For the last few days, when I run sudo apt-get update, it fails because some of the hosts cannot be resolved. However, I can ping them, so they definitely are getting resolved. My internet is working great. I also have that red ! in a triangle up in the corner.

Here is a sample of the output from apt-get:

steve@steve-ub:~$ sudo apt-get update
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty InRelease                                                                                 
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty Release.gpg                                                                               
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty Release                                                                                   
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty/main amd64 Packages                                                                       
Hit http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty/main i386 Packages                                                                        
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty/main Translation-en_US                                                                    
Ign http://ppa.launchpad.net trusty/main Translation-en                                                                       
Err http://repo.steampowered.com precise InRelease                                                                            

Err http://repo.steampowered.com precise Release.gpg                                                                          
  Could not resolve 'repo.steampowered.com'
Err http://archive.canonical.com trusty InRelease                                                                             

Err http://extras.ubuntu.com trusty InRelease                                                                                 

Err http://us.archive.ubuntu.com trusty InRelease                                                                             

I cut some of the output here, continuing later:

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/trusty-updates/Release.gpg  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://us.archive.ubuntu.com/ubuntu/dists/trusty-backports/Release.gpg  Could not resolve 'us.archive.ubuntu.com'

W: Failed to fetch http://dl.google.com/linux/chrome/deb/dists/stable/Release.gpg  Could not resolve 'dl.google.com'

W: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead.

And yet, I can ping the hosts that could not be resolved:

steve@steve-ub:~$ ping us.archive.ubuntu.com
PING us.archive.ubuntu.com ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from orobas.canonical.com ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=49 time=59.8 ms


steve@steve-ub:~$ ping repo.steampowered.com
PING user-att-75-46-72-0.a1507.d.akamai.net ( 56(84) bytes of data.
64 bytes from a23-72-83-64.deploy.static.akamaitechnologies.com ( icmp_seq=1 ttl=56 time=20.8 ms

How can I get updates to work again?

  • 2
    choose a different server from software and updates. – Avinash Raj Jun 18 '14 at 2:00
  • That has appeared to resolve all but repo.steampowered.com. Why, though? Those servers from the question are online... And since Steam doesn't work, I think if I knew that, I could fix Steam. – Steve Jun 18 '14 at 2:11
  • Why are you trying to use precise repos on trusty? – Registered User Jun 18 '14 at 7:13
  • If you're talking about the Steam repo, I don't believe they even have one for trusty. – Steve Jun 18 '14 at 14:12

If this is a remote server try adding Google DNS servers and see if that helps. On terminal:

sudo nano /etc/resolv.conf or nano /etc/resolv.conf

then add

nameserver nameserver

Exit selecting yes with cntrl x.

Run your update again. sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade OR apt-get update && apt-get upgrade

  • I don't believe this would help - I was able to ping the servers that supposedly could not be resolved, and from the ping output in the question, you can see it resolve to an IP address. Also, thanks for the answer - this was resolved a long time ago when I obtained a new computer :) – Steve Oct 29 '14 at 12:53
  • @Steve, I was thinking the same but it did help. I added the Google DNS servers and apt-get works. – nitishch May 28 '15 at 15:00

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