August 25, 2014 - Remove from Debian an ancient package crashing on install-info

Swiped from this StackExchange question:

If you can't uninstall an ancient package from Debian, the package axe for example, because you get the following error message:

install-info: No dir file specified; try --help for more information.

Then here's what you need to do.

  1. Edit the file /var/lib/dpkg/info/<packagename>.prerm as root, where <packagename> is the name of the package causing problems.
  2. Comment out lines starting with "install-info"
    • Comments in shell scripts start with "#" before any commands
    • If the line ends with "\", then you must also comment out the following line.
  3. Save the file.
  4. Remove the problem package normally.
  5. Run the command "update-info-dir" as root.

The reason this is necessary is because Debian switched from an internal install-info script to the external install-info package, and the latter requires a command line option the former didn't use.