I'm trying to install SRA toolkit on my Ubuntu 20.04 TLS with the following command:

sudo apt-get install sra-toolkit

I get the following error:

Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Package sra-toolkit is not available, but is referred to by another package.
This may mean that the package is missing, has been obsoleted, or
is only available from another source

E: Package 'sra-toolkit' has no installation candidate

I had installed this package with the same command on Ubuntu 18.04, but now it doesn't work. Any idea what might be the problem?

  • There is no sra-toolkit in focal repos.
    – Pilot6
    Apr 27, 2020 at 16:34
  • Thank you so much. If I go back to 18.04 will the problem be resolved?
    – Parnian
    Apr 27, 2020 at 17:11
  • Yes, the package is available in the 18.04 repos. But you can install to 20.04 from source.
    – Pilot6
    Apr 27, 2020 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


The sra-toolkit is not available in 20.04 LTS (focal), but you can install it manually by using packages from 19.10 (eoan):

cd ~/Downloads
wget http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/n/ncbi-vdb/libncbi-vdb2_2.9.3+dfsg-2_amd64.deb
wget http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/n/ncbi-vdb/libncbi-wvdb2_2.9.3+dfsg-2_amd64.deb
wget http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/pool/universe/s/sra-sdk/sra-toolkit_2.9.3+dfsg-1build2_amd64.deb

sudo apt-get install ./libncbi-vdb2_2.9.3+dfsg-2_amd64.deb
sudo apt-get install ./libncbi-wvdb2_2.9.3+dfsg-2_amd64.deb

cat <<EOF | sudo tee /etc/apt/preferences.d/pin-sra-libs
Package: libncbi-vdb2
Pin: version 2.9.3+dfsg-2
Pin-Priority: 1337

Package: libncbi-wvdb2
Pin: version 2.9.3+dfsg-2
Pin-Priority: 1337

sudo apt-get install ./sra-toolkit_2.9.3+dfsg-1build2_amd64.deb

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