Stuck on applying package profile for servers running 18.04

Bug #1827857 reported by Anton Jansson on 2019-05-06
This bug affects 2 people
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
landscape-client (Ubuntu)
Simon Poirier
python-apt (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

When I apply a package profile to a server, the activity is stuck on 'in progress'. It only happens for servers running on 18.04 LTS. It works for servers running on 14.04 LTS.

I can verify that this is not a connection issue by:
* Manually installing the packages contained in the package profile
* Installing the package profile directly using apt-get.

The landscape server is hosted on-premise using version 18.01.
The 18.04 server is running:
  * The latest version of landscape-client, 18.01-0ubuntu3.3.
  * Ubuntu Server 18.04.02 LTS using 4.15.x kernel.
  * Python version: 3.6.7

Maybe relevant log files:

2019-05-06 11:59:55,977 WARNING [MainThread] Package data not yet synchronized with server (...)

2019-05-06 12:00:07,581 ERROR [MainThread] None
UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf-8' codec can't decode byte 0xb2 in position 29: invalid start byte

Launchpad Janitor (janitor) wrote :

Status changed to 'Confirmed' because the bug affects multiple users.

Changed in landscape-client (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
Bret Barker (noise) on 2019-05-10
Changed in landscape-client (Ubuntu):
assignee: nobody → Simon Poirier (simpoir)
Simon Poirier (simpoir) on 2019-06-12
Changed in landscape-client (Ubuntu):
status: Confirmed → In Progress
importance: Undecided → Medium
Simon Poirier (simpoir) wrote :

I've been able to reproduce this bug consistently. It appears python3-apt is at cause. If a non-utf8 locale is configured, apt will returned descriptions in the preferred lang/encoding and python3 fails to interpret them as utf8. Python2.7 did ascii conversion, returning "lossy" unicode conversion but not crashing.

$ grep en_US /etc/locale.gen
en_US ISO-8859-1
# en_US.ISO-8859-15 ISO-8859-15
# en_US.UTF-8 UTF-8

$ LANG=en_US python3
Python 3.7.3 (default, Apr 3 2019, 05:39:12)
[GCC 8.3.0] on linux
Type "help", "copyright", "credits" or "license" for more information.
>>> import apt
>>> apt.Cache().get("gosa").versions[0].description
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "<stdin>", line 1, in <module>
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/apt/", line 627, in description
    dsc = records.long_desc if records is not None else None
UnicodeDecodeError: 'utf-8' codec can't decode byte 0xb2 in position 236: invalid start byte

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