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I've recently installed 12.04 on my PC but I am finding that it takes an eternity to install software using the software center. My PC has more than enough power to handle this (I'm running a 64 bit machine), so it's not a hardware issue. I've seen a similar thread to this but no clear answer on how to remedy the problem was given. It took me 30 minutes to install a game I downloaded, this was on top of the download time, and my PC was effectively unusable during this period. Other software I've downloaded (Skype, Wine etc) were slow to install. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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"running a 64-bit machine" says nothing about speed. What are the system specifications? Though I must agree it's painfully slow compared to apt-get (never took me more than 5 minutes though). – RobinJ May 11 '12 at 15:07
AMD-phenom Quad-Core 9550, 4GB RAM. It's no Ferrari but there's more than enough power to deal with Ubuntu Linux. I run Windows 7 on a dual boot with no trouble whatsoever. – Dave May 11 '12 at 15:10
Ok, that should indeed be more than enough. Running Windows 7 without trouble? Would be a first :p – RobinJ May 11 '12 at 15:15
I find this is a problem with Software Center only. I've started using Synaptic and works like a breeze. – squGEIm May 16 '12 at 6:49
up vote 0 down vote accepted


  • sudo apt-get --purge --reinstall install software-center

This will remove any config files and Software Center (USC) and then install it again.

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Will executing that command uninstall all of my software and leave me at risk of facing the slow re-installation? – Dave May 11 '12 at 15:23
@EliahKagan how can you reinstall something that you have removed with purge? just curious. if you think you can improve my answer, just edit it. Thanks. – Alvar May 11 '12 at 16:13
@EliahKagan your version is almost the same so I'll keep it. – Alvar May 11 '12 at 16:56
@Alvar If you use --purge --reinstall and specify the install option (as in my edit) instead of separate purging and installing, there's no risk of ubuntu-desktop being removed, so you don't need to advise people to reinstall it. Also, since ubuntu-desktop is a metapackage, sudo apt-get --reinstall ubuntu-desktop never does anything different from sudo apt-get install ubuntu-desktop. – Eliah Kagan May 12 '12 at 19:23

Although this might be a dodgy answer (as in "do it this way instead"), I've always found it a lot easier to install and update from the terminal. You can even tab complete the names of the packages you're looking for, in case you're not entirely sure what they're called. Installing VLC is as simple as:

sudo apt-get install vlc

When you want to look for updates, you'll simply write

sudo apt-get update

To get the new lists of packets, and then do

sudo apt-get upgrade

To perform the actual upgrade.

Another advantage of the terminal is that you actually see what's going on all the time, it tends to be a bit more obscured in the software center, which might give the impression that it's hung when it's actually just installing a lot of packages.

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the upgradecommand wont install any new packages, such as new versions of kernels. – Alvar May 11 '12 at 16:55
I thought this had remedied the problem but it hasn't. It's not the downloading that takes such an extended amount of time, it's the installation, when it says "applying changes". It takes an inordinate amount of time, it's leaving the system pretty much unusable. 11.04 was fine. – Dave May 11 '12 at 17:48
Software is also extremely slow to install from terminal. This release appears to be pretty unstable on my system. – Dave May 11 '12 at 18:00
@Dave Since software is slow to install from the Terminal as well, the problem is almost certainly not in the Software Center itself. Have you tried the Package Manager Troubleshooting Procedure? – Eliah Kagan May 12 '12 at 19:26
It seems strange that the terminal would be equally slow. What happens if you go to a clean terminal (like CTRL+ALT+F1) and run it from there? The problem might be with the package manager, as Eliah pointed out above. – pzkpfw Jun 1 '12 at 12:33

protected by Community Aug 10 '12 at 10:05

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