OK, this pointed me to the right direction.
The universe_wsgi.ini file has a key that reads:

database_connection = sqlite:///./database/universe.sqlite?isolation_level=IMMEDIATE

This entry was commented out in my version of the file (ie, had a # in front of it). While Galaxy itself uses this database connection by default, but the cleanup script looks for this config file entry to locate the database. So, if anyone encounters the same problem, just un-comment this entry and all runs fine.

Thanks for your help, Michael.

Am 04/13/2012 08:43 PM, schrieb Michael Moore:
Yes, you do not have a url like http://some_path or ssh://some_path
defined in your config file.  Look at the command-line options for
your routines and figure out how it is finding your config file.  It
could be looking in the wrong place or you could have an error in the
config file (missing piece or undefined variable which would default
to False (a boolean).

On 4/11/12, Klaus Metzeler<m...@klaus-metzeler.de>  wrote:
Dear all,

I have a problem with the cleanup scripts on my local galaxy instance.
I am using the updated cleanup_datasets.py, as per Nate's earlier reply

This is the output I get when running cleanup_datasets.py:

   ~/ngs-bin/galaxy-dist $ scripts/cleanup_datasets/cleanup_datasets.py
-d 2 -6 -r
Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "scripts/cleanup_datasets/cleanup_datasets.py", line 524, in
      if __name__ == "__main__": main()
    File "scripts/cleanup_datasets/cleanup_datasets.py", line 82, in main
      ini_file = args[0]
IndexError: list index out of range

... and this if I call it via the shell script cleanup_datasets.sh

~/ngs-bin/galaxy-dist $ scripts/cleanup_datasets/delete_datasets.sh
Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "./scripts/cleanup_datasets/cleanup_datasets.py", line 524, in
      if __name__ == "__main__": main()
    File "./scripts/cleanup_datasets/cleanup_datasets.py", line 101, in main
      app = CleanupDatasetsApplication( config )
    File "./scripts/cleanup_datasets/cleanup_datasets.py", line 512, in
      self.model = galaxy.model.mapping.init( config.file_path,
config.database_connection, engine_options={}, create_tables=False,
object_store=self.object_store )
line 1818, in init
      load_egg_for_url( url )
line 1798, in load_egg_for_url
      dialect = guess_dialect_for_url( url )
line 1794, in guess_dialect_for_url
      return (url.split(':', 1))[0]
AttributeError: 'bool' object has no attribute 'split'

Any idea what might be wrong?
Thanks a lot for your support,

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