How does --rebuilddb work when the db is completely unreadable?

John Walker johnwalker0 at
Fri Jan 20 00:03:04 UTC 2017


I'm troubleshooting a problem with rpm 4.11.3.  I'd like to know a bit more
about what --rebuilddb actually does.  From the source (,
it looks like it just checks each entry in the package database to make
sure it has certain fields.

>From its behavior though, I suspect it is doing more.  For example, I can
run rpm --dbpath <old_rpm_db> --rebuilddb on a db-created by rpm 4.8, which
is a db4 format and completely unreadable to rpm 4.11.  Somehow, in this
situation, rpm 4.11 will produce a new (but inaccurate) db.

If anyone can give me any insight about how rpm rebuilds its database, or
point me to relevant portions of the source, I would appreciate it.


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