Posted in Linux

“Processing triggers for man-db” takes too much CPU time or disk I/O

Recently I found a problem: while apt upgrade, it’s always being stuck at “Processing triggers for man-db”. In fact, the process is still running, just too slow.

I guess triggering man-db will take too much CPU time to finish so it looks like being stuck. I didn’t monitor the disk I/O status, I guess it needs a number of disk I/O actions. If you’re using HDD, that would be slow.

Maybe there’s a bug. As far as I know, man-db problem exists in every Debian-based Linux distribution, including Debian and Ubuntu. The earliest report I see is in 2012, and Debian 11, the latest stable Debian version, also has this problem.

Because triggering man-db is nearly the last step of the upgrade, it seems like organizing and concluding something. It doesn’t upgrade man-db package itself, so using apt-mark hold man-db command is useless.

Some tutorials say that removing the man-db package or deleting the cache folder of man-db, may cause other problems.

So my suggestion is that make sure your machine has a high enough CPU to calculate power and disk I/O amount.


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