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I get the following error message when trying a network upgrade from 10.04 to 10.10:

authentication failed. authenticating the upgrade failed. there may be a problem with the network or with the server

I googled that error and found one proposed solution:

gpg --keyserver --recv 437D05B5

gpg --export --armor 437D05B5 | apt-key add -

However, this seems to have screwed up at least one guy's system.

Is there any safer way of solving this (besides doing a fresh install)?

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R u behind proxy. – Deepak Rajput Oct 19 '11 at 6:57
Are you still experiencing this issue? – Bruno Pereira Mar 9 '12 at 8:23
I forgot about this question! The suggested answer did not do anything. After several tries I found a workaround - I'll post it as an answer – geoffrey Mar 9 '12 at 8:45
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I did not solve this directly, but found a workaround: I put the latest Ubuntu (11.10) on a USB stick, booted to USB, and selected 'upgrade Ubuntu' from the options. Worked fine.

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In my case, I started ubuntu manager from the terminal to find the error. The problem was that /etc/apt/trusted.gpg could not be read.

sudo chmod +r /etc/apt/trusted.gpg

fixed the problem.

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