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Running sudo apt-get update fails on my server (that has a 'net connection). Are the servers temporarily broken, or is my apt misconfigured and using old servers? In short, how do I fix this?

Here's the output:

~$ uname -a
Linux nematode 2.6.28-19-server #66-Ubuntu SMP Sat Oct 16 18:41:24 UTC 2010 i686 GNU/Linux

~$ sudo apt-get update
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty Release.gpg
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty/main Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty/restricted Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty/universe Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty/multiverse Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty-updates Release.gpg
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty-updates/main Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty-updates/restricted Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty-updates/universe Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com jaunty-updates/multiverse Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'
Err http://security.ubuntu.com jaunty-security Release.gpg
  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'
Err http://security.ubuntu.com jaunty-security/main Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'
Err http://security.ubuntu.com jaunty-security/restricted Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'
Err http://security.ubuntu.com jaunty-security/universe Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'
Err http://security.ubuntu.com jaunty-security/multiverse Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'
Reading package lists... Done
W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty/Release.gpg  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty/main/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty/restricted/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty/universe/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty/multiverse/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-updates/Release.gpg  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-updates/main/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-updates/restricted/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-updates/universe/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-updates/multiverse/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-security/Release.gpg  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-security/main/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-security/restricted/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-security/universe/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://security.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-security/multiverse/i18n/Translation-en_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'security.ubuntu.com'

W: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.
W: You may want to run apt-get update to correct these problems
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What is the output of cat /etc/resolv.conf? –  ændrük Mar 5 '11 at 0:30
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7 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

Can you resolve any of those hosts from the command line?

jinx:775 Z$ ping us.archive.ubuntu.com
PING us.archive.ubuntu.com (91.189.92.171) 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from cassava.canonical.com (91.189.92.171): icmp_seq=1 ttl=128 time=104 ms

If not, next step is to try host -v:

jinx:776 Z$ host -v us.archive.ubuntu.com
Trying "us.archive.ubuntu.com"
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 14243
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 8, AUTHORITY: 0, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;us.archive.ubuntu.com.         IN      A

;; ANSWER SECTION:
us.archive.ubuntu.com.  592     IN      A       91.189.88.31
us.archive.ubuntu.com.  592     IN      A       91.189.88.40
us.archive.ubuntu.com.  592     IN      A       91.189.88.45
us.archive.ubuntu.com.  592     IN      A       91.189.88.46
us.archive.ubuntu.com.  592     IN      A       91.189.92.169
us.archive.ubuntu.com.  592     IN      A       91.189.92.170
us.archive.ubuntu.com.  592     IN      A       91.189.92.171
us.archive.ubuntu.com.  592     IN      A       91.189.88.30

Received 167 bytes from 10.211.55.1#53 in 37 ms
Trying "us.archive.ubuntu.com"
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 50130
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;us.archive.ubuntu.com.         IN      AAAA

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
ubuntu.com.             1800    IN      SOA     ns1.canonical.com. hostmaster.canonical.com. 2011030301 10800 3600 604800 3600

Received 100 bytes from 10.211.55.1#53 in 65 ms
Trying "us.archive.ubuntu.com"
;; ->>HEADER<<- opcode: QUERY, status: NOERROR, id: 54875
;; flags: qr rd ra; QUERY: 1, ANSWER: 0, AUTHORITY: 1, ADDITIONAL: 0

;; QUESTION SECTION:
;us.archive.ubuntu.com.         IN      MX

;; AUTHORITY SECTION:
ubuntu.com.             1800    IN      SOA     ns1.canonical.com. hostmaster.canonical.com. 2011030301 10800 3600 604800 3600

Received 100 bytes from 10.211.55.1#53 in 62 ms

Look for errors returned by DNS servers.

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I should have mentioned that the ping did not resolve either, but that I was able to ping via IP (resolved on a separate machine). Thanks to this help, and the comment by @ændrük, I discovered that somehow my DNS entries were completely useless. Fixing those fixed the problem. –  Phrogz Mar 5 '11 at 1:54
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very simple:

  1. look for DNS address manually into file /etc/resolv.conf
  2. cd /etc/network/
  3. sudo nano interface
  4. change nameservers
  5. nameservers 8.8.8.8 8.8.4.4 not working with same routers (in my case hitron very bad

company ip routing not working at all )

you have to use ip address from /etc/resolv.conf

or use only your router ip in my case 192.168.1.1

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Often I shove 8.8.8.8 in my /etc/resolv.conf to fix this. Esp when dealing with wonky cheap-cloud-provider-of-the-month (in this case linode) stuff.

cat /etc/resolv.conf

nameserver 8.8.8.8
nameserver 8.8.4.4
#nameserver 72.14.179.5
#nameserver 72.14.188.5

These are Google's public DNS servers. Yes, they probably track the heck out of those logs. But the only site i tend to hit on those servers is git and ubuntu archives.

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I know this thread is super old, but for anyone still looking on, I solved this problem by disconnecting and reconnecting to wireless access point.

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It sounds like a DNS issue. To fix it, you need to ensure that

/etc/resolv.conf

has good entries for DNS servers.

Google has public DNS servers that you can use.

So for example, you could add the following 2 lines to the top of your /etc/resolv.conf file (these point at the Google DNS servers) as detailed above:

nameserver 8.8.8.8 
nameserver 8.8.4.4

Of course you'd need to be root to change this file, and make a backup before making any changes!

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Check on your web browser to see if you can open web page "http://us.archive.ubuntu.com". If yes, then it has to a network proxy settings problem.

Follow following steps on Ubuntu Desktop.

  1. Go to System->Preferences->Network Proxy
  2. Select “Manual Proxy Configuration”
  3. Check “Use the same proxy for all protocols”
  4. HTTP Proxy: , Port:
  5. Hit Details and check “User Authentication”
  6. Put Username and Password and close

After doing this, I was able to resolve these errors.

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are you saying you resolved this by using a proxy ? –  zinking Apr 22 '13 at 14:24
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I had this same issue "Err on apt-get update" ændrük hinted correctly.

I fixed my problem by fixing a DNS address manually into file /etc/resolv.conf to DNS address of my operator. Previously it was set to 192.168.0.254 by Ubuntu.

Phrogz, you might have same issue?

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Yes, as noted in my follow-up comment to the accepted answer, the problem was that my DNS was hosed and needed to be set to good values. –  Phrogz Jul 19 '11 at 15:55
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