dkms.conf: Error! No 'BUILT_MODULE_NAME' directive specified for record #0.

I recently had an error crop up with an installation of Linux Mint Debian Edition. When upgrading a kernel, or adding/removing certain software packages, or typing "dkms autoinstall" the following error appeared:

dkms.conf: Error! No 'BUILT_MODULE_NAME' directive specified for record #0.
Error! Bad conf file.
does not represent a valid dkms.conf file.

The error message seemed to be complaining about a file called dkms.conf. Searching for files with that name led me to a file which clearly didn't have a BUILT_MODULE_NAME directive:

$ cat /var/lib/dkms/ndiswrapper/1.57/build/dkms.conf

This file came from the package ndiswrapper-dkms, so purging the package cleared out the problem and allowed modules to be built once again.

dpkg --purge ndiswrapper-dkms

By ff

Systems software engineer with interests in C/C++/Rust on Linux, electronic music and games.

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