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I have Xubuntu 12.04 and am trying to use gdrive. During its work, I'm getting this: gnutls_handshake: A TLS packet with unexpected length was received.

Research online, including on this website ( , Mutt not working due to "gnutls_handshake: A TLS packet with unexpected length was received." error ) shows there's a bug with gnutls in the 12.04 release.

I posted this information to the gdrive development forum but doubt they will start using openssl because of this. So instead, I'd like to look into upgrading gnutls to fix this bug.

Problem is - I have no clue how to do that in a way that wouldn't break the entire OS.

Any directions would be appreciated!

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This problem still appears to be present in 13.10. My guess is that the only way to fix this is to compile grive with OpenSSL support instead of GNUTLS. – joelittlejohn Mar 24 '14 at 0:38


It sounds like you need a backport. A backport makes a more recent version of an upstream project in an older Ubuntu release.


However, this isn't necessarily a complete answer for you. Backporting a library successfully and without unintended consequences is considerably more involved, because as you say it can break things.

Stable Release Updates

If it is a simple bug that you need fixed, rather than new functionality, then it is also possible to cherry-pick the fix into a stable release update. See:

However, bugs fixed this way generally need to be simple enough that they obviously won't break anything. Again, this is difficult in this particular case.

Personal Package Archives

Finally, you can make changes to packages and put them into your own personal package archive. This way you don't have to worry about adversely affecting others who aren't expecting it (as they have to explicitly enable your own specific archive), and so you don't have to follow the stricter rules required for SRUs and backports.


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