Mind Dump, Tech And Life Blog
written by Ivan Alenko
published under license CC BY-SA 3.0
posted in category Digital Despotism / Linux
posted at 23. Jul '17

How to remove a package with prerm problems

In Debian (usually unstable version) or external repositories you can experience a frustrating situation when you or upgrade program cannot remove a package, because preinst, postinst, prerm or postrm script fails. apt-get -f install won’t help. Hell, you cannot install anything else, because package system is not in consistent state. I experienced this error rarely, three times so far.

I used to reinstall the system at first :D But when I experienced it on a server with mariadb-server package, I had to fix it another way.

Here is a copy from Server Fault how to fix it. I haven’t kept my own records, only a bookmark to this page. Thanks marc.riera for asking, ℝaphink for answer and other guys for comments.

Solution

Look into /var/lib/dpkg/info/openqrm.postinst or .preinst. Remove it usually, but you should check what script does. In my case it assumed wrong directories exist.

Problem

root@wl183004:/# apt-get upgrade
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
1 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 0B of additional disk space will be used.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]? 
Setting up openqrm (4.6-ubuntu1) ...
.: 33: Can't open /usr/share/openqrm/etc/openqrm-server.conf
dpkg: error processing openqrm (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 2
Errors were encountered while processing:
 openqrm
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

root@wl183004:/# apt-get -f install
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
1 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 0B of additional disk space will be used.
Setting up openqrm (4.6-ubuntu1) ...
.: 33: Can't open /usr/share/openqrm/etc/openqrm-server.conf
dpkg: error processing openqrm (--configure):
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 2
Errors were encountered while processing:
 openqrm
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)

root@wl183004:/# apt-get remove --purge openqrm
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  libshadow-ruby1.8 bind9 libopenipmi0 nagios-plugins-basic open-iscsi
  nagios-plugins-standard memcached libupsclient1 collectd-core nagios-images
  bind9utils tftpd-hpa radiusclient1 libdbi0 libphp-adodb collectd libruby
  aoetools facter dhcp3-server open-iscsi-utils liboping0 libmemcached2
  libradius1 libyajl1 nagios-plugins puppet-common puppetmaster
  libopenssl-ruby1.8 libopenssl-ruby libesmtp5 libxmlrpc-ruby
Use 'apt-get autoremove' to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED:
  openqrm*
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 1 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
1 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 78.2MB disk space will be freed.
Do you want to continue [Y/n]?
(Reading database ... 313464 files and directories currently installed.)
Removing openqrm ...
.: 32: Can't open /usr/share/openqrm/etc/openqrm-server.conf
dpkg: error processing openqrm (--purge):
 subprocess installed pre-removal script returned error exit status 2
.: 33: Can't open /usr/share/openqrm/etc/openqrm-server.conf
dpkg: error while cleaning up:
 subprocess installed post-installation script returned error exit status 2
Errors were encountered while processing:
 openqrm
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)
root@wl183004:/# 

Easy when you know what to do, right?

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