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I'm relatively new to Ubuntu, been using it for about a month. I decided to try something new today and downloaded the kubuntu-desktop and hated it. After unsuccessfully attempting to remove it I decided to do a fresh install again. Upon installation, the software center crashed, I sent an error report and tried again. It crashed again, I sent another report. I uninstalled/reinstalled the software center, it opens without crashing, downloads stuff fine but wont show reviews, says theres no network connection/connect to see more reviews.

It may be a trivial thing but its nagging at me because before I messed with the kubuntu desktop earlier, everything was perfect for the past month.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks

From terminal:

@AllonsY:~$ software-center
2014-01-09 23:40:31,161 - softwarecenter.ui.gtk3.app - INFO - setting up proxy 'None'
2014-01-09 23:40:31,166 - softwarecenter.db.database - INFO - open() database: path=None use_axi=True use_agent=True
2014-01-09 23:40:31,604 - softwarecenter.backend.reviews - WARNING - Could not get usefulness from server, no username in config file
2014-01-09 23:40:31,745 - softwarecenter.ui.gtk3.app - INFO - show_available_packages: search_text is '', app is None.
2014-01-09 23:40:31,790 - softwarecenter.db.pkginfo_impl.aptcache - INFO - aptcache.open()
2014-01-09 23:40:35,152 - softwarecenter.fixme - WARNING - logs to the root logger: '('/usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/utils.py', 201, 'get_title_from_html')'
2014-01-09 23:40:35,152 - root - WARNING - failed to parse: '<div style="background-color: #161513; width:1680px; height:200px;">
 <div style="background: url('/site_media/exhibits/2013/09/AAMFP_Leaderboard_700x200_1.jpg') top left no-repeat; width:700px; height:200px;"></div>
</div>' ('ascii' codec can't encode character u'\xa0' in position 70: ordinal not in range(128))
2014-01-09 23:40:36,675 - softwarecenter.db.update - INFO - skipping region restricted app: 'Comentarios Web' (not whitelisted)
2014-01-09 23:40:37,620 - softwarecenter.db.update - INFO - skipping region restricted app: 'Source Code Analyzer' (not whitelisted)
2014-01-09 23:40:37,682 - softwarecenter.db.update - INFO - skipping region restricted app: 'Flaggame' (not whitelisted)
2014-01-09 23:40:38,068 - softwarecenter.db.update - INFO - skipping region restricted app: 'Bulleti d'esquerra de Calonge i Sant Antoni ' (not whitelisted)
2014-01-09 23:40:40,120 - softwarecenter.ui.gtk3.app - INFO - software-center-agent finished with status 0
2014-01-09 23:40:40,120 - softwarecenter.db.database - INFO - reopen() database
2014-01-09 23:40:40,120 - softwarecenter.db.database - INFO - open() database: path=None use_axi=True use_agent=True
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/backend/reviews/rnr.py", line 129, in _on_reviews_helper_data
    callback(app, self._reviews[app])
  File "/usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/ui/gtk3/views/appdetailsview.py", line 1050, in _reviews_ready_callback
  File "/usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/ui/gtk3/widgets/reviews.py", line 284, in configure_reviews_ui
  File "/usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/ui/gtk3/widgets/reviews.py", line 208, in _fill
    self.useful_votes, is_first_for_version)
  File "/usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/ui/gtk3/widgets/reviews.py", line 467, in __init__
  File "/usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/ui/gtk3/widgets/reviews.py", line 615, in _build
    cur_t = self._get_datetime_from_review_date(review_data.date_created)
  File "/usr/share/software-center/softwarecenter/ui/gtk3/widgets/reviews.py", line 539, in _get_datetime_from_review_date
    return datetime.datetime.strptime(raw_date_str, '%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S')
  File "/usr/lib/python2.7/_strptime.py", line 325, in _strptime
    (data_string, format))
ValueError: time data '2012-05-16T13:19:51.027Z' does not match format '%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S'
share|improve this question
Can you run software-center from a Terminal and add the output to your question? –  minerz029 Jan 10 at 2:22
Have you connected to the Internet? If you don't have a connection enabled, it can't show reviews. –  dobey Jan 10 at 3:06
Yes, connected to the internet. Can browse online, even download software from the software center, it just crashes sometimes and wont show reviews. Where reviews normally are it says I need to connect to the internet. –  user233970 Jan 10 at 4:39
Added terminal output –  user233970 Jan 10 at 4:42
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closed as off-topic by Braiam, minerz029, Avinash Raj, BuZZ-dEE, Lucio Jan 11 at 0:29

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "Bug reports and problems with the development version of Ubuntu should be reported on Launchpad so that developers can see, track and fix these issues." – Braiam, minerz029, Avinash Raj, BuZZ-dEE, Lucio
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

3 Answers

This is a bug which has been reported: Bug #1268250

I reproduced this on my own and am guessing that the review date format was changed on the server and not reflected in the client.

Basically, the review date is being retrieved with this format:


however the program is expecting a format of

%Y-%m-%d %H:%M:%S

ans so raises a ValueError.

I'm guessing the new format is something like (# indicates unknown)


Formats are in the Python time.strftime() format.

share|improve this answer
Good analysis! Is the bug reported yet? –  Eliah Kagan Jan 11 at 10:41
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Paste that in terminal:

rm ~/.cache/software-center -R

and restart.

share|improve this answer
I'd suggest recommending cd ~/.cache && rm -R software-center instead (or add a warning). The advantage is that, if slightly mistyped, it doesn't delete the user's whole home directory! (The problem is that a space after ~ or before . makes it a command to remove two folders, the first of which is the user's home folder. A web search reveals this to be far from a merely theoretical concern.) –  Eliah Kagan Jan 10 at 2:48
I'm not sure why the downvotes though. With a warning to be careful while entering that command, there's nothing wrong with this... and my comment serves as that warning. –  Eliah Kagan Jan 10 at 4:50
That's why I specifically told him to "paste that in terminal". Imho unnecessary down vote. –  Frost Jan 10 at 17:29
Actually this post has two downvotes, and one upvote, currently. People often write something by hand instead of pasting it, for a variety of reasons, but a similarly relevant issue is what happens if someone starts typing it and, after typing a few characters, realizes that they should actually be pasting it, and decides to paste the rest. (Except they put an extra space in the few characters they did type.) When presenting commands that differ by one character from a command that causes serious damage, it seems to me that an explicit warning is always best (or use a different command :) ). –  Eliah Kagan Jan 11 at 6:52
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Maybe Software Center configuration files are causing this problem (either your user-specific configuration files, or the systemwide configuration files). To see, you can try removing them. Note that I'm not talking about deleting all package management configuration, just the Software Center configuration.

To do this effectively, Software Center cannot be running (even in the background, as malfunctioning apps sometimes silently do).

Though your situation might not be the same as in software center got stuck/not responding, the solution provided in my answer there is just as likely to help here. (And might not help, but it's worth a try.)

Here's the relevant part, modified to address the differences:

Open a Terminal window (Ctrl+Alt+T) and run:

killall software-center
killall -KILL software-center
cd ~/.config && rm -r software-center
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get --purge --reinstall install software-center

If you've ever run Software Center as root (e.g., gksu software-center, gksudo software-center, sudo ... software-center), then you may need to put sudo (including the space) before the first two commands and after the && in the third command.

The key points are:

  • Try removing your user-specific Software Center configuration directory, ~/.config/software-center.
  • When you reinstall the Software Center, purge its systemwide configuration files with the --purge flag. (If you prefer to uninstall and reinstall in separate steps, then you can just use sudo apt-get purge software-center in place of sudo apt-get remove software-center.

You can really do that however you like, so long as both sets of configuration files are removed when the Software Center is run next. However, running the commands as listed above helps make sure the Software Center really isn't running.

share|improve this answer
Apparently we shouldn't be running USC as root askubuntu.com/a/401908/169736 –  Braiam Jan 10 at 3:59
I tried this, didn't do anything. I am connected to the internet however, just software center crashes sometimes and won't show reviews, says I need to connect to the internet. –  user233970 Jan 10 at 4:37
Braiam: Well I never suggested running Software Center as root. (However, I don't think there's anything wrong with doing so; see my comment on mdeslaur's post.) The problem I anticipated in this post relating to root, is if it USC were run as root using an incorrect technique. I suggested removing USC's configuration as root, not running it as root. @user233970 Can you file a bug report so there's more info to examine? (Read this first please.) –  Eliah Kagan Jan 10 at 4:48
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