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I am fairly a novice; I can't even get it to upgrade to the 12.04 version from 10.1. I get this message every time when trying to install the flash plugin: "Software Index is Broken" This is a major failure....and a bunch more stuff. Ideas?

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I think you meant upgraded from 10.04 and could not install flash plugin.Open a terminal and type sudo apt-get update.Then run the update manager and do all the updates. – beeju May 3 '12 at 4:05
Try entering rm ~/.cache into a terminal (Ctrl-alt-T) and trying again. Pretty sure your appinstall data is corrupted. – Jjed May 3 '12 at 5:39

My understanding is that you are not (yet) supposed to be able to upgrade from 10.04 to 12.04. See this answer to "Why is “No new release found” when upgrading 10.04 to 12.04 LTS?"

I don't know about 10.10. A question/answer which may help you with this is How do I upgrade from 10.04 or 11.10 to 12.04?

Finally, I do not know what Software Index is Broken might mean. It sounds like your software package management records may be corrupt. What has worked for me in the past was to boot my system in recovery mode and then use the commands provided in the RecoveryMode menu to try to repair any broken packages.

If you want to give it a shot I sketched out how I did this in 12.04 in this answer. But I can't promise the recovery menu will look the same in 10.10 or that this will actually fix anything.

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