Smokes your problems, coughs fresh air.

Gentoo update: e2fsprogs blocks e2fsprogs

Yesterday evening, I dropped by at Wiebe‘s with my laptop to start updating our Gentoo systems together. I hadn’t updated this machine since first installing it in spring last year, so I expected quite a few problems. The first blockage that we both had to solve was caused by e2fsprogs.

Wiebe searched the forums for help and found an unfortunate abundance of it. Eventually, I decided to give one of the many contradictory tips a try, although it seemed risky.

$ emerge --unmerge --ask --verbose e2fsprogs

Until you reinstall e2fsprogs, you won’t have any of the ext2/3 utilities such as e2fsck. So, reinstall immediately:

$ emerge --oneshot --ask --verbose e2fsprogs

This will remove libcom_err and libss, and replace them with e2fsprogs-libs, thus solving the blockages.

Wiebe tried an alternative route by first unmerging com_err and ss, and then replacing e2fsprogs. This didn’t work as expected, probably because he had kerberos in his use flags. libkerberos used libcom_err, which broke wget. Scp’ing the distfiles to him didn’t work either (OpenSSH also has kerberos support). Neither did mounting an USB stick with the files. Luckily, Thunderbird still worked, so I emailed the distfiles and the problem was solved. We found it amusing to have to use e-mail while being in the same room. 😉

The reason why this blockage occurred is not entirely clear to me. What I do understand is that com_err and ss were both provided by the e2fsprogs project and are now deprecated in favor of e2fsprogs-libs. Also, it’s clear that the new libraries are binary compatible with the old libraries or his system would have remained unusable, even after merging e2fsprogs-libs.

Before we tackled this problem, I had only updated portage and net-print/foomatic-db-ppds (also a blocking situation). Afterwards, I had just some motivation left to update krb5. Which leaves another 282 packages for the next get-together.


  1. Rowan Rodrik

    Wiebe, what does equery depends sys-libs/com_err return for you? Do you still see packages depending on it?

    On my laptop, the result is empty.

  2. halfgaar

    It returns:

    [ Searching for packages depending on sys-libs/com_err… ]
    app-crypt/mit-krb5-1.6.3-r1 (sys-libs/com_err)
    net-mail/fetchmail-6.3.9 (elibc_FreeBSD? sys-libs/com_err)

    Even though com_err is no longer present. I tried remerging fetchmail, but that didn’t change equery’s output.

    BTW, we didn’t use e-mail to get me the e2fsprogs files, but Skype…

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