This bug was fixed in the package apt-xapian-index - 0.47ubuntu8.4

---------------
apt-xapian-index (0.47ubuntu8.4) xenial; urgency=medium

  * debian/patches/08_race_no_attribute_unlink.patch: use a finalizer
    instead of __del__ to close and remove the socket.
    When ServerProgress.__del__() is called the global os module might
    already have been set to None by the Python shutdown, causing an
    exception. (LP: #1652641)

 -- Carlo Vanini <silh...@gmail.com>  Fri, 23 Feb 2018 08:44:53 -0800

** Changed in: apt-xapian-index (Ubuntu Xenial)
       Status: Fix Committed => Fix Released

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https://bugs.launchpad.net/bugs/1652641

Title:
  crash in indexer.py, AttributeError: 'NoneType' object has no
  attribute 'unlink'

Status in apt-xapian-index package in Ubuntu:
  Fix Released
Status in apt-xapian-index source package in Xenial:
  Fix Released
Status in apt-xapian-index source package in Zesty:
  Fix Released

Bug description:
  [Impact]

  When the apt-xapian-index is already up to date, and under certain
  conditions, update-apt-xapian-index throws an exception.

  The index /var/lib/apt-xapian-index is up to date
  Exception ignored in: <bound method ServerProgress.__del__ of
  <axi.indexer.ServerProgress object at 0x7f04a5ae4c18>>
  Traceback (most recent call last):
    File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/axi/indexer.py", line 306, in __del__
  AttributeError: 'NoneType' object has no attribute 'unlink'

  This happens more frequently when it is run with nice and ionice,
  which is the case in the cron.weekly/apt-xapian-index cron job.

  This is not severe, since the exception is thrown on exit, and depends
  on the way python3 cleans up the environment. Anyway, this leaves a
  socket file behind, and creates noise in cron logs (see comment #2).

  The patch uses a weakref finalizer in order to remove the socket file.

  [Test Case]

  * `sudo nice -n 19 ionice -c 3 update-apt-xapian-index --quiet`
  * may need to run 4 times or more
  * no exception is thrown

  [Regression Potential]

  * If the os module is unloaded anyway and os.unlink becomes unreachable, we 
get the same exception again.
  * We import the `weakref` module, which was not used before.

  [Other Info]

  * This description was updated to reflect the changes in the behavior
  of the patch that was released in Zesty. It still needs sponsoring for
  Xenial.

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