# “debconf: DbDriver ”config“: config.dat is locked by another process: Resource temporarily unavailable” while installing packages

I'm trying to install the flashybrid but when I enter the apt-get install flashybrid command, I get this error:

root@user-desktop:/home/user# apt-get install flashybrid
Building dependency tree
0 upgraded, 0 newly installed, 0 to remove and 0 not upgraded.
1 not fully installed or removed.
After this operation, 0B of additional disk space will be used.
debconf: DbDriver "config": /var/cache/debconf/config.dat is locked by another process: Resource temporarily unavailable
Setting up flashybrid (0.15+nmu2) ...
debconf: DbDriver "config": /var/cache/debconf/config.dat is locked by another process: Resource temporarily unavailable
dpkg: error processing flashybrid (--configure):
subprocess post-installation script returned error exit status 1
Errors were encountered while processing:
flashybrid
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (1)


I also tried this one to find what is already using that file:

root@user-desktop:/home/user# lsof | grep /var/cache/debconf/config.dat
lsof: WARNING: can't stat() fuse.gvfs-fuse-daemon file system /home/user/.gvfs
Output information may be incomplete.
dpkg-prec 4672 root 4rW REG 8,6 39658 1697827 /var/cache/debconf/config.dat


But I don't know how to fix this.

A solution to this locking problem is detailed in the wiki:

sudo fuser -v /var/cache/debconf/config.dat


Will show you what process is holding the lock:

                     USER        PID ACCESS COMMAND
/var/cache/debconf/config.dat:
root      18210 F.... dpkg-preconfigu


Then you simply need to note down the PID and kill it like so:

sudo kill PID
sudo kill -9 PID  # if the first doesn't work

• This worked fantastic! Thanks a bunch, I didn't know of 'fuser'! – stolsvik Jan 1 '14 at 22:54
• fuser also has the option switch -k which kills the found process that uses the file: sudo fuser -v -k /var/cache/debconf/config.dat will kill the process right away – minni Dec 30 '15 at 9:30
• This should be selected as best answer. – Arda Jan 19 '18 at 21:12
• Worked for me when an upgrade of Debian from Stretch to Buster accidentally got backgrounded. – Adambean Jul 19 '19 at 18:57
• That worked perfectly thanks. However the process holds the file after restart and I have to manually kill it after every restart. Do you have any idea? – Zura Sekhniashvili Aug 24 at 4:30

This is more simple one command

I just did:

sudo rm /var/cache/debconf/*.dat


After I run the apt-get install and (I was installing curl ) and it worked restored the db manual pages.

PS: I removed something with apt-get and I did have this problem. but solved it simply thank also to @rajagenupula

• I used sudo \rm -v /var/cache/debconf/*.dat – Mark Stewart Jan 27 '14 at 5:03
• Don't do this... you can break your system. The correct answer is to use fuser and kill the process, as in Sayed's answer below. – Ryan P Oct 29 '15 at 18:30
• Um, don't delete that. Just kill the process that has the file opened. – jorfus Dec 16 '16 at 18:10
• This could be very dangerous thing to do. Please see answer below – BlackDivine Jan 27 '17 at 9:34
• In my case, there was no process running, so this was the only solution that worked. – MacroMan Aug 17 '18 at 8:13
2. open the location /var/cache/debconf with gksu nautilus
3. move (cut/paste) all of the .dat files to another backup directory.
4. attempt to run again (will likely get a different error)
5. restore those dat files from the aforementioned backup directory.
6. Then try again what you were doing (should work this time).
• I had a similar problem and I just deleted all the files in the debconf folder. – Agmenor Jul 16 '12 at 22:25
• i said there at point 3 . a file with password and with extension . ok now what you're getting . could you post them here by pastebin link . – rɑːdʒɑ Jul 17 '12 at 13:07
• same problem, I needed to remove all files in debconf folder – equivalent8 Nov 7 '12 at 12:11
• i am still getting the error debconf: apt-extracttemplates failed: No such file or directory apt-extracttemplates failed – user106405 Nov 8 '12 at 9:20
• I was getting really quite angry, saw your answer and suddenly there's progress. Thank you. – David Carboni Feb 1 '14 at 11:00
sudo fuser -vik /var/cache/debconf/config.dat


Will display the process and ask if you want to terminate it.

• thanks its help me.. :D – Budi Mulyo Aug 26 '19 at 8:16

There is a process still running blocking debconf. You should wait until it finish. Or find out how it got stuck, since in some cases it will be try to ask you a question but since you don't have a scope to see it. If you wait sometime and things doesn't change you may need to reboot the system, or terminate the process.

sudo kill 4672


or

sudo killall dpkg-prec


This will assure you that your database will not get damaged and will prevent further problems.

• I think it's pointless to use process id 4672 in your first command example. Somebody might use that command as-is, but it won't work as he would very likely have a different process id. – user205301 Nov 6 '13 at 16:56
• @user205301 that's what the second is for ;) – Braiam Nov 6 '13 at 17:09

If you are getting this error in an unattended script, make sure you don't accidentally have two consecutive apt-get upgrade or apt-get dist-upgrade commands running, otherwise the second command can fail to obtain the lock and thus end up in this error.