Ask Ubuntu is a question and answer site for Ubuntu users and developers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top
root@sandeep-VAIO:~# apt-get update
E: Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
E: Unable to lock directory /var/lib/apt/lists/
E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), is another process using it?

Im unable to install programs from ubuntu software center. Under About This Computer it shows checking for updates all the time. Also some times its showing a system error regularly. Ill post it when I encounter it again. Im new to LINUX so please provide me step by step procedure. Thank You..:)

share|improve this question
What have you tried? Also, more context please. What did you do right before this started happening? etc. – Kazark Mar 14 '13 at 19:39

You need to run that command with sudo

sudo apt-get update

If the problem persists, you can not run multiple applcations to manage packages at the same time. So you have to close the graphical application(s) [software center or synaptic] before you can run apt-get on the command line.

share|improve this answer
If you look at the shell command in the question, you'll see that the user is root already, so sudo wouldn't help there. – dobey Mar 14 '13 at 22:20
Then you have to close any and all graphical programs that manage software (see the second part of my answer). – bodhi.zazen Mar 14 '13 at 23:16
apt-get update works fine with software-center running, as long as nothing is actually being installed at the time. And synaptic is not installed by default on Ubuntu; though I don't think it keeps the database locked while running either. – dobey Mar 15 '13 at 1:20
Are all your file systems in tact? – pfeiffep Mar 15 '13 at 2:33

Please try rebooting your computer, then running the sudo apt-get update command immediately after it starts up again.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.