failed in buffer_read(fd) on Ubuntu

I was trying to install something on my machine using apt-get but it kept giving an error similar to

failed in buffer_read(fd): files list for package `linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15-23-386': Invalid Argument

I searched the net and the Ubuntu Forums but didn’t arrive on a definitive answer. The reason and the solution is below
(Thanks to C.M. Connelly at

  1. This happens when there’s some issue with the file list of that particular package in Debian derived distributions, such as Ubuntu.
  2. The files are stored in /var/lib/dpkg/info/
  3. The solution is to regenerate the file list or copy it from a place which has that file

Replacing it with a working copy

  • Go into the directory/var/lib/dpkg/info/
  • List all files pertaining to that package – for example

    root@Azlan:/var/lib/dpkg/info# ls -l linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15-23-386*
    ?--------- 1 12311 67231 13097 2006-05-19 15:00 linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15-23-386.list
    -rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 16844 2006-05-19 04:30 linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15-23-386.md5sums
    -rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 86 2006-05-19 04:29 linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15-23-386.postinst
    -rwxrwxrwx 1 root root 281 2006-05-19 04:29 linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15-23-386.postrm
  • As you can see, the file linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15-23-386.list does not seem to be alright.
  • Replace it with a file which you already have in some other machine

Regenerating the file

  • If you wish to regenerate the file, then you’d require the original .deb package for it
  • You may try searching for it in /var/cache/apt/archives
  • Regenerate the file using the command below

    dpkg -c /var/cache/apt/archives/linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15-23-386_2.6.15.11-1_i386.deb > /var/lib/dpkg/info/linux-restricted-modules-2.6.15-23-386.list

One thought on “failed in buffer_read(fd) on Ubuntu

  1. Ubuntu: dpkg fails with “failed in buffer_read(fd)” « UNIX Administratosphere

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