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If you take a look at this irc log, and grep for "crap I nuked /usr/build/libtool", you'll find that someone has done exactly what I have done, trying to do exactly what I was trying to do.

The solution was simple, ln -s /usr/bin/libtool /usr/build/libtool, but usr/bin/libtool comes from the libtool package, which wasn't installed on my system (?!). So I installed it, and symlinked it, no problem; but how the hack was there a /usr/build/libtool anyway, without the libtool package being installed? Where does it come from? I'd like to restore it.

And I know, I should have used mv instead of rm -rf, this was a good lesson.

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If your fingers always type rm -rf when you think "delete a file" and always think kill -9 rather than kill then you are programming bad short-cuts into your brain already. – Michael Graff Jan 20 '10 at 14:36
Pretty good match with… over on SuperUser, which I think will work for you. – dmckee Jan 20 '10 at 15:07
@Michael Graff I use sudo quite often, so I like to tweak my sudoers file so that I can run certain programs without entering a password. When I'm asked for a password, I know it is time to double-check things. This incident was on a server over ssh, without a tweaked sudoers file; so I guess I should have double-checked things. I know, bad habit... But then again, not a big loss. Still I can't find where that package comes from. Anyway, a symlink seems to be quite sufficient. – Attila O. Jan 20 '10 at 16:35
up vote 0 down vote accepted

I suppose you can't just steal this from another machine then?

You probably need to find what installed that file. It could have been part of the base OS install as well.

Using old rpm one could use:

rpm -q -f /usr/build/libtool

or something close to ask the system which package installed the file. I am not certain on more modern package managers how to do this, but chances are they have a way.

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rpm is not old :) This is still the best way to find the package that owns that directory, with one slight flaw: the question is about Debian. Debian's equivalent to 'rpm -qf' is 'dpkg -S'. – wzzrd Jan 20 '10 at 14:58
the theory is sound, he should be using dpkg not rpm on a debian system to do the search though. – Zypher Jan 20 '10 at 15:01
I know about 5 seconds of linux. And I used all 5 seconds in my response. – Michael Graff Jan 20 '10 at 15:04
well then, thanks for taking the time to use your five seconds. It was helpful. @wzzrd @Zypher: thanks for the correction. Unfortunately dpkg -S /usr/build/libtool shows me dpkg: /usr/build/libtool not found. So I keep on living with the symlink from /usr/bin/libtool. – Attila O. Jan 20 '10 at 16:28

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