When I attempt to install anything using apt-get I get the following error:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/add-apt-repository", line 60, in <module>
    sp = SoftwareProperties()   
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 90, in __init__
    self.reload_sourceslist()
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/softwareproperties/SoftwareProperties.py", line 538, in reload_sourceslist
    self.distro.get_sources(self.sourceslist)    
  File "/usr/lib/python2.6/dist-packages/aptsources/distro.py", line 90, in get_sources
    raise NoDistroTemplateException("Error: could not find a "
aptsources.distro.NoDistroTemplateException: Error: could not find a distribution template

Any idea what this means and how to resolve it?

  • Can you show the exact command giving this answer? – enzotib Jun 16 '11 at 12:04
  • Try to use aptitude. – amra Jun 16 '11 at 12:29

Easy to fix Just do this

gksudo gedit /etc/lsb-release

Then edit the file that opens so that it looks like this

DISTRIB_ID=Ubuntu
DISTRIB_RELEASE=10.04
DISTRIB_CODENAME=karmic
DISTRIB_DESCRIPTION="Ubuntu Karmic Koala"

Remember to enter which version of ubuntu you are using. I am using karmic koala so I put that in.

You can get a list here towards the bottom
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ubuntu_%28operating_system%29

Then go back to the terminal after you have saved the lsb-release file and you should be able to add-apt-repository

  • Just an observation: Be careful with the uppercase and lowercase letters! – user56242 Apr 23 '12 at 17:38
  • 3
    You definitely should not do this. That file is part of the base-files package and should not be edited. Instead, you should downgrade or upgrade the package accordingly (and pin the other package that triggered the change of base-files). – Tamás Szelei Jul 29 '12 at 20:16
  • That sounds great @fish , care to write out an easy step by step explanation of how to do that and post it here as an answer? – Joshua Robison Aug 5 '12 at 12:23
  • Here is a great answer that pretty much covers all the steps: askubuntu.com/a/135472/3449 – Tamás Szelei Aug 5 '12 at 12:46

The content of /etc/lsb-release is invalid. You'll need to re-install the base-files package to restore its intended content. Unfortunately you can't just use apt-get for the job. Instead,

  1. go to https://launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/base-files and look for the section for your Ubuntu release,

  2. download the most recent version of the package available for your release and architecture,

  3. run:

    sudo dpkg -i /your/path/to/base-files_*.deb
    
  4. Make a test run with

    sudo apt-get install --reinstall base-files
    

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