when I try to apt-get update I'm getting the below error,

E: Could not get lock /var/lib/apt/lists/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
E: Unable to lock directory /var/lib/apt/lists/
  • 1
    @Mitch With the note that it is about /var/lib/apt/lists/lock rather than /var/lib/dpkg/lock. – gertvdijk Aug 22 '13 at 12:47
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    @gertvdijk The OP's question is about /var/lib/apt/lists/lock, and the answer I refrenced also is about /var/lib/apt/lists/lockas well, especially the 4th and 11th answers. – Mitch Aug 22 '13 at 12:54

This just means that there is an application using apt.

First try to find out which application it is by using this command in the terminal

ps aux | grep '[a]pt'

If there is a process running using apt (like apt-get or aptitude), the best thing to do is just to let it finish what its doing. Otherwise you can kill it using

kill <PID of the process (2nd column in output of ps aux)>

After making sure there is no process or killing it, you can just remove the lock using

sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/lock
| improve this answer | |
  • 6
    drop the second pipe by adding some square brackets ps aux | grep [a]pt – Chris Montanaro Mar 28 '14 at 14:24
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    The trick by @shtuff.it requires quotes for me ps aux |grep "[t]mux" . It works by changing the ps COMMAND listing for grep into grep [t]mux, which does not match the regex [t]mux . Clever. – here Apr 17 '14 at 18:03

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