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#1 2023-01-26 10:46:57

luto
Member
Registered: 2023-01-26
Posts: 3

pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

Pacstrap ist failing for me with "error: keyring is not writable" (see log below for more details). This is in archiso using an automated script. Sometimes the installation fails with that error, most of the time it works. If I run pacstrap again in the same shell, it works fine. I did not change anything about the VM in between installation runs.

Installation script (run via script=)

#!/usr/bin/sh -ex

loadkeys de

parted -s /dev/sda mklabel gpt mkpart "EFI_system_partition" fat32 1MiB 501MiB set 1 esp on mkpart "root" ext4 501MiB 100%

mkfs.fat -F 32 /dev/sda1
mkfs.ext4 /dev/sda2

mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
mount --mkdir /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot

pacstrap -K /mnt base linux linux-firmware openssh nano

Log:

+ mount /dev/sda2 /mnt
+ mount --mkdir /dev/sda1 /mnt/boot
+ pacstrap -K /mnt base linux linux-firmware openssh nano
==> Creating install root at /mnt
gpg: /mnt/etc/pacman.d/gnupg/trustdb.gpg: trustdb created
gpg: no ultimately trusted keys found
gpg: starting migration from earlier GnuPG versions
gpg: porting secret keys from '/mnt/etc/pacman.d/gnupg/secring.gpg' to gpg-agent
gpg: migration succeeded
==> Generating pacman master key. This may take some time.
gpg: Generating pacman keyring master key...
gpg: directory '/mnt/etc/pacman.d/gnupg/openpgp-revocs.d' created
gpg: revocation certificate stored as '/mnt/etc/pacman.d/gnupg/openpgp-revocs.d/B0BF58B34AC4154FB1F3ED50FE024B71BC78F08F.rev'
gpg: Done
==> Updating trust database...
gpg: marginals needed: 3  completes needed: 1  trust model: pgp
gpg: depth: 0  valid:   1  signed:   0  trust: 0-, 0q, 0n, 0m, 0f, 1u
==> Installing packages to /mnt
:: Synchronizing package databases...
 core                                                                152.1 KiB  1383 KiB/s 00:00 [########################################################] 100%
 extra                                                              1744.5 KiB  24.3 MiB/s 00:00 [########################################################] 100%
 community                                                             7.2 MiB  31.3 MiB/s 00:00 [########################################################] 100%
resolving dependencies...
:: There are 3 providers available for initramfs:
:: Repository core
   1) mkinitcpio
:: Repository extra
   2) booster  3) dracut

Enter a number (default=1):
looking for conflicting packages...

Packages (126) acl-2.3.1-2  archlinux-keyring-20221220-1  argon2-20190702-4  attr-2.5.1-2  audit-3.0.9-1  bash-5.1.016-1  binutils-2.40-2  brotli-1.0.9-9
               bzip2-1.0.8-5  ca-certificates-20220905-1  ca-certificates-mozilla-3.87-1  ca-certificates-utils-20220905-1  coreutils-9.1-3  cryptsetup-2.6.0-1
               curl-7.87.0-3  dbus-1.14.4-1  device-mapper-2.03.18-4  diffutils-3.8-1  dnssec-anchors-20190629-3  e2fsprogs-1.46.5-4  expat-2.5.0-1
               file-5.44-1  filesystem-2022.10.18-1  findutils-4.9.0-1  gawk-5.2.1-1  gcc-libs-12.2.1-1  gdbm-1.23-1  gettext-0.21.1-2  glib2-2.74.5-1
               glibc-2.36-7  gmp-6.2.1-2  gnupg-2.2.40-1  gnutls-3.7.8-4  gpgme-1.18.0-2  grep-3.8-2  gzip-1.12-1  hwdata-0.366-1  iana-etc-20221215-1
               icu-72.1-2  iproute2-6.1.0-3  iptables-1:1.8.8-2  iputils-20221126-1  jansson-2.14-2  json-c-0.16-1  kbd-2.5.1-1  keyutils-1.6.3-1  kmod-30-3
               krb5-1.20.1-1  ldns-1.8.3-2  less-1:608-1  libarchive-3.6.2-2  libassuan-2.5.5-1  libbpf-1.0.1-1  libcap-2.66-1  libcap-ng-0.8.3-1
               libedit-20210910_3.1-2  libelf-0.188-2  libevent-2.1.12-4  libffi-3.4.4-1  libgcrypt-1.10.1-2  libgpg-error-1.46-2  libidn2-2.3.4-3
               libksba-1.6.3-1  libldap-2.6.3-2  libmnl-1.0.5-1  libnetfilter_conntrack-1.0.9-1  libnfnetlink-1.0.2-1  libnftnl-1.2.4-1  libnghttp2-1.51.0-1
               libnl-3.7.0-1  libp11-kit-0.24.1-1  libpcap-1.10.3-1  libpsl-0.21.2-1  libsasl-2.1.28-3  libseccomp-2.5.4-1  libsecret-0.20.5-2
               libssh2-1.10.0-3  libsysprof-capture-3.46.0-3  libtasn1-4.19.0-1  libtirpc-1.3.3-2  libunistring-1.1-2  libverto-0.3.2-4  libxcrypt-4.4.33-1
               libxml2-2.10.3-2  licenses-20220125-1  linux-api-headers-5.18.15-1  linux-firmware-whence-20230117.7e4f0ed-1  lz4-1:1.9.4-1  mkinitcpio-34-2
               mkinitcpio-busybox-1.35.0-1  mpfr-4.2.0-2  ncurses-6.4-1  nettle-3.8.1-1  npth-1.6-3  openssl-3.0.7-4  p11-kit-0.24.1-1  pacman-6.0.2-5
               pacman-mirrorlist-20221204-1  pam-1.5.2-1  pambase-20221020-1  pciutils-3.9.0-2  pcre2-10.40-3  pinentry-1.2.1-1  popt-1.19-1
               procps-ng-3.3.17-1  psmisc-23.6-1  readline-8.2.001-1  sed-4.9-1  shadow-4.13-2  sqlite-3.40.1-1  systemd-252.4-2  systemd-libs-252.4-2
               systemd-sysvcompat-252.4-2  tar-1.34-1  tpm2-tss-3.2.0-3  tzdata-2022g-1  util-linux-2.38.1-1  util-linux-libs-2.38.1-1  xz-5.4.1-1
               zlib-1:1.2.13-2  zstd-1.5.2-7  base-3-1  linux-6.1.8.arch1-1  linux-firmware-20230117.7e4f0ed-1  nano-7.2-1  openssh-9.1p1-3

Total Download Size:   467.04 MiB
Total Installed Size:  887.97 MiB

:: Proceed with installation? [Y/n]
:: Retrieving packages...
 linux-firmware-20230117.7e4f0ed-1-any                               170.2 MiB  21.2 MiB/s 00:08 [########################################################] 100%
 linux-6.1.8.arch1-1-x86_64                                          164.1 MiB  12.2 MiB/s 00:13 [########################################################] 100%
 gcc-libs-12.2.1-1-x86_64                                             33.9 MiB  14.4 MiB/s 00:02 [########################################################] 100%
(... removed, see paste ...)
 base-3-1-any                                                          2.2 KiB   319 KiB/s 00:00 [########################################################] 100%
 ca-certificates-20220905-1-any                                        2.0 KiB   289 KiB/s 00:00 [########################################################] 100%
 Total (126/126)                                                     467.0 MiB  15.3 MiB/s 00:31 [########################################################] 100%
(126/126) checking keys in keyring                                                               [########################################################] 100%
warning: Public keyring not found; have you run 'pacman-key --init'?
downloading required keys...
error: keyring is not writable
error: keyring is not writable
(... repeates removed, see paste ...)
error: keyring is not writable
error: keyring is not writable
error: required key missing from keyring
error: failed to commit transaction (unexpected error)
Errors occurred, no packages were upgraded.
==> ERROR: Failed to install packages to new root

The disk is writable and working fine. Pacstrap was able to create various files on it.

(full log: https://bpa.st/6UIOY)

For comparison, a log of a working installation within the same VM: https://bpa.st/WFD7G

Any hints on how to debug this further?

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#2 2023-01-26 11:01:21

luto
Member
Registered: 2023-01-26
Posts: 3

Re: pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

I was mistaken, pacstrap _always_ fails at the first attempt, but _always_ succeeds at the 2nd attempt within the same installation run. In between pacstrap runs the disk is formatted, though, so it can't build on its earlier progress. If I delay the 1st rund for a minute before running pacstrap, it also works fine. So we're working with some kind of timing issue here?

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#3 2023-01-26 11:41:35

V1del
Forum Moderator
Registered: 2012-10-16
Posts: 21,976

Re: pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

Yes, there's a timer archlinux-keyring-wkd-sync.{service,timer} that will update the keyring to the latest version if/once you have a network connection. If you run before that has elapsed/ran then chances are your keyring is outdated. You should be able to explicitly invoke that as part of your script which I'm assuming would fix the issue... though since the point of the -K option is to explicitly create a new keyring that does sound somewhat weird.

Last edited by V1del (2023-01-26 11:45:24)

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#4 2023-01-26 14:24:13

luto
Member
Registered: 2023-01-26
Posts: 3

Re: pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

Figured it out. Pacstrap doesn't work properly until pacman-init.service in the live system is done. This may be after the interactive shell started. To get a working fully automated installation, add something like the following before running any pacman-related commands.

echo waiting for pacman keyring init to be done

while ! systemctl show pacman-init.service | grep SubState=exited; do
    systemctl --no-pager status -n0 pacman-init.service || true
    sleep 1
done

There is probably a way to integrate this into the systemd dependencies so the shell doesn't start before pacman actually works. There is also probably a smarter way to script it. Just running the init commands in the script / shell probably also works, although I don't know if they like running twice at the same time.

archlinux-keyring-wkd-sync.service is linked to this, but takes >10 minutes to run, so I would rather not wait for that.

Case closed, for me at least smile

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#5 2023-02-02 17:31:59

javanaut
Member
Registered: 2022-12-23
Posts: 2

Re: pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

@luto Woah, nice, this is really helpful as I had frequent struggles deploying VMs with archiso / pacstrap, too. I tried every possible solution similar to this approach: https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=267364. But pacstrap running when not properly initialized didn't come in my mind. Let me express my gratitude translating your approach into an expect script fragment smile

expect_before "*SubState=exited*" {
    expect $prompt
    send -- "pacstrap -K /mnt base linux linux-firmware {{ further packages }}\r"
}

expect $prompt {
    sleep 3
    send -- "systemctl show pacman-init.service | grep SubState | cat\r"
    exp_continue
}

Greetings

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#6 2023-02-24 02:30:57

oz
Member
Registered: 2004-05-20
Posts: 102

Re: pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

The installer image got broken some time ago because of this. It started when the ISO image was switched to loading itself in to RAM before running. In the installation guide step "1.8 Update the system clock" it is CRITICALLY important, which is not mentioned. I mean if that's not working then you MUST stop and get it working before continuing.

If it fails to activate NTP then pacman-init will never run. There is no message or hint that something is wrong but any attempt to use pacman will get weird signature, keyring, etc errors.  Those aren't the real problem. The real problem is that NTP hasn't initialized (and in turn pacman-init). There really should be messages that describe the problem.

This can also be a problem on machines that have network access but not Internet access. The system gets confused.

Also, it's really difficult to work while in the install image because there is no space to install more packages in the installer environment.

All of this used to work.  The old system was better.

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#7 2023-03-16 15:54:19

hifigraz
Member
Registered: 2017-05-01
Posts: 33

Re: pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

Same problem here since a month ago or so. Temporary switched to manjaro, but that's not the same.

Is there a working boot image of arch anywhere?

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#8 2023-03-18 18:28:57

elaiolado
Member
Registered: 2023-03-18
Posts: 19

Re: pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

oz wrote:

The installer image got broken some time ago because of this. It started when the ISO image was switched to loading itself in to RAM before running. In the installation guide step "1.8 Update the system clock" it is CRITICALLY important, which is not mentioned. I mean if that's not working then you MUST stop and get it working before continuing.

If it fails to activate NTP then pacman-init will never run. There is no message or hint that something is wrong but any attempt to use pacman will get weird signature, keyring, etc errors.  Those aren't the real problem. The real problem is that NTP hasn't initialized (and in turn pacman-init). There really should be messages that describe the problem.

This can also be a problem on machines that have network access but not Internet access. The system gets confused.

Also, it's really difficult to work while in the install image because there is no space to install more packages in the installer environment.

All of this used to work.  The old system was better.

Thanks!

I just had pacstrap to fail during the installation of Arch Linux through a recently downloaded, fresh ISO and ended up in this thread.

After reading the reply above, I ran

$ timedatectl

and got "System clock synchronized: no". This raised a red flag. Then I ran

$ systemctl status pacman-init.service

and it was dead. This raised another red flag.

I started looking up for services related to time synchronization, and found "systemd-timesyncd.service". I ran

$ systemctl status systemd-timesyncd.service

and the output showed that it was timing out while trying to connect to some kind of public NTP server. It turns out that there is a file "/etc/systemd/timesyncd.conf" where this can be configured. I edited it and saved it like this:

[Time]
NTP=0.arch.pool.ntp.org 1.arch.pool.ntp.org 2.arch.pool.ntp.org 3.arch.pool.ntp.org
FallbackNTP=0.arch.pool.ntp.org 1.arch.pool.ntp.org 2.arch.pool.ntp.org 3.arch.pool.ntp.org

Basically, I just copied what was into FallbackNTP= to NTP= and uncommented those lines (other lines left commented).

After that, I restarted the service:

$ systemctl restart systemd-timesyncd.service

Finally, running

$ timedatectl

gave me "System clock synchronized: yes"; and running

$ systemctl status pacman-init.service

told me the service was active.

And now pacstrap worked.

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#9 2023-04-06 12:44:24

Chilippso
Member
Registered: 2023-04-06
Posts: 1

Re: pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

oz wrote:

This can also be a problem on machines that have network access but not Internet access.

I am facing exactly this issue. I had to install Arch Linux in an isolated network behind a http(s)-only proxy.

While simply starting pacman-init.service via

$ systemctl start pacman-init.service

was not possible (I have no idea about pacman-init.service at all), I just issued the following commands:

$ pacman-key --init
$ pacman-key --populate

and that did the trick for me smile

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#10 2023-04-23 10:21:30

jongeduard
Member
Registered: 2022-01-06
Posts: 8

Re: pacstrap error: keyring is not writable

Yesterday I faced this problem when attempting to set up a new guest system in a QEMU/KVM virtual machine, running a newly downloaded Arch Linux ISO.
It turned out to be my own installed firewall UFW on the host Arch system which was blocking things. Temporarlly disabling it immediately fixed all problems for the VM.
Though I have yet figure out how to configure that properly in the firewall.

Last edited by jongeduard (2023-04-23 10:25:13)

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