I am new to Ubuntu, and I installed Ubuntu last month. I tried to install a third-party plugin from the terminal using sudo add-apt-repository ppa:fossfreedom/rhythmbox-plugins, but I got the following error message:

raise PPAException("Error reading %s: %s" % (lp_url, reason), e) softwareproperties.ppa.PPAException: 
'Error reading https://launchpad.net/api/1.0/~fossfreedom: [SSL: CERTIFICATE_VERIFY_FAILED] certificate verify failed (_ssl.c:600)'

This maybe due to a corrupted or old certificate that has been downloaded.

A certificate is used to authenticate web-requests which any of the apt-get commands uses - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Certificate_authority

A similar report was made via UbuntuForums for the webupd8 PPA.

The solution is reproduced here:

sudo rm -rf /usr/share/ca-certificates
sudo apt-get --reinstall install ca-certificates

What this does is forcefully remove any certificates installed on your computer. Then the standard ca-certificates is reinstalled to repopulate the list of certificates correctly.

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