I had to reinstall the entire OS a little while ago and I have been trying to reinstall all of the programs I had before but I got a bit a of a problem now. I was trying to download dropbox from synaptic but it cannot finish the process and as a result I cannot update anything anymore. The line that comes out is:

  E: Could not get lock /var/lib/dpkg/lock - open (11: Resource temporarily unavailable)
  E: Unable to lock the administration directory (/var/lib/dpkg/), is another process using it?

I have tried:

sudo apt-get install -f
sudo apt-get -f install
sudo rm /var/lib/dpkg/lock
sudo apt-get -f update
sudo dpkg --clear-selections
sudo dpkg --configure -a

But nothing seems to work.

So is there a way to solve this??


  • 2
    try this link in order to view who locks your file.
    – Lety
    Aug 23, 2014 at 9:39
  • 2
    askubuntu.com/questions/15433/… do a search for the error message first. You have something else, like the software centre open.
    – Tim
    Aug 23, 2014 at 9:39
  • Make sure all package managers are closed (synaptic, software center). This also happens if you cut the system off as it is installing a program (eg close a terminal that is still busy) did you do this, if so which package was installing at the time
    – Mark Kirby
    Aug 23, 2014 at 10:10

2 Answers 2


This command should find, identify and kill the proses that has locked dpkg

sudo fuser -vki /var/lib/dpkg/lock; sudo dpkg --configure -a

You can run the following commands to remove or install an application.

sudo apt-get -f install

sudo apt-get autoremove

apt-get remove --purge packagename

you can check this post for completely remove an application

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