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Hello - I've had an ongoing problem with urpmi for quite a while now, and I've narrowed it down to the fact that it can't write a synthesis file to ...
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  1. #1
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    urpmi problem - unable to write synthesis file


    Hello - I've had an ongoing problem with urpmi for quite a while now, and I've narrowed it down to the fact that it can't write a synthesis file to /var/lib/urpmi This is as far as things get for me:
    Code:
    examining synthesis file [/var/lib/urpmi/synthesis.hdlist.Installation Free DVD (cdrom1).cz]
    examining synthesis file [/var/lib/urpmi/synthesis.hdlist.plf_free.cz]
    examining synthesis file [/var/lib/urpmi/synthesis.hdlist.plf_comm.cz]
    found 0 headers in cache
    removing 0 obsolete headers in cache
    wrote config file [/etc/urpmi/urpmi.cfg]
    [root@pickle john]# urpmi.addmedia --wget updates ftp://anorien.warwick.ac.uk/Mandriva/official/updates/2006.0/main_updates with media_info/hdlist.cz
    added medium updates
    wrote config file [/etc/urpmi/urpmi.cfg]
    examining synthesis file [/var/lib/urpmi/synthesis.hdlist.Installation Free DVD (cdrom1).cz]
    examining synthesis file [/var/lib/urpmi/synthesis.hdlist.plf_free.cz]
    examining synthesis file [/var/lib/urpmi/synthesis.hdlist.plf_comm.cz]
    retrieving source hdlist (or synthesis) of "updates"...
        ftp://anorien.warwick.ac.uk/Mandriva/official/updates/2006.0/main_updates/media_info/hdlist.cz
    found probed hdlist (or synthesis) as media_info/hdlist.cz
    ...retrieving done
    For ages I thought that when it said 'retrieving done' that was it... finished! Nope: a misunderstanding on my part. Until it goes past that point and writes the synthesis file you can't even use urpmi to download from a mirror. 'Elp! I haven't a clue how to sort this out. I think I've read every guide, manual and online tutorial I can find, but urpmi locks the database at that point (I know how to unlock it by now).

    I'm stuck! All help and input appreciated. Oddly - no problems adding the Penguin Liberation Fronts' free stuff! What am I missing?

    EDIT: I should add that when I first installed 'Mandy' 2006 it worked perfectly for updates. At one point - while I was downloading some of these - it came up with an error message (which I can't remember) and hasn't been the same since.
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  2. #2
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    i really don't know if this will work, but have you tried downloading it manually?
    i.e.
    Code:
    cd /var/lib/urpmi/
    wget ftp://anorien.warwick.ac.uk/Mandriva/official/updates/2006.0/main_updates/media_info/hdlist.cz
    and add the necessary line/s in /etc/urpmi/urpmi.cfg

    Once again, I don't know if this will work, this is just some random idea which popped into my head while reading this post... damm i need more coffee this morning.

    Also have you tried a different mirror? Or a repair install if Mandriva has one?
    Life is complex, it has a real part and an imaginary part.

  3. #3
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Thanks AlexK - I'll give it a try but I'm getting towards the end of what I think will work. I've Googled for all I'm worth but no-one else seems to have had this problem. One thing bothers me though ... How come I have no trouble with the PLF mirrors? It makes no real sense. Their hdlist.cz files seem a bit smaller than the other resources though.

    I do seem to have an issue with reading a few files with the *.cz extension for some strange reason. I messed up my system for a while but managed to rebuild it again using the new Smart package manager ... (which is in Beta and therefore a little buggy) ...

    I'm going to try this as well:
    Code:
    urpmi.addmedia --wget --no-md5sum -f contrib ftp://anorien.warwick.ac.uk/Mandriva/official/2006.0/i586/media/contrib with ../media_info/hdlist_contrib.cz
    Which should force urpmi to use wget, disable md5sum checks and force it to write a hdlist.cz file. If this works I'll be amazed! I'll let you know.
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  4. #4
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Smile Problem solved - I think

    I managed to side-step the problems I've been having with urpmi by using the Smart package manager which ships with Mandriva 2006. What finally made me use this was finding a more up-to-date version as a set of rpms on one of the repositories I saw while I was struggling to sort out my issues (I couldn't manage to install from source).

    So I downloaded and installed Smart ver. 0.41 and added some links to urpmi repositories manually (0.41 comes pre-loaded with a lot of these, but they didn't work well for me ... I had to do some editing).

    I actually found that Smart works better than using urpmi from the command line. It can be used with or without a gui and it solves dependency problems very well. It can also handle apt repositories and many more, so it's worth checking out if - like me - you just can't manage urpmi directly and find that you have a buggy or partially corrupted version.

    So (he said cautiously) that's one less thing to bother about. This has taken me several days of hacking my system and breaking/rebuilding things, but I finally have a result. If only I could get Smart to speed up those ftp connections! Even with broadband they can be very slow and I find myself having to be very patient.

    Check it out here: http://labix.org/smart
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  5. #5
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    Well glad to hear you sort of got it working Fingal.

    I have been using Smart on my SUSE boxes for some time. I agree that it is useful for easily getting programs which are not available in SUSE's official yast repositories.
    Life is complex, it has a real part and an imaginary part.

  6. #6
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    After a bit of thought I decided to swallow my pride and bump this thread. It turns out that this isn't just a problem with urpmi but with any package management system I use. I've been using Synaptic (as apt has been ported to rpm based systems). It worked for a brief time, then - despite anything I do - it times out when connecting to any repository anywhere. I know ... I've tried a few. Actually a heck of a lot.

    An online buddy suggested that it might be to do with conflicting firewalls, as I was running both Shorewall and a router/firewall together. I disabled Shorewall ... but still no joy. I have no trouble downloading the hdlist etc. package information files ... they work a treat. But if I then use Synaptic/Smart or urpmi I get the same old trouble ... works for a while: looks like it's going to download a dependency tree then just sits there trying to connect. I can't even do a proper apt update.

    So I tried getting a raw ftp connection from the command line, and this was no problem. I can easily download things that way, but I can't use Synaptic and friends to resolve dependancies (which I can work around but it's crippling my online life).

    So I'm very puzzled: I thought at first my firewall was somehow blocking my ftp port - but I can connect and download that way (from a terminal as I said). I feel like I'm missing something obvious, but despite Googling and trying everything ... can't solve this one. Is there some obvious difference between the way a package manager resolves ftp connections and the way it works from a terminal? If so, is there a workaround?

    Anyone who can help me with this ... well, I'll be grateful to say the least. In case it's helpful ... this problem is the same for single or multiple downloads.

    An extra hassle is that Smart is still in beta, so if you use it for any length of time you find several annoying bugs (which yes I should report, but haven't done: shame on me).
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  7. #7
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    Fingal, out of curiosity what kind of internet connection do you have? If it is some sort of DSL using PPPoA or PPPoE, try this:
    In router's settings, there should be an entry for MTU set this to 1492 instead of 1500.
    Do the same on your computer either via MCC or command line with:
    Code:
    ifconfig eth0 MTU 1492
    Also, does dmesg or /var/log/messages shed any light as to why this is happening?
    Life is complex, it has a real part and an imaginary part.

  8. #8
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlexK
    Fingal, out of curiosity what kind of internet connection do you have? If it is some sort of DSL using PPPoA or PPPoE, try this:
    In router's settings, there should be an entry for MTU set this to 1492 instead of 1500.
    Do the same on your computer either via MCC or command line with:
    Code:
    ifconfig eth0 MTU 1492
    Also, does dmesg or /var/log/messages shed any light as to why this is happening?
    Thanks AlexK: you've given me another thing to try this evening. I'm connecting via DSL and a wired four port D-Link router. As for my log files, I've had a look and can find no clues there. I've tried 'errors' and 'messages' but no useful info. I will of course have another look (it's amazingly what I've missed sometimes) but must admit, haven't looked closely at dmesg. I'll let you know what happens. I might even try grep with dmesg !
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  9. #9
    Linux Guru fingal's Avatar
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    Hi again

    No joy I'm afraid. I changed my mtu settings (as you suggested) in both my router and via the cli but the situation is exactly the same ... it just sits there trying to connect, then it times out. I've also been into my log files and they tell me nothing ... even combining dmesg with grep and trying a similar trick with my errors and messages logs. All they really tell me is which services I have running.

    For some strange reason this is broken. One thing that occured to me was that I installed Bastille as a security measure some time ago (it's a complex looking suite of Perl scripts really) and I wondered if it might be the culprit. Back to square one.
    I am always doing that which I can not do, in order that I may learn how to do it. - Pablo Picasso

  10. #10
    Linux Guru AlexK's Avatar
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    From googling, it seems some people have a problem with bastille, try uninstalling it and see if it helps. Also file a bugreport with the Mandriva people to see if there is a problem.
    Life is complex, it has a real part and an imaginary part.

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