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I am running the Update Manager (in Ubuntu 12.04) for the first time in several months. When checking for updates, the Update Manager doesn't find any, and returns the following error message:

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

What do I do to kick it up and running properly again?

share|improve this question
From the URL in the error message I see you're running natty for at least the extras repository. It has become unsupported (End-of-life). Are you sure you're running Ubuntu 12.04? Please post the output of cat /etc/issue and lsb_release -a. – gertvdijk Dec 25 '12 at 11:17
As per your queries: bash: cat/etc/issue: Filen eller katalogen finns inte (the document or catalogue does not exist) lsb_release -a No LSB modules are available. Distributor ID: Ubuntu Description: Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS Release: 12.04 Codename: precise – Thomas G Dec 25 '12 at 11:24
It appears you've performed an partly incomplete upgrade in the past. One or more repositories specified are not configured for your 12.04 release. Please share the output of grep -r ^deb /etc/apt/sources.list* (now copy-paste literally as you appear to have lost a space in the previous command I posted) Output is long, so consider posting it online (e.g. – gertvdijk Dec 25 '12 at 11:40
Posted the result online at ( where you apparently can view it. I am sorry I am not - yet - familiar with community norms and tools. Thankful for your assistance! – Thomas G Dec 25 '12 at 11:52
By the way, the proper result of the cat /etc/issue prompt was: Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS \n \l – Thomas G Dec 25 '12 at 12:00
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It appears that you have at least one repository still configured for natty (11.04). This may indicate that a previous upgrade has not taken this into account or that you've altered the sources.list file yourself and didn't change it when upgrading.

From the comments I can determine that it's just one line that is not configured for precise, the 'official' Ubuntu extras repository. Now the best thing to do is to fix this line to use precise instead. Below is just one way of doing this.

  1. Open a terminal.
  2. Enter the command

    gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
  3. Locate the line containing

    deb natty main
  4. Change natty to precise, so the line becomes

    deb precise main
  5. Save and close the editor.

  6. Run a manual update of the package lists:

    sudo apt-get update

This should output without errors and your update manager should work again.

share|improve this answer
Done! I think it fixed the problem, as my UM now says that all software and package information is updated. Thanks Gert - with my best holiday wishes for you and yours. – Thomas G Dec 25 '12 at 12:25
It is still weird that you don't have new updates in several months. Anyway, consider marking the answer as accepted and/or upvote it rather than a "thank you" comment. :) – gertvdijk Dec 25 '12 at 12:33
I agree with the weirdness. As you can see, I have pasted ( the complete result of the gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list command. There are several other lines containing "natty" other than the one where I changed natty to precise. Do I need to change anything more there? – Thomas G Dec 25 '12 at 12:39
@ThomasG No, those ones are commented out; not used. – gertvdijk Dec 25 '12 at 12:41

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