dpkg 1.16.0 and upwards nagging about version numbers

After upgrading to dpkg 1.16.0 the other day I got messages like

dpkg-deb: error: parsing file '/var/lib/dpkg/available' near line xxx package 'yyyyyy': error in Version string 'zzzzzzz': version number does not start with digit

every time I used apt-get or aptitude.

Botched Debian upgrades, converting a Cyrus IMAP mail spool to Maildir format

Remember: you should always try to use Debian codenames (i.e. etch, lenny, squeeze) and not "stable" in your /etc/apt/sources.list file (see also the hint in the Debian release notes). Cause if you don't new Debian releases are nothing to look forward to...

BackupPC and updatedb

An important thing to remember is when using BackupPC is to configure updatedb to skip the BackupPC pool hierarchy.

Using the etch DVD as local Debian mirror

When booting the Debian installer via PXE (see the relevant chapter in the Installation Guide for how to setup DHCP/TFTP and where to download the necessary files), the next logical step is to use a local Debian mirror in your network.

Comparing process environments

Using the entry in the proc-Filesystem of a running process, it's easy to get a sorted list of environment variables for a certain process ID (PID):

tr '\0' '\n' < /proc/<PID>/environ | sort

Since the lines in environ are null-terminated, putting proper newlines in the output with tr is necessary before sorting. (sort can only output lines terminated with \0 using the option -z, but not read them, besides: even -z doesn't quite work as expected in my case)

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