I'm trying to run this command in the terminal:

sudo apt install software-properties-common

This is the error message I get:

E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)  
E: Unable to acquire the dpkg frontend lock (/var/lib/dpkg/lock-frontend),   
 is another process using it?

This may happen if

  1. 'Synaptic Package Manager' or 'Software Updater' is open.

  2. Some apt command is running in Terminal.

  3. Some apt process is running in background.

For above wait for the process to complete. If this does not happen run in terminal:

sudo killall apt apt-get

If none of the above works, remove the lock files. Run in terminal:

sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/lock
sudo rm /var/cache/apt/archives/lock
sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/lock*

then reconfigure the packages. Run in terminal:

sudo dpkg --configure -a


sudo apt update

That should do the job.

  • 9
    @CaTx This link will tell you what is happening behind provided solution itsfoss.com/could-not-get-lock-error – Manish Jain Sep 12 '19 at 13:32
  • 2
    In my case the machine had started just a little earlier and I got this problem. I tried again after about ten minutes (as I was looking at the situation) That time it ran ok. I vote this answer up but with a suggestion to emphasize to just try waiting before unlocking. And @Manish Jain -thanks! that reminder to gather a little info will help next time I have a similar issue! Cheers! – Pete Kelley Nov 14 '19 at 12:59
  • All these together worked like a charm for me. – Kreezxil Nov 22 '19 at 15:12
  • Some news about the UBUNTU 18 Livepatch? – Peter Krauss Dec 9 '19 at 9:43
  • Follow this for detailed: solution itsfoss.com/could-not-get-lock-error, it resolved my issue as well – Sameer Kumar Choudhary Mar 18 '20 at 13:56

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