pkg_version: the package info for package '...' is corrupt

Julien Laffaye jlaffaye at
Tue Apr 2 21:02:44 UTC 2013

On 4/2/2013 10:30 PM, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:
> Ok, first, my apologies to Leslie Jensen about the e-mail bounce.  It is
> nothing personal, believe me.  I just have a personal policy of locally
> blacklisting any and all domains that send me spam.  (Apparently, at one
> time or another, I received some spam from  I believe that
> if _everybody_... or even just 10% of everybody... did as I do, then
> ISPs would finally take seriously their spam outflow problems.  (Most
> of them don't at present, and that explains why there is so much spam.)
> Now, as regards to "pkg_version" versus "pkg version" I have never even
> seen the latter, so I don't know a damn thing about that.  Furthermore,
> although there does appear to be an executable named /usr/sbin/pkg
> present on my system, whatever the heck it is, it does not seem to have
> any associated man page. :-(
> So anyway, I have never used it, I don't know what it even does, and I
> would still not know how to use it, even if you held a gun to my head.
> Regarding Julien Laffaye comment(s) relating to "pkgng", I have also
> never even heard of that before now.  What is it and where do I get it?
> And if it is so wonderful... and if what I am using is considered "old"...
> then why isn't this new "pkgng" thing the default in/on 9.1-RELEASE?
> (I also apparently have no man page for anything called "pkgng" on my
> system.)
/usr/bin/pkg is the binary that will bootrap pkgng, installing the real 
binary and manpages.
> Anyway, athough I do thank both Leslie Jensen and Julien Laffaye for
> their comments and attempts to help, I still am in DIRE need of an answer
> to my original question.  I have, apparently, over 50 of my installed
> ports that pkg_version is now telling me are in some *unspecified way*
> "corrupt" and I still need (and am desperately begging for) someone to
> tell me how to resolve that problem, exactly.
> As I have said, I _do_ have a recent full system backup, but that doesn't
> help me unless and until someone tells me which file or files from that,
> exactly, I should be restoring in order to eliminate this problem.
> Could someone kindly do that, please?
You can try ports-mgmt/portmaster, which has some options to try to 
repair the /var/db/pkg database.
If the backup is fresh and you did not install new packages since, you 
can just copy the /var/db/pkg from the backup to the system (backup-ing 
the broken one, we never know, you might need it...)
> Regards,
> rfg
> P.S.  I do most seriously wonder if whoever engineered the FreeBSD ports
> system ever realized how dramatically UNhelpful a message like the following
> actually is:
>      pkg_version: the package info for package 'evince-2.32.0_9' is corrupt
> I do not intend to offend anyone, but to be frank, this is the kind of a
> message I would expect out of a Windows system, i.e. a message that some-
> thing is broken, but providing -zero- details regarding what exactly is
> broken, where it is located, or, most importantly, how to begin to fix the
> problem.
> When I am using Windows, I _expect_ to be treated like a luser... i.e.
> one who cannot be trusted with too much information.
> When I am using any kind of *NIX system however, I tend to expect the exact
> opposite, and am rather unhappy when critical information is hidden from
> me.
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