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Unable to use package manager due to “exclusive lock” error

When I try to update Ubuntu - I know that I have 233 updates - I get this message every time:

Unable to get exclusive lock

This usually means that another package management application (like apt-get or aptitude) already running. 
Please close that application first.

And I don't find this application.

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marked as duplicate by Jorge Castro, Ringtail, Eliah Kagan, Uri Herrera, jokerdino Sep 14 '12 at 5:59

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

3 Answers

It means there are other package management applications currently running e.g. Software Center, Synaptic, apt-get.

To make sure no other packaging management applications are running, open the terminal and run:

sudo killall -9 apt-get

then do another update by running:

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

If the problem persist, it's because the lock file still exist. You need to delete it by running this in the terminal:

sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/lock

Now try to update or upgrade again.

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this was useful, thanks a lot! :) –  Noémi Farkas Aug 24 '12 at 8:28
    
Peachy? When I try : sudo killall -9 apt-get; it says "apt-get no process found" –  Kitizl Apr 9 '13 at 7:14
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Its mostly because software center, or synaptic or the two you mentioned are running. If you don't see any of those running, try restarting your PC and try to update it it. But the terminal way to update it is

sudo apt-get update
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Running sudo apt-get update will update the package lists (what packages can be updated, new packages etc), so you want to run that to find out what can be updated, and sudo apt-get upgrade to action the updates.

An all-in-one command for updating from the terminal:

sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
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