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Re: Split pkgdb

On 30/12/2020 18:30, Greg Troxel wrote:

Mike Pumford <> writes:

Looks like I've somehow managed to split my package database in two.

I've got files in both /usr/pkg/pkgdb and also files in
/var/db/pkg. Could it be that the pkg_install-20201218 package doesn't
have the same compatibility logic applied as the builtin version? I'm
using pkgin for to install binary packages built by one of my local
systems so it gets installed.

Any suggestions for how to unpick the mess without uninstalling everything.

This is all on 9.1 stable with the latest pkg_install pullups/

I think 20201218 is the latest and should have the compat logic, but I
am not 100% certain.  But that logic is "even if /usr/pkg/pkgdb is the
compiled-in location, if /var/db/pkg exists (and /usr/pkg/pkgdb
doesn't?) then use it".   I don't expect it to recover from split.

I have written a migration script, but I haven't tried to handle your
case.  But it will help I think.

My advice follows, with  the caveat that it's not tested and you should
pay close attention and check assumptions along the way.   This is
easier than it's going to sound.

That's fine. I've got 1 relatively sacrificial system I can play on. Once it works on there I can then apply the same thing to the other 2 tangled systems ;) I may script a few things if it seems easy and if I do I'll share them with the list.

The plan is to head to one database in /usr/pkg/pkgdb.

1. Make a backup.  At the very least save a copy of /usr/pkg/pkgdb,
pkgdb.refcount, and /var/db/pkg, pkg.refcount.

2. Figure out what pkgsrc branch you want to be running.  pkgsrc is
frozen and HEAD is really close to what will become 2020Q4, so that's a
good choice.  2020Q3 is also theoretically reasonable.  cvs up to the
branch you are truing to do.  If your system is binary only that should
be ok too.

This one is easy. I can freeze things at my current pkgsrc-current snapshot that I built successfully last weekend so I can guarantee a fixed pkgin database until I've got everything cleaned up. As things stand everything is actually operational so I can afford to take my time cleaning up.

3. Check pkg_add in /usr/sbin and /usr/pkg/sbin for version.  Make sure
it's 20201218, or else something old like 20191008 or 20200701.  If it's
202012xx and not 1218, we should get that fixed.
Everything is that version and I know that when I started all the
pkg_install tools were pointing at the old /var/db location. This is why I think the compat code might not be in the pkgsrc version of pkg_install.

4. Get the "_NetBSD-pkgdb" script from the top level of pkgsrc HEAD.
Alternatively get it from

but do not try to use the CDN because I am unclear on cache invalidation
and expect this to get updated.  It is small :-)   Read it, and I think
it will help you understand what's going on.

5. Try briefly to understand if the directories in /var/db/pkg and
/usr/pkg/pkgdb collide, either literally or in package name with
different versions.

6. In /var/db/pkg, do "mv * /usr/pkg/pkgdb".   If that errors due to
collision and doesn't do any, try

   for d in *; mv $d /usr/pkg/pkgdb
The point is to move each entry, so you only have entries in

Figure out what's left.  Delete crud.  If you have two copies of
someething, diff them and if the same, just rm the /var/db/pkg one.  If
a conflict, make /usr/pkg/pkgdb have the new one.

If you seem to have two copies of a package installed, do not use
pkg_delete, as there is only one copy in the filesystem.  Instead just
rm the older version's pkgdb directory.

Remove /var/db/pkg.

7. In /var/db/pkg.refcount, try briefly to understand the overlap
situation.  Then, more or less

   tar cf - . | (cd /usr/pkg/pkgdb && tar xfv -)

(untested, but you get the point: basically overlay the old dir onto the
new one).  I am haziest on this part, but I don't think it's going to
hurt you much.  For extra points be careful about not overwriting any

Remove /var/db/pkg.refcount.

8. Run "_NetBSD-pkgdb check".  Expect complaints about PKG_DBDIR not
being set, and about bad paths in refcount.  If that's all it says, run
with the "fix" argument.   You'll get complaints but it should patch
things up.  Run fix again, and I think it will be ok.

9. Run 'pkg_admin check' and 'pkg_admin rebuild-tree', as general pkg

10. Let us know how this went.  Thanks for being a tester of the script
I wrote :-)

No problem. I'll give it a whirl tomorrow when I'm a bit more awake.


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