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broken packages in xenial-updates

I've added a merge proposal for sru-release

I believe it will improve the situation by insisting on order and that some
packages will go in together.

Also, I did dig a bit more, and it looks like the core of the issue in my
original post can be seen at

linux-meta-hwe went into security 11 minutes before linux-hwe.

On Wed, Jun 13, 2018 at 12:39 PM, Scott Moser <smoser at> wrote:

> We have a curtin test that runs (simplified)
>   apt-get update
>   apt-get install linux-image-generic-hwe-16.04
> The jenkins run [1] failed on Monday (06-11), console log at [2] with
> the following:
> |  Some packages could not be installed. This may mean that you have
> |  requested an impossible situation or if you are using the unstable
> |  distribution that some required packages have not yet been created
> |  or been moved out of Incoming.
> |  The following information may help to resolve the situation:
> |  The following packages have unmet dependencies:
> |   linux-image-generic-hwe-16.04 :
> |      Depends: linux-image-4.13.0-45-generic but it is not installable
> |      Depends: linux-image-extra-4.13.0-45-generic but it is not
> installable
> |      Recommends: thermald but it is not going to be installed
> |  E: Unable to correct problems, you have held broken packages.
> So it would appear that we hit an unfortunate race when
> linux-meta-hwe [3] was in xenial-updates but linux-hwe [4] was not.
> Per the email time stamps in those messages there was a 4 second window
> when this could have occurred.  We hit this issue around 15:36, around 20
> minutes after the time stamp on the xenial-changes email (15:14).
> I realize that you probably can't trust those timestamps 100%, that
> the publisher runs on some cycle, and that archive sync is non-atomic.
> If the email messages are to be believed, linux-meta-hwe [3]
> was accepted before linux-hwe [4].  linux-meta-hwe depends on a specific
> version of linux-hwe, but linux-hwe has no dependency on linux-meta-hwe.
> It seems that at very least linux-hwe should be let in before
> linux-meta-hwe.
> We've seen similar issues with grub2 and grub2-signed.  I believe those
> two are co-dependent making them trickier.
> This is a stable release that had its canonical archive
> in a broken state.  Can anything be done to stop this from occurring?
> Scott
> --
> [1],%
> 20curtin,%20streams/job/curtin-vmtest-daily-x/120/
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
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