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Date: Sun, 28 Mar 2010 01:01:41 +0300
From: Solar Designer <>
Subject: Re: RPM Issue

On Thu, Mar 25, 2010 at 12:28:35PM +0000, Simon Baker wrote:
> ... there's probably not much point in you guys trying to track it down

Yet I researched the issue some further.  It appears to be quite normal
that the expected file format of /var/lib/rpm/__db.001 changes when RPM
built against NPTL is installed on a system that was previously using
RPM built against LinuxThreads.  That file is memory-mapped and it
contains mutexes.  Unfortunately, RPM does not distinguish this file
format change from it having accessed the file in an inconsistent state,
so it treats this as a temporary error and keeps retrying with the
confusing message that you saw.

The workaround is to ensure that there's no rpm process running and to
"rm /var/lib/rpm/__db.00?".  There's no need to run "rpm --rebuilddb"
after that, even though this is commonly suggested (cure for a different
disease).  Once the old __db.00? files are removed, RPM works again (it
silently re-creates the files) and the issue does not re-occur.

I still have no idea why the workaround didn't appear to work for Simon.
It could have something to do with the order in which packages were
being rebuilt/upgraded on Simon's system.

This same error message may appear in many other cases.  The above
description pertains to the specific known issue with upgrading an Owl
system to our latest packages (built on March 23).


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