctly configured not to conflict with dpkg.

To fix it remove the version of texinfo you've wrongly installed; it's not
compatible with any Debian or Ubuntu package which use the dpkg version (which
predates it).

*** Bug 24253 has been marked as a duplicate of this bug. ***

Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

(In reply to comment #1)
> You should not have overwritten the files when you installed texinfo; there's a
> texinfo package which is correctly configured not to conflict with dpkg.
>
> To fix it remove the version of texinfo you've wrongly installed; it's not
> compatible with any Debian or Ubuntu package which use the dpkg version (which
> predates it).

Sorry, I don't understand what you're talking about. Which version of texinfo
did I wrongly install? I just installed teTeX-3.0 from source---nothing else. If
this is the problem there should be a different solution than deleting something
from the teTeX installation.

Thanks,
Christoph

PS: Sorry, for filing a duplicate of this bug. I just thought something went
wrong because I didn't found it anymore. You was just too fast :-).

Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

(In reply to comment #3)
> (In reply to comment #1)
> > You should not have overwritten the files when you installed texinfo; there's a
> > texinfo package which is correctly configured not to conflict with dpkg.
> >
> > To fix it remove the version of texinfo you've wrongly installed; it's not
> > compatible with any Debian or Ubuntu package which use the dpkg version (which
> > predates it).
>
> Sorry, I don't understand what you're talking about. Which version of texinfo
> did I wrongly install? I just installed teTeX-3.0 from source---nothing else.
[...]

To make it clear: texinfo was installed by apt-get under Hoary. And the problem
still exits with Breezy.

root@skull:~ # dpkg -l texinfo | grep ^ii
ii texinfo 4.7-2.2ubuntu2 Documentation system for on-line information
and printed output

If I reinstall e.g. gv without changing PATH it fails with the error mentioned
above. Where am I wrong?

You said you installed texinfo from source, this would have placed an
"install-info" in your PATH that is not compatible with the dpkg install-info --
this is why your installs are failing

Remove /usr/local/bin/install-info and your system will work.

There should not be a different solution, you have hosed your system by
installing software that is not from the Ubuntu archive, so there is no
guarantee it will behave correctly. We supply versions of TeTeX and texinfo,
etc. in our archive that are known to work and do not break your system like this.

Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

(In reply to comment #5)
> You said you installed texinfo from source,

Where?

> this would have placed an
> "install-info" in your PATH that is not compatible with the dpkg install-info --
> this is why your installs are failing

Again: I only installed teTeX from source and this should not break Ubuntu as it
doesn't break any other GNU/Linux/Unix system.

> Remove /usr/local/bin/install-info and your system will work.
>
> There should not be a different solution, you have hosed your system by
> installing software that is not from the Ubuntu archive,

?? Ubuntu users should only use deb packages provided by Ubuntu and should never
install software from source?? Sorry, I disagree.

> so there is no
> guarantee it will behave correctly. We supply versions of TeTeX

Yes, versions that are quite outdated as I already mentioned on the devel list
(teTeX-2.0.2 was released on 1. March 2003). teTeX-3.0 was released on 6.
February 2005 and is not available for Breezy.

> and texinfo,

No, I didn't!

> etc. in our archive that are known to work and do not break your system like this.

Please, I didn't install texinfo from source! I installed it with apt-get as
shown in another comment on this site. Why do you think I installed it from
source. Where did I write this?

Regards,
Christoph

(In reply to comment #6)
> (In reply to comment #5)
> > You said you installed texinfo from source,
>
> Where?
>
Sorry, tetex; getting package names confused...

> > this would have placed an
> > "install-info" in your PATH that is not compatible with the dpkg install-info --
> > this is why your installs are failing
>
> Again: I only installed teTeX from source and this should not break Ubuntu as it
> doesn't break any other GNU/Linux/Unix system.
>
It will break any, and every, Debian-based system.

(In reply to comment #6)
> ?? Ubuntu users should only use deb packages provided by Ubuntu and should never
> install software from source?? Sorry, I disagree.
>
While we provide the tools for you to build and install software from other
sources, we can't support such a system because we have no idea what you're
going to do to it.

In this particular instance, you've ursurped one of the package management tools
(install-info is part of dpkg in Debian-based systems) with a replacement -- and
then complained that package management has broken.

We also provide you the tools to wipe /usr/bin, but if you do so, it's not a
"bug" it's user error.

Remove the /usr/local/bin/install-info you've added, and your system will work
again.

Christoph Bier (christoph-bier) wrote :

(In reply to comment #8)
> (In reply to comment #6)
> > ?? Ubuntu users should only use deb packages provided by Ubuntu and should never
> > install software from source?? Sorry, I disagree.
> >
> While we provide the tools for you to build and install software from other
> sources, we can't support such a system because we have no idea what you're
> going to do to it.

Strange point of view IMO. We are talking about *teTeX* and not any minor tool
from anybody on the net. Do you really think teTeX should be changed with regard
to Ubuntu?

> In this particular instance, you've ursurped one of the package management tools

What does "ursurped" mean, please? None of my dictionaries knows this word.

> (install-info is part of dpkg in Debian-based systems) with a replacement -- and
> then complained that package management has broken.

On Debian I never had any problems with teTeX from source. I really like Ubuntu
besides I hadn't migrated. But on this special topic I'm quite suprised about
your point of view. I know what you mean but I can not agree.

> We also provide you the tools to wipe /usr/bin, but if you do so, it's not a
> "bug" it's user error.
>
> Remove the /usr/local/bin/install-info you've added, and your system will work
> again.

Ok, I think we will not come together on this topic. What you say in other words
is: Every user installing teTeX from source on Ubuntu makes a mistake. Right? Is
this in common for all Ubuntu developers? Should I contact Thomas Esser
(Maintainer of teTeX) to find a solution that meets Ubuntu's requirements? Maybe
he's in common with you and I'm just misjudging the situation.

And what's the problem with Martin's suggestion to hardcode a sensible PATH in
the scripts??

(In reply to comment #7)
> (In reply to comment #6)
> > (In reply to comment #5)

[...]

> > Again: I only installed teTeX from source and this should not break Ubuntu as it
> > doesn't break any other GNU/Linux/Unix system.
> >
> It will break any, and every, Debian-based system.

Sorry, you are right here! Don't know why I never observed this problem on
Debian with teTeX from source.

(In reply to comment #9)
> (In reply to comment #8)
> > (In reply to comment #6)
> > > ?? Ubuntu users should only use deb packages provided by Ubuntu and should
never
> > > install software from source?? Sorry, I disagree.
> > >
> > While we provide the tools for you to build and install software from other
> > sources, we can't support such a system because we have no idea what you're
> > going to do to it.
>
> Strange point of view IMO. We are talking about *teTeX* and not any minor tool
> from anybody on the net. Do you really think teTeX should be changed with regard
> to Ubuntu?
>
No, not at all; by all means, please sign up to become an Ubuntu maintainer and
prepare us some updated tetex packages. It's something that hasn't been a
priority for us, because no current maintainer has the expertise to do it -- so
we just take them practically unmodified from Debian.

> > We also provide you the tools to wipe /usr/bin, but if you do so, it's not a
> > "bug" it's user error.
> >
> > Remove the /usr/local/bin/install-info you've added, and your system will work
> > again.
>
> Ok, I think we will not come together on this topic. What you say in other words
> is: Every user installing teTeX from source on Ubuntu makes a mistake. Right? Is
> this in common for all Ubuntu developers? Should I contact Thomas Esser
> (Maintainer of teTeX) to find a solution that meets Ubuntu's requirements? Maybe
> he's in common with you and I'm just misjudging the situation.
>
A google for "Debian install-info" will show you the long and messy history
between Debian and TeTeX which has been going on since at least 1997, probably
earlier.

> And what's the problem with Martin's suggestion to hardcode a sensible PATH in
> the scripts??
>
Because it's a huge amount of work to avoid something caused by user error. We
actually deliberately *don't* hardcode paths precisely so users can choose to
override install-info if they wish, and know what they are doing.

(In reply to comment #11)
> (In reply to comment #9)
> > (In reply to comment #8)
> > > (In reply to comment #6)
> > > > ?? Ubuntu users should only use deb packages provided by Ubuntu and should
> never
> > > > install software from source?? Sorry, I disagree.
> > > >
> > > While we provide the tools for you to build and install software from other
> > > sources, we can't support such a system because we have no idea what you're
> > > going to do to it.
> >
> > Strange point of view IMO. We are talking about *teTeX* and not any minor tool
> > from anybody on the net. Do you really think teTeX should be changed with regard
> > to Ubuntu?
> >
> No, not at all; by all means, please sign up to become an Ubuntu maintainer and
> prepare us some updated tetex packages. [...]

Believe me, I'd really like to! I wanted to join the GNU R Debian maintainer
team some time ago but I didn't understand that much of their communication. I'm
not a programmer but only a nutrition scientist.

> > > We also provide you the tools to wipe /usr/bin, but if you do so, it's not a
> > > "bug" it's user error.
> > >
> > > Remove the /usr/local/bin/install-info you've added, and your system will work
> > > again.
> >
> > Ok, I think we will not come together on this topic. What you say in other words
> > is: Every user installing teTeX from source on Ubuntu makes a mistake. Right? Is
> > this in common for all Ubuntu developers? Should I contact Thomas Esser
> > (Maintainer of teTeX) to find a solution that meets Ubuntu's requirements? Maybe
> > he's in common with you and I'm just misjudging the situation.
> >
> A google for "Debian install-info" will show you the long and messy history
> between Debian and TeTeX which has been going on since at least 1997, probably
> earlier.

Yes, I did it in the meanwhile and searched the teTeX ML. I really misjudged the
situation. Sorry for this!! There is an option for the configuration of teTeX
(--without-texinfo) that /might/ be the solution on the teTeX side. I didn't
find a report that approved that it works. Where was a good place to inform
interested Ubuntu users about this?

[...]

(In reply to comment #12)
> Yes, I did it in the meanwhile and searched the teTeX ML. I really misjudged the
> situation. Sorry for this!! There is an option for the configuration of teTeX
> (--without-texinfo) that /might/ be the solution on the teTeX side. I didn't
> find a report that approved that it works. Where was a good place to inform
> interested Ubuntu users about this?
>
The Ubuntu Forms (ubuntuforums.org) or add documentation to the Ubuntu Wiki
(wiki.ubuntu.com)

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