When running sudo aptitude upgrade, the console freezes for long after almost every package upgrade with a message "Processing triggers for man-db ...". What could be the problem and how can I fix it?

Ubuntu version: 12.04 (both Server and Xubuntu)

Thanks in advance.

Update: It looks like this problem is related to package autofs upon my further tests. Removing autofs resolved the issues. No idea why. I then have to use soft links instead of autofs for my file system to avoid this issue (and other two issues posted here as well).

  • I have the same problem, will see if removing autofs helps. Thanks! – Lukas Stejskal May 1 '13 at 8:54

Might be helpful for someone: I ran into this issue on our CI regularly.

Just execute the following:

sudo apt-get remove -y --purge man-db

The command removes the man-db package completely, which in our case on CI, was completely useless anyway.

  • Hmm, on ubuntu this wanted to remove ubuntu-standard, which seems like a bad idea – Kevin Mar 13 at 1:32

It's possible the mandb index is corrupted.

check the index and recreate it

sudo mandb -t
rm -rf /var/cache/man
sudo mandb -c
  • This is the solution and works. – Bhikkhu Subhuti Oct 1 '20 at 6:33
  • didnt work for me – Adeerlike Oct 13 '20 at 21:15
  • I'm not sure it's necessary to remove the cache prior to invoking mandb with the -c flag. According to the man page: -c, --create By default, mandb will try to update any previously created databases. If a database does not exist, it will create it. This option forces mandb to delete previous databases and re-create them from scratch, and implies --no-purge. This may be necessary if a database becomes corrupt or if a new database storage scheme is introduced in the future. – chb Oct 18 '20 at 2:25

I had something similar just after installing Ubuntu 18.04 on Windows Subsystem for Linux and running update and upgrade: it got stuck at processing triggers for man-db (2.8.3-2). And also later, after running

sudo apt install python3-pip

My solution: I just waited. In the second case even some 15 minutes. I do not know whether this is normal, as I am very new to Linux. But this so people just know another experience if they run into the same problem.

  • The reason this is slow on WSL1 is because of slow I/O on WSL1. It is a known issue. – narendra-choudhary Apr 19 '20 at 15:49

I have had the same problem when I was installing apache web server on my digital ocean droplet. After waited a bit, I simply just stop the process and rerun the command. It shows the apache is already installed and it worked. I hope it can still help.

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