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While running sudo apt-get install alien, there is an error: Unable lock administrator directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), is another process using it?

How do I fix this?

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It could be that some other package or package update is already downloading, and it hasn't finished downloading yet, so the /var/lib/dpkg/ directory is locked until it finishes. Try to install alien again in a couple of hours.

  • I'm trying this few days...same error. If there any command to stop back end download or updates.... – Zafran Jun 20 '13 at 4:09
  • Now i'm getting error, but 13.04 dvd inside cd rom " Media change: please insert the disc labeled 'Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail - Release amd64 (20130424)' in the drive '/media/cdrom/' and press enter " – Zafran Jun 20 '13 at 4:18
  • Something like that should be asked as a separate question instead of hiding it inside a thread. Including all the details in your question will improve your chances of getting a good answer. – karel Jun 20 '13 at 4:26
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karel's answer should be correct in nearly every case... however, there are some cases where dpkg forgets to clean its lock after its done (it happened to me a couple of times), so then you have to remove it:

sudo rm -f /var/lib/dpkg/lock

But don't remove it unless you are certain dpkg isn't running:

ps -eo command | grep dpkg | grep -v 'grep' # If there is output, then it means
                                            # dpkg is running
  • Now i'm getting error, but 13.04 dvd inside cd rom " Media change: please insert the disc labeled 'Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail - Release amd64 (20130424)' in the drive '/media/cdrom/' and press enter " – Zafran 41 secs ago edit – Zafran Jun 20 '13 at 4:19
  • Now i'm getting error, but 13.04 dvd inside cd rom " Media change: please insert the disc labeled 'Ubuntu 13.04 Raring Ringtail - Release amd64 (20130424)' in the drive '/media/cdrom/' and press enter " – Zafran Jun 20 '13 at 6:52
  • @Zafran, could you pastebin /etc/apt/sources.list, and then link it here? – MiJyn Jun 20 '13 at 7:14

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