I'm using Ubuntu 9.04 as multipurpose server, so no GUI here. I haven't used it for a while and now when trying to install or update packages with apt-get it throws errors.

An excerpt of the error messages:

root@vps609:/home# sudo apt-get update
Err http://security.canonical.com jaunty-security Release.gpg
  Could not resolve 'security.canonical.com'
Err http://security.canonical.com jaunty-security/universe Translation-en_US
  Could not resolve 'security.canonical.com'

Get:3 http://archive.canonical.com jaunty Release [10.5kB]
Get:4 http://archive.canonical.com jaunty-updates Release [10.5kB]
Fetched 21.4kB in 0s (56.3kB/s)
Reading package lists... Done
W: Failed to fetch http://security.canonical.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-security/Release.gpg                                               n_US.bz2  Could not resolve 'security.canonical.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/dists/jaunty-updates/Release  Unable to find expected entry  universe/binary-amd64/Packages in Meta-index file (malformed Release file?)

W: Some index files failed to download, they have been ignored, or old ones used instead.
W: You may want to run apt-get update to correct these problems

I thought the url's had changed so I tried to change the /etc/apt/sources.list with following sources:

deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/ jaunty main universe multiverse restricted
deb http://security.canonical.com/ubuntu/ jaunty-security universe main multiverse restricted
deb http://archive.canonical.com/ubuntu/ jaunty-updates universe main multiverse restricted

But it seems apt-get doesn't use these new sources and keeps trying the old ones.

Any ideas?


2 Answers 2


Ubuntu 9.04 has died. It has passed it live cycle. When a Ubuntu version is deprecated Canonical not only stops to give you security updates, its repositories go offline.

So no more apt-get for 9.04. You can check the live cycles here. The main lesson is that you must use LTS version for servers.

Now you have four options:

  • Edit "/etc/apt/sources.list" (with root permissions) substituting all the links: "http://archive.ubuntu.com/..." for "http://old-releases.ubuntu.com/..."

  • Upgrade to 10.04LTS, you will need to upgrade first to 9.10 and then to 10.04. Staying in 9.10 is not an option as you will face the same problem in a few months.

  • Stay in 9.04. You will need to hunt debs/compile programs if you want to install something new. If your server is internet facing you will have to manually update it for security reasons. But I still have a very old Mandrake server running as a internal router at work. If your server is not going to change a lot, this could be the best solution (specially cost-wise).

  • Install 10.04 from scratch, keeping your data and config files. If you can afford some downtime this will be easier and faster than upgrading. But you will need to take the server down. This route is clearly the best if you have an spare server, you could install the new server, copy all the data and switch them at the end. You can even move services one by one to the new server.


Support for Ubuntu 9.04 Jaunty has ended on 23 October 2010. No updates will be released for that version. You need to upgrade Ubuntu to a newer version. I recommend doing a clean install.

I see "vps" in your host name, your control panel might have an option to install a new image, perhaps a newer version is included. For server machines, the LTS version (currently Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid) is recommended since it longer supported (10.04 is supported till April 2015).

See also:

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