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Beginner’s Guide to Handle Various Update Related Errors in Ubuntu

Monday 21st of October 2019 11:13:34 AM

Who hasn’t come across an error while doing an update in Ubuntu? Update errors are common and plenty in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions based on Ubuntu. Here are some common Ubuntu update errors and their fixes.

This article is part of Ubuntu beginner series that explains the know-how of Ubuntu so that a new user could understand the things better.

In an earlier article, I discussed how to update Ubuntu. In this tutorial, I’ll discuss some common errors you may encounter while updating Ubuntu. It usually happens because you tried to add software or repositories on your own and that probably caused an issue.

There is no need to panic if you see the errors while updating your system.The errors are common and the fix is easy. You’ll learn how to fix those common update errors.

Before you begin, I highly advise reading these two articles to have a better understanding of the repository concept in Ubuntu.

Understand Ubuntu repositories

Learn what are various repositories in Ubuntu and how they enable you to install software in your system.

Read MoreUnderstanding PPA in Ubuntu

Further improve your concept of repositories and package handling in Ubuntu with this detailed guide on PPA.

Read More Error 0: Failed to download repository information

Many Ubuntu desktop users update their system through the graphical software updater tool. You are notified that updates are available for your system and you can click one button to start downloading and installing the updates.

Well, that’s what usually happens. But sometimes you’ll see an error like this:

Failed to download repository information. Check your internet connection.

That’s a weird error because your internet connection is most likely working just fine and it still says to check the internet connection.

Did you note that I called it ‘error 0’? It’s because it’s not an error in itself. I mean, most probably, it has nothing to do with the internet connection. But there is no useful information other than this misleading error message.

If you see this error message and your internet connection is working fine, it’s time to put on your detective hat and use your grey cells (as Hercule Poirot would say).

You’ll have to use the command line here. You can use Ctrl+Alt+T keyboard shortcut to open the terminal in Ubuntu. In the terminal, use this command:

sudo apt update

Let the command finish. Observe the last three-four lines of its output. That will give you the real reason why sudo apt-get update fails. Here’s an example:

Rest of the tutorial here shows how to handle the errors that you just saw in the last few lines of the update command output.

Error 1: Problem With MergeList

When you run update in terminal, you may see an error “problem with MergeList” like below:

E:Encountered a section with no Package: header, E:Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_precise_universe_binary-i386_Packages, E:The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.’

For some reasons, the file in /var/lib/apt/lists directory got corrupted. You can delete all the files in this directory and run the update again to regenerate everything afresh. Use the following commands one by one:

sudo rm -r /var/lib/apt/lists/* sudo apt-get clean && sudo apt-get update

Your problem should be fixed.

Error 2: Hash Sum mismatch

If you find an error that talks about Hash Sum mismatch, the fix is the same as the one in the previous error.

W:Failed to fetch bzip2:/var/lib/apt/lists/partial/in.archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_oneiric_restricted_binary-i386_Packages Hash Sum mismatch, W:Failed to fetch bzip2:/var/lib/apt/lists/partial/in.archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_oneiric_multiverse_binary-i386_Packages Hash Sum mismatch, E:Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead

The error occurs possibly because of a mismatched metadata cache between the server and your system. You can use the following commands to fix it:

sudo rm -rf /var/lib/apt/lists/* sudo apt update Error 3: Failed to fetch with error 404 not found

If you try adding a PPA repository that is not available for your current Ubuntu version, you’ll see that it throws a 404 not found error.

W: Failed to fetch 404 Not Found E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

You added a PPA hoping to install an application but it is not available for your Ubuntu version and you are now stuck with the update error. This is why you should check beforehand if a PPA is available for your Ubuntu version or not. I have discussed how to check the PPA availability in the detailed PPA guide.

Anyway, the fix here is that you remove the troublesome PPA from your list of repositories. Note the PPA name from the error message. Go to Software & Updates tool:

Open Software & Updates

In here, move to Other Software tab and look for that PPA. Uncheck the box to remove the PPA from your system.

Remove PPA Using Software & Updates In Ubuntu

Your software list will be updated when you do that. Now if you run the update again, you shouldn’t see the error.

Error 4: Failed to download package files error

A similar error is failed to download package files error like this:

In this case, a newer version of the software is available but it’s not propagated to all the mirrors. If you are not using a mirror, easily fixed by changing the software sources to Main server. Please read this article for more details on failed to download package error.

Go to Software & Updates and in there changed the download server to Main server:

Error 5: GPG error: The following signatures couldn’t be verified

Adding a PPA may also result in the following GPG error: The following signatures couldn’t be verified when you try to run an update in terminal:

W: GPG error: saucy InRelease: The following signatures couldn’t be verified because the public key is not available: NO_PUBKEY 68980A0EA10B4DE8

All you need to do is to fetch this public key in the system. Get the key number from the message. In the above message, the key is 68980A0EA10B4DE8.

This key can be used in the following manner:

sudo apt-key adv --keyserver --recv-keys 68980A0EA10B4DE8

Once the key has been added, run the update again and it should be fine.

Error 6: BADSIG error

Another signature related Ubuntu update error is BADSIG error which looks something like this:

W: A error occurred during the signature verification. The repository is not updated and the previous index files will be used. GPG error: precise Release: The following signatures were invalid: BADSIG 16126D3A3E5C1192 Ubuntu Extras Archive Automatic Signing Key
W: GPG error: precise Release:
The following signatures were invalid: BADSIG 4C1CBC1B69B0E2F4 Launchpad PPA for Jonathan French W: Failed to fetch

All the repositories are signed with the GPG and for some reason, your system finds them invalid. You’ll need to update the signature keys. The easiest way to do that is by regenerating the apt packages list (with their signature keys) and it should have the correct key.

Use the following commands one by one in the terminal:

cd /var/lib/apt sudo mv lists oldlist sudo mkdir -p lists/partial sudo apt-get clean sudo apt-get update Error 7: Partial upgrade error

Running updates in terminal may throw this partial upgrade error:

Not all updates can be installed
Run a partial upgrade, to install as many updates as possible

Run the following command in terminal to fix this error:

sudo apt-get install -f Error 8: Could not get lock /var/cache/apt/archives/lock

This error happens when another program is using APT. Suppose you are installing some thing in Ubuntu Software Center and at the same time, trying to run apt in terminal.

E: Could not get lock /var/cache/apt/archives/lock – open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
E: Unable to lock directory /var/cache/apt/archives/

Check if some other program might be using apt. It could be a command running terminal, Software Center, Software Updater, Software & Updates or any other software that deals with installing and removing applications.

If you can close other such programs, close them. If there is a process in progress, wait for it to finish.

If you cannot find any such programs, use the following command to kill all such running processes:

sudo killall apt apt-get

This is a tricky problem and if the problem still persists, please read this detailed tutorial on fixing the unable to lock the administration directory error in Ubuntu.

Any other update error you encountered?

That compiles the list of frequent Ubuntu update errors you may encounter. I hope this helps you to get rid of these errors.

Have you encountered any other update error in Ubuntu recently that hasn’t been covered here? Do mention it in comments and I’ll try to do a quick tutorial on it.

Project Trident Ditches BSD for Linux

Saturday 19th of October 2019 03:13:16 PM

Recently a BSD distribution announced that it was going to rebase on Linux. Yep, you heard me correctly. Project Trident is moving to Void Linux.

What is Going on with Project Trident?

Recently, Project Trident announced that they had been working behind the scenes to move away from FreeBSD. This is quite a surprising move (and an unprecedented one).

According to a later post, the move was motivated by long-standing issues with FreeBSD. These issues include “hardware compatibility, communications standards, or package availability continue to limit Project Trident users”. According to a conversation on Telegram, FreeBSD has just updated its build of the Telegram client and it was nine release behind everyone else.

The lead dev of Project Trident, Ken Moore, is also the main developer of the Lumina Desktop. The Lumina Desktop has been on hold for a while because the Project Trident team had to do so much work just to keep their packages updated. (Once they complete the transition to Void Linux, Ken will start working on Lumina again.)

After much searching and testing, the Project Trident team decided to use Void Linux as their new base.

According to the Project Trident team, the move to Void Linux will have the following benefits:

  • Better GPU support
  • Better sound card and streaming support
  • Better wireless support
  • Bluetooth support for the first time
  • Up to date versions of applications
  • Faster boot times
  • Hybrid EFI/Legacy installation and boot support
Moving Plans

Project Trident currently has two different versions available: Trident-stable and Trident-release. Trident-stable is based on FreeBSD 12 and will continue to get updates until January of 2020 with the ports repo being deleted in April of 2020. On the other hand, Trident-release (which is based on FreeBSD 13) will receive no further updates. That ports repo will be deleted in January of 2020.

The first Void Linux-based releases should be available in January of 2020. Ken said that they might issue an alpha iso or two to show off their progress, but they would be for testing purposes only.

Currently, Ken said that they are working to port all of their “in-house utilities over to work natively on Void Linux”. Void Linux does not support ZFS-on-root, which is a big part of the BSDs. However, Project Trident is planning to use their knowledge of ZFS to add support for it to Void.

There will not be a migration path from the FreeBSD-based version to the Void-based version. If you are currently using Project Trident, you will need to backup your /home/* directory before performing a clean install of the new version.

Final Thoughts

I’m looking forward to trying out the new Void Linux-based Project Trident. I have installed and used Void Linux in the past. I have also tried out TrueOS (the precursor of Project Trident). However, I could never get Project Trident to work on my laptop.

When I was using Void Linux, I ran into two main issues: installing a desktop environment was a pain and the GUI package manager wasn’t that great. Project Trident plans to address these issues. Their original goal was to find an operating system that didn’t come with a desktop environment as default and their distro would add desktop support out-of-the-box. They won’t be able to port the AppCafe package manager to Void because it is a part of TrueOS’ SysAdm utility. They do plan to “develop a new graphical front-end to the XBPS package manager for Void Linux”.

Interestingly, Void Linux was created by a former NetBSD developer. I asked Ken if that fact influenced their decision. He said, “Actually none! I liked the way that Void Linux was set up and that most/all of the utilities were either MIT or BSD licensed, but I never guessed that it was created by a former NetBSD developer. That definitely helps to explain why Void Linux “feels” more comfortable to me since I have been using FreeBSD exclusively for the last 7 or more years.”

I’ve seen some people on the web speaking disparagingly of the move to Void Linux. They mentioned that the name changes (from PC-BSD to TrueOS to Project Trident) and the changes in architecture (from FreeBSD to TrueOS/FreeBSD to Void Linux) show that the developers don’t know what they are doing. On the other hand, I believe that Project Trident has finally found its niche where it will be able to grow and blossom. I will be watching the future of Project Trident with much anticipation. You will probably be reading a review of the new version when it is released.

Have you ever used Project Trident? What is your favorite BSD? Please let us know in the comments below.

If you found this article interesting, please take a minute to share it on social media, Hacker News or Reddit.

Ubuntu 19.10 ‘Eoan Ermine’ Has Arrived: Downloads Available Now!

Friday 18th of October 2019 02:45:22 AM

It’s time to stand tall like the short-tailed weasel to make way for Ubuntu’s new release 19.10 Eoan Ermine. After six months of development, Ubuntu 19.10 is finally here.

You might have already seen our list of the features of Ubuntu 19.10 while we tried the beta recently. In this article, I shall highlight a few key features and mention the official download links to get your hands on the new Ubuntu release.

Key Features Of Ubuntu 19.10

Below is a list of key highlights in this release:

Subscribe to our YouTube channel for more Linux videos Boots Up Super Fast With LZ4 Compression

LZ4 compression algorithms help reduce the boot time in comparison to its previous releases (Ubuntu 18.04 & 19.04). Abhishek found the boot times to be noticeably faster as well on his Intel NUC setup.

ZFS Filesystem Support

Ubuntu 19.10 adds an option to utilize ZFS Filesystem. You can choose to opt for it while the installation process.

Ubuntu 19.10 Ships With GNOME 3.34

You must aware of the latest GNOME 3.34 release. Well, Ubuntu 19.10 comes baked in with the latest and greatest.

In addition to all these key features, you will find a lot of significant changes which we’ve also covered in our article on Ubuntu 19.10 features.

Here’s What You Should Know Before Installing Ubuntu 19.10

I’ll give you some pointers to take care before you choose to install Ubuntu 19.10 on your system.

Upgrading from Ubuntu 19.04 to 19.10

If you don’t want to download the ISO file separately for a fresh installation. You can easily upgrade your system from Ubuntu 19.04 to 19.10.

You just need to head on to the “Software & Updates” app.

Once, you are here, navigate your way to the Updates section and change the selection in “Notify me of a new Ubuntu version” to “For any new version“.

If it’s already selected, you just need to check for the update to see if it’s available. Some times, it takes a few days before you get notified of the availability of the new version.

Please keep in mind that once you upgrade to 19.10, you cannot downgrade to 19.04. You’ll have to reinstall it.

Ubuntu 18.04 LTS to Ubuntu 19.10? Not recommended

If you are on a long term support release of 18.04, I wouldn’t recommend upgrading to Ubuntu 19.10. Wait for six more months and you’ll have Ubuntu 20.04 LTS.

To upgrade from 18.04 to 19.10, you’ll have to upgrade to 18.10 first. Ubuntu 18.10 has reached end of life already so you might not even see the option to upgrade to 19.04.

If you come across tutorials describing the process to upgrade from 18.04 to 19.10 by editing sources.list, please don’t do that. The core system in both versions is different and manually upgrading like may lead to a broken and unusable system.

Ubuntu 19.10: Downloads Available for all flavors

As per the release notes, Ubuntu 19.10 is available to download now. You can get the torrent or the ISO file on its official release download page.

Download Ubuntu 19.10

If you need a different desktop environment or need something specific, you should check out the official flavors of Ubuntu available:

You might notice that some of the Ubuntu-based distros haven’t yet made the 19.10 update available. It should take a couple of days/weeks/months for them to have the update ready. You can then download it or upgrade it directly.

Have you tried Ubuntu 19.10 yet? Which Ubuntu flavor/distro do you use? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Ubuntu 20.04 LTS Codename and Release Date

Thursday 17th of October 2019 10:42:38 AM
This is a continually updated article about upcoming Ubuntu 20.04 LTS release. All the important develops associated with this release is added to this page.

Get Certified in Hyperledger Blockchain Tech from Linux Foundation [65% Off]

Tuesday 15th of October 2019 01:20:04 PM
Linux Foundation, the official organization behind Linux, is running a limited time deal on its Hyperledger training and certification courses. This will help in boosting your career as blockchain skills are in high demand.

4 Free and Open Source Alternatives to Adobe Photoshop

Monday 14th of October 2019 12:16:07 PM
Looking for a free Photoshop alternative? Here are some of the best free and open source software that you can use instead of Adobe Photoshop.

10 Ways to Customize Your Linux Desktop With GNOME Tweaks Tool

Sunday 13th of October 2019 06:08:19 AM
GNOME Tweaks is a versatile tool that lets you customize many aspects of your GNOME desktop. This tutorial shows how to install and use GNOME Tweak tool.

How to Unzip a Zip File in Linux [Beginner’s Tutorial]

Wednesday 9th of October 2019 11:20:40 AM
Learn how to unzip a file in Ubuntu and other Linux distributions. Both terminal and GUI methods have been discussed.

5 Best Password Managers For Linux Desktop

Monday 7th of October 2019 12:04:03 PM
A password manager is essential tool so that you don't have to remember complicated passwords. Check out the best password managers available for Linux desktop.

Enable or Disable Automatic Login in Ubuntu [Beginner’s Tip]

Sunday 6th of October 2019 01:22:03 PM
This quick tip shows you how to enable or disable automatic logon in Ubuntu. Step by step screenshots and video will help you breeze through the process.

Use GameHub to Manage All Your Linux Games in One Place

Friday 4th of October 2019 09:03:28 AM
GameHub is a free and open source software for desktop Linux that allows you to manage your games library from different platforms in one single application.

Chuwi GBox Pro Mini PC Review for Linux Users

Thursday 3rd of October 2019 06:46:11 AM
Chuwi GBox Pro is an inexpensive mini PC that could be used as a media center as well. Here is our hands on experience with GBox Pro running on Linux.

Linux Kernel 5.4 Released With Kernel Lockdown, ExFAT Support & Improvements to AMD Radeon Graphics

Tuesday 1st of October 2019 05:53:39 AM
Linux Kernel 5.4 is the last major stable kernel release of the year. This release has some big changes that will impact both manufacturers and end users.

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