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When I attempt to install anything using apt-get I get the following error:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/add-apt-repository", line 60, in <module>
    sp = SoftwareProperties()   
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/softwareproperties/", line 90, in __init__
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/softwareproperties/", line 538, in reload_sourceslist
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/aptsources/", line 90, in get_sources
    raise NoDistroTemplateException("Error: could not find a "
aptsources.distro.NoDistroTemplateException: Error: could not find a distribution template

Any idea what this means and how to resolve it?

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Can you show the exact command giving this answer? – enzotib Jun 16 '11 at 12:04
Try to use aptitude. – amra Jun 16 '11 at 12:29

Easy to fix Just do this

gksudo gedit /etc/lsb-release

Then edit the file that opens so that it looks like this


Remember to enter which version of ubuntu you are using. I am using karmic koala so I put that in.

You can get a list here towards the bottom

Then go back to the terminal after you have saved the lsb-release file and you should be able to add-apt-repository

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Thanks, I had the same problem, now work fine!!!! – JoZ3 Mar 18 '12 at 22:23
Just an observation: Be careful with the uppercase and lowercase letters! – user56242 Apr 23 '12 at 17:38
You definitely should not do this. That file is part of the base-files package and should not be edited. Instead, you should downgrade or upgrade the package accordingly (and pin the other package that triggered the change of base-files). – Tamás Szelei Jul 29 '12 at 20:16
That sounds great @fish , care to write out an easy step by step explanation of how to do that and post it here as an answer? – Joshua Robison Aug 5 '12 at 12:23
Here is a great answer that pretty much covers all the steps: – Tamás Szelei Aug 5 '12 at 12:46

The content of /etc/lsb-release is invalid. You'll need to re-install the base-files package to restore its intended content. Unfortunately you can't just use apt-get for the job. Instead,

  1. go to and look for the section for your Ubuntu release,

  2. download the most recent version of the package available for your release and architecture,

  3. run:

    sudo dpkg -i /your/path/to/base-files_*.deb
  4. Make a test run with

    sudo apt-get install --reinstall base-files
share|improve this answer

Run the following command from terminal:

sudo apt-get install software-properties-common

It must fix the error:

aptsources.distro.NoDistroTemplateException: Error: could not find a distribution template for Ubuntu/trusty
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