View Full Version : [ubuntu] dpkg: error: error trying to open /var/lib/dpkg/info/format: Not a directory

July 25th, 2019, 01:30 PM
pranav@inspiron-5548L:~$ sudo dpkg --configure -a
dpkg: error: error trying to open /var/lib/dpkg/info/format: Not a directory

I can't seems to run this command for some reason which is said in error message above.
Any help resolving this issue will be highly appreciated.
Distro: Ubuntu 19.04

July 25th, 2019, 01:36 PM
On my system /var/lib/dpkg/info/format is an ordinary file containing simply the value "1". Perhaps you don't have a /var/lib/dpkg/info directory for some reason?

July 25th, 2019, 02:05 PM
pranav@inspiron-5548L:/var/lib/dpkg$ ls
alternatives diversions-old parts status-old
available info statoverride status.original
available-old lock statoverride-old triggers
diversions lock-frontend status updates
pranav@inspiron-5548L:/var/lib/dpkg$ cd info
bash: cd: info: Not a directory
pranav@inspiron-5548L:/var/lib/dpkg$ sudo nano info
Use "fg" to return to nano.

[1]+ Stopped sudo nano info

this info is a file which has nothing written in it. Is it normal? Or should i write "1" in it?

July 25th, 2019, 02:14 PM
this info is a file which has nothing written in it. Is it normal? Or should i write "1" in it?

Have another look at SeijiSensei's post.

/var/lib/dpkg/info is a directory

/var/lib/dpkg/info/format is a file with the value "1" in it.

July 25th, 2019, 02:19 PM
should i create an file name "format" which has a value 1 in it. And try running:
sudo dpkg --configure -a

July 25th, 2019, 02:21 PM
Since you seem to have the /var/lib/dpkg/info directory, does it contain a file called format? If not, try

sudo echo '1' > /var/lib/dpkg/info/format
then try running dpkg again.

July 25th, 2019, 02:36 PM
Since you seem to have the /var/lib/dpkg/info directory

I wonder if the OP does have a /var/lib/dpkg/info directory. I'm concerned by this:

pranav@inspiron-5548L:/var/lib/dpkg$ cd info
bash: cd: info: Not a directory

If the /var/lib/dpkg/info directory has disappeared and somehow been replaced by an empty /var/lib/dpkg/info file (as the OP's later text in post #3 suggests), then the OP has a serious problem. In my 18.04 system, the /var/lib/dpkg/info directory has over 9800 files.

July 25th, 2019, 03:07 PM
The OP most likely has a '1' in that format file, but is missing info directory, where format belongs.

July 25th, 2019, 11:41 PM
I wonder if the OP does have a /var/lib/dpkg/info directory.
Yes, I missed that before. How would anyone even manage to munge things up this badly unless someone else got root privileges and engaged in a malicious act?

OP: If you really don't have an info directory, there's little you can do other than reinstalling. As coffecat says, there are over 9800 files in that directory.

I had a similar concern about this thread (https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2423279) the other day. Of course, as seems par for the course these days, the OP never returned to the thread to tell us what the problem turned out to be.

July 26th, 2019, 01:39 PM
pranav@inspiron-5548L:~$ sudo echo '1' > /var/lib/dpkg/info/format
bash: /var/lib/dpkg/info/format: Permission denied

I did tried that but it failed. What should I do?

July 26th, 2019, 01:42 PM
Can i recreate those files by reinstalling all packages from bash loop script? Although this might be the last idea to try.

July 26th, 2019, 02:16 PM
I fear that in focusing on the error message you started this thread with, you are missing the bigger picture. Something or someone appears to have replaced the /var/lib/dpkg/info directory with a /var/lib/dpkg/info file, and in the process you have lost in excess of 9800 important files.

My question is: what is the something, and what other damage has it done? I have no idea how to replace those 9800+ files and, in your situation, wouldn't even attempt to. Your operating system is likely severely damaged beyond reasonable repair. I would do what SeijiSensei suggests - reinstall.

Someone or something. What were you doing prior to seeing the dpkg error message?

July 26th, 2019, 07:21 PM
Running this bash script solve this issue and decrease the number of reinstalling package day-by-day.

for package in $(apt remove --purge hello -y 2>&1 | grep "warning: files list file for package '" | grep -Po "[^'\n ]+'" | grep -Po "[^']+"); do apt-get install --reinstall "$package" -y; done

Problem is these programs/packages don't install and try to tell me in each loop which increase the of execution by few seconds in each loop:
Errors were encountered while processing:
php7.2-cli libgs9:amd64

Now the solution for this issue is using this :
$ sudo apt-mark hold package1 package 2 ...

But i don't know how to put this command in above bash script. If u know or if u know someone who knows bash scripting will certainly help me crack this case.

July 26th, 2019, 09:52 PM
@pranav.bhattarai, it is extremely discourteous to the forum membership to use a font colour almost the same as the background colour, thus making your post impossible to read. I can read your post using admin permissions, and I could edit your post to remove the pointless font colour, but I won't. Nor will I answer your question. I've come to the conclusion that you are not engaging with anything that anyone says, and that you are not prepared to enter into a sensible dialogue with those responding in this thread.

July 26th, 2019, 11:05 PM
I just highlighted his post to be able to read it.

July 26th, 2019, 11:07 PM
You shouldn't have to. A polite poster wouldn't make you.


This thread is now closed. If you care to be considerate of everyone else in the community by modifying your posts to use default fonts and colors to make them readable, PM me with a good reason to re-open it.