Extract from apt-cache show dash
" It can be usefully installed as /bin/sh (because it executes scripts
somewhat faster than "bash"), or as the default shell either of root ..."
I hit a weird problem recently upgrading the desktop systems we use
here for our staff. All but one went through the
"apt-get update, apt-get -u upgrade, apt-get -u dist-upgrade" commands
with no problems at all.
One machine however ended up with all of the postrm scripts that
had anything to do with X ( xfree86, fonts, xlibs ) fail. So none
of the new packages would upgrade. They always failed with an
"found end of file, expecting ) " syntax error.
I've been keeping all the systems practically identical so that
I wouldn't see these problems.
The scripts worked perfectly on my laptop, the line numbers where the
errors were listed didn't make any sense.
When I hand ran the scripts I got the same error messages, and
/bin/sh -x showed things dying shortly after an external
call to expr
I eventually tracked it down - the machine had /bin/sh linked
to dash. Switched it over to bash, ran apt-get -u upgrade
and it worked perfectly ( as it had on the other machines ).
I haven't had a chance to go into exactly how dash made it's
way in as /bin/sh ( but all machines have recently been
upgraded to 2.6.x - and dash seems to be 'required' for
I also haven't had a opportunity to debug the dash process
more completely - so I don't know if it's dash or something
in the root users profile which may be impacting on dash
(but I doubt this - as dash isn't an app that the
systems would either use or really care about so there
shouldn't have been any conf in place for dash).
So - if /bin/sh starts to behave strangely for you,
just double check which shell you are actually using.
Chris Higgins Cisco Learning Partner
Darach Technology Ltd tel: +353-1-6204370
email: chris.higgins at darach.ie fax: +353-1-6204371
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