Breaking Things: Update Manager

Today we talk about the importance of security updates, and fixing a broken Update Manager

In the last 3 days alone, we are hearing about critical security problems with Internet Explorer and most all versions of Adobe Flash player. The Flash player problem is even affecting Linux computers.

Best way to get these updates for Linux users, is to pay attention to that little shield in your menu bar. It should have a green check-mark in it. If it doesn’t, then open it, click on Refresh to load the newest updates, and then install them!

Every now and then, when the software repositories are being updated or are under very heavy use, you may get an error, and a red X in the shield icon. Don’t fret though, just try again in an hour or so and everything will likely be fine.

Update Error

Update Error

In the case of my error today though, my packages file had become corrupted for some reason. If that happens, you will get an error message something to the effect of:

E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

If that happens, you need to clean out the old package lists and start over with the following commands, found in the Ubuntu forums. Run them one at a time in the Terminal

sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/* -vf
sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

After that, you should be fine, as was I last night!

(Note, that putting the complete text of any error code you encounter, will usually find the solution pretty fast! The Ubuntu and other Linux forums have saved my bacon more than once!)