After I installed Ubuntu , I cannot update any software with the error message "failed to download package files". After having googled, I have tried:

  1. sudo apt-get update
  2. sudo apt-get upgrade
  3. changed to another sources

But I still got the same error message. And there is no problem with internet connection as i can connect to internet using Firefox in Ubuntu.

Any ideas?

  • I had the same problem after upgradin from 13.10 to 14.04. It was fixed by running: sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/* -vf & sudo apt-get update See ubuntuforums.org/…
    – parvus
    May 11, 2014 at 9:26
  • This is frustrating because the first time it happened I was watching the activity and I noticed a few packages had errors. But on subsequent times everything is cached so it pops up the error almost immediately without giving me any time to examine which packages actually failed!
    – Michael
    Dec 19, 2018 at 23:31

5 Answers 5


Press Alt+F2 and type software-properties-gtk.

Change the download location to Main Server or another server close to the country you live in and try to sudo apt-get update again.

enter image description here


Run the following commands (saves a backup of the old lists and creates a new lists folder) and the BADSIG error does not occur:

cd /var/lib/apt
sudo mv lists lists.old
sudo mkdir -p lists/partial
sudo apt-get update

There's a Package Manager Troubleshooting Procedure that usually solves this sort of problem. Perform steps 1-4 of that procedure. (Step 1, which is sometimes enough, is what Bruno Pereira has posted--in better detail--in this answer. If step 1 isn't enough, continue with the other steps.)

If that doesn't solve the problem, then please select all the text in the Terminal (Edit > Select All), copy it to the clipboard (Edit > Copy), and edit your question to include it (you'll want to make it a blockquote so that the formatting doesn't get messed up). This will then provide highly useful information for solving the problem.


It seems that single enabled repository failing to update will cause this message. In my case, it was dl.winehq.org/wine-builds/ubuntu/bionic - I unchecked and no longer get error messages.

enter image description here


I'm on Linux Mint, which is Ubuntu at its base (which is Debian at its base), anyway, very probably this will work...

"Open Software Sources from the menu, click the Maintenance button and there click the Fix MergeList Issue button."

-- said kc1di at the Linux Mint forum

please don't thank me for this, I'm only sharing the solution that worked like charm for me just a minute ago... (2020, 02 18)

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .