Whenever I try to install anything with the Ubuntu Software Center, the following error appears.

Failed to download repository information

Check your Internet connection.

E:Unable to parse package file /var/lib/apt/lists/partial/archive.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_precise_multiverse_i18n_Index (1)

  • The above does not work for me. I notice when running "apt-get update" the concatenated string contains the IP for this device (in my case, NOT the nameserver ( It is then unable to connect.
    – user94170
    Oct 2, 2012 at 23:16
  • 1
    I'd like to add this as an answer to this protected question, but don't have the rep here yet. Anyway, I ran into this problem. In my case I had forgotten I had added a file to /etc/apt/sources.list.d/ for a 3rd party package from https://z.litestack.com/v1/repo/ubuntu/. That URL ceased to resolve (superseded by instructions at zerovm.org/download.htm), so apt-get would always end up tripping over that. sudo rm /etc/apt/sources.list.d/zerovm-precise.list fixed it for me. Apr 7, 2014 at 16:27
  • I had this problem with 17.04, upgrading to 17.10 solved the problem
    – jim smith
    Apr 13, 2018 at 11:07

6 Answers 6


Try cleaning up your apt-cache and running any updates

sudo apt-get clean
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get upgrade

If you still have issues, then change your repo mirror: Open Update Manager or Software Updater, then click Settings > Ubuntu Software tab, then select Other from the Download From menu and click the Select Best Server button. Once finished, the best server will show up selected (highlighted), so just click the Choose Server button. Now try updating/upgrading again.

  • 2
    You rock! This fixed my VMware Ubuntu! I was kind of freaking out that I'll have to re-install it but this worked great. Mar 3, 2016 at 5:13
  • 7
    Don't get too excited Georgi, your Linux machine will break again I promise lol Jul 19, 2018 at 17:48
  • 2
    I tried this on Ubuntu netbook edition (10.10). When I tell it to Select Best Server, it goes through all 361 of them and then concludes, "No suitable download server was found. Please check your Internet connection." Yet, I can access the internet just fine.
    – Brad Turek
    Oct 18, 2018 at 20:57
  • I tried and I got 'no suitable server found.' Pls help.
    – smaqsood
    Feb 2, 2021 at 5:22
  • 1
    sudo apt clean was the ticket. I had to remove some items from my /etc/apt/sources.list that were failing too.
    – Blairg23
    Mar 2, 2021 at 19:37

"Software Updater" will give same error message for issues like:

W: Failed to fetch http://ppa.launchpad.net/crass/ufraw/ubuntu/dists/raring/main/binary-amd64/Packages  404  Not Found

Solution: Settings -> Software & Updates -> Other Software -> Click on offending entry and hit Remove (OR simply un-check so its ignored yet visible for later)

Another way to un-check the bad entries is to

cd /etc/apt
grep -r some_string *

for example

grep -r ufraw /etc/apt

which will return the file containing string ufraw so then edit that file and comment out the line mentioning string ufraw

This shuts off updates to the package linked to this file ... the symptom will go away ... problem often due to using a package not yet customized for the version of OS you are on

  • 1
    Note this can also apply if "cdrom" is in the repo list, see askubuntu.com/a/386048/254 Jan 28, 2016 at 20:17
  • 6
    This is the correct answer; the problem is that the error message does not indicate which entry is the offending one. :( But yes, once you can figure that out, works like a charm!
    – Bane
    Mar 9, 2016 at 16:02
  • Worked for me, too. I ran into this problem when I installed the blueman and bluez5 packages to support my Microsoft BT mouse. Clearing the checkboxes next to these packages on the "Other Software" tab in Software & Update fixed it. Jul 17, 2016 at 1:16
  • That was it, "cdrom" was the offender (I'm running a virtual machine), unchecked it and the problem went away
    – rboy
    Sep 15, 2017 at 3:45
  • For me there was an error telling me which package was the culprit on running sudo apt update in the terminal, disabling that one seemed to work Sep 6, 2020 at 15:13

This is the same issue I'm also facing with Ubuntu 20.04 LTS. My device is connected to a 'metered connection'(I'm thinking the issue is because I have set this connection as metered. Not sure though). But I have found a way to update even after this error.

  1. Click on the 'settings' option below that error message and it will open the 'software & Updates'.
  2. Now just close the 'Software & Updates' window and you will see the updates are available for download and installing.

I don't know the reason behind this error. If someone could add upon this it will be helpful. But this definitely works. I have done this for more than two weeks.

Hope it helps you!


Assure cdrom is unchecked then cut and paste entire set of below commands

sudo apt-get clean
cd /var/lib/apt
sudo mv lists lists.old_`date '+%Y%m%d_%H%M%S'`  
sudo mkdir -p lists/partial
sudo apt-get clean 
sudo apt-get update

I had the same issue when upgrading from 18.10 to the newest version. In my case the reason was that I had some packages marked as kept back. This is what I did.

$ sudo apt upgrade 
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
Calculating upgrade... Done
The following packages have been kept back:
0 to upgrade, 0 to newly install, 0 to remove and 2 not to upgrade.

I simply removed them along with their dependencies:

$ sudo apt remove libodbc1
Reading package lists... Done
Building dependency tree       
Reading state information... Done
The following packages were automatically installed and are no longer required:
  odbcinst odbcinst1debian2
Use 'sudo apt autoremove' to remove them.
The following packages will be REMOVED
freetds-bin libodbc1 

Then the following sequence of commands led me to the successful upgrade:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt dist-upgrade
sudo do-release-upgrade

there is something that worked for me:

please goto update manager settings > under Ubuntu software tab uncheck "cdrom with Ubuntu 12.04 'precise pangolin'"

then under other softwares tab uncheck first three options which are cdrom with Ubuntu 11.04 and 12.04 and etc.

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