When upgrading the watchdog package, apt-get upgrade does not complete.

If fails with the following error:

watchdog /run/udev or .udevdb or .udev presence implies active udev.  
Aborting MAKEDEV invocation.

I am running sysVinit, however due to Debian changes, I am running udev, and the daemon /lib/systemd/systemd-udevd is running.

Why this error?

1 Answer 1


Looking at the relevant code at /var/lib/dpkg/info/watchdog.postinst, it shows it checks for the presence of the MAKEDEV script.

 if [ -x "`which MAKEDEV`" ]; then
        # do we have to create the temperature device?
        if [ ! -c /dev/temperature ]
            (cd /dev; MAKEDEV misc || true)

The solution to be able to finish the upgrade of the watchdog package is to delete the makedev package, as it is redundant with udev.

dpkg --purge makedev

After deleting the makedev, running at-get upgrade seems to be able to finish.

  • It's weird that you don't have a /dev/watchdog device (populated by udev)... Jan 31, 2017 at 21:47
  • @StephenKitt I do not have a /dev/temperature, let me change the example... Jan 31, 2017 at 21:53
  • Ah yes, that makes more sense! Still, this doesn't explain the apt-get upgrade failure — MAKEDEV exits with 0 in this case to avoid breaking postinst scripts (and has done since March 2005). Jan 31, 2017 at 22:01
  • I will try to setup a VM tomorrow to test this out again. Jan 31, 2017 at 22:03
  • This could be an instance of #772826. Jan 31, 2017 at 22:10

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