June 6, 2010

aptitude via cron job generates path errors

I'm running aptitude in a cron job to update and perform safe upgrades every 6 hours. The cron command I am running is this:

(/usr/bin/aptitude -y update && /usr/bin/aptitude -y safe-upgrade) 2>&1 >> /var/log/auto_update.log

My mail box is filling up with this:

debconf: unable to initialize frontend: Dialog
debconf: (TERM is not set, so the dialog frontend is not usable.)
debconf: falling back to frontend: Readline
debconf: unable to initialize frontend: Readline
debconf: (This frontend requires a controlling tty.)
debconf: falling back to frontend: Teletype
dpkg-preconfigure: unable to re-open stdin:
E: Sub-process /usr/bin/dpkg returned an error code (2)
A package failed to install. Trying to recover:
dpkg: `ldconfig' not found on PATH.
dpkg: `start-stop-daemon' not found on PATH.
dpkg: `install-info' not found on PATH.
dpkg: `update-rc.d' not found on PATH.
dpkg: 4 expected program(s) not found on PATH.
NB: root's PATH should usually contain /usr/local/sbin, /usr/sbin and /sbin.

I have checked my PATH and it appears fine:

mike@DRAKE:~$ whoami
mike
mike@DRAKE:~$ $PATH
-bash: /usr/local/bin:/usr/bin:/bin:/usr/games: No such file or directory
mike@DRAKE:~$ su
Password:
DRAKE:/home/mike# whoami
root
DRAKE:/home/mike# $PATH
bash: /usr/local/sbin:/usr/local/bin:/usr/sbin:/usr/bin:/sbin:/bin:/root/bin:/usr/local/sbin:/usr/sbin:/sbin: No such file or directory

Any help, thanks. BTW, running Debian 5

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