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Whenever a command is "unable to lock the administration directory", is there any way to easily detect what process is running that is using sudo?

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in a terimnal, enter top command. you can see the list of processes and the second column is the user that is running the process. check that column for root. Also you can filter the processes with respect to the user running them. To show all processes being run by root, enter top -u root.

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look for dpkg, synaptic, or similar processes. Its typically something that is accessing package stuff that generates that error. –  Thomas W. Mar 26 '11 at 15:49

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