Ubuntu11 Aug 2011 10:01 am

As a part of the Oneiric development cycle I wanted to work on dealing with the overwhelming number of package installation failure bug reports. These are identifiable by the tag apport-package and a ProblemType of Package in the bug description. These reports are currently created when a package fails to install on a development release of Ubuntu or a stable release. This is useful since we have more than 15,000 packages in the archive there are likely some that are not used by people who use the development release. However, this is problematic for stable and development releases when there is no automatic duplicate detection of these bug reports as you end up in a situation where the same failure is reported multiple times and your bug list becomes cluttered.

Thankfully Martin Pitt added in support to apport for a duplicate signature for any type of apport bug report. I’ve now uploaded a version of apport in Oneiric that creates a DuplicateSignature for package installation failures using information from the dpkg terminal log file that will then allow the retracer to automatically mark duplicates of package install failures! This is even more useful now that Michael Vogt has modified dpkg so that apport receives the dpkg terminal log untranslated. I’ve also made it so that when the bug is reported if there is a conflict between two packages trying to use the same file the bug report is tagged ‘package-conflict’.

What about all those existing package installation failures? Well I happen to have a local cache of all the DpkgTerminalLog file attachments from apport-package bug reports. I used the same method used in apport to create the duplicate signature for all those existing apport-package bug reports. Then using the md5sum, thanks Kees, of those duplicate signatures I was able to identify approximately 200 bug reports that were duplicates of other package installation failures! And of course I went through and tagged all the already reported ‘package-conflict’ bug reports I could find.

One Response to “Apport package installation failure duplicates”

  1. on 11 Aug 2011 at 2:51 pm komputes

    Thanks to Brian, Martin, Michael for finding a way to avoid duplicate package install error reports.

    What is your opinion on making it possible to mark a bug as “affecting you” when you run into one of these existing errors?

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