safe-rm breaks upgrades from 18.04 to 20.04

Bug #1893724 reported by François Marier on 2020-09-01
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
ubuntu-release-upgrader (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

I upgraded from bionic to focal this weekend and discovered that one of my packages (safe-rm) can totally break the 20.04 upgrade. Not sure how reproducible it is (I only upgraded once), but I had to remove safe-rm before manually restarting the failed upgrade.

It comes down to the fact that safe-rm takes over the rm command and unfortunately is written in Perl so while Perl isn't quite working (e.g. while it's being upgraded), the rm command is broken :/

I just pushed out a fix to limit the takeover to interactive shells only (, but the real fix which I'm hoping to get to in the next few weeks is to rewrite the tool in Rust ( to avoid depending on an interpreter.

That said, it's a pretty serious issue so probably the best thing for 20.04 might be to conflict on the package somehow to make sure it's uninstalled prior to the upgrade.

I wasn't sure which package to file this bug against so please re-assign if needed.

François Marier (fmarier) wrote :

I backported the fix to 18.04 in my PPA:

but I don't have an easy way of testing the 18.04-20.04 upgrade so I'm not sure that would be enough to fix what I ran into.

François Marier (fmarier) wrote :

> I backported the fix to 18.04 in my PPA:

And I have now reverted this since it ended up disabling safe-rm in almost all useful cases :/

Changed in ubuntu-release-upgrader (Ubuntu):
status: New → Confirmed
importance: Undecided → High
To post a comment you must log in.
This report contains Public information  Edit
Everyone can see this information.

Other bug subscribers