I just tried to install python 3.6 on my Ubuntu 16.04 system, and now I cant run the terminal from the launcher or from Ctrl+Alt+T. I tried to run gnome-terminal from XTerm and got the following message:

Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/gnome-terminal", line 9, in <module>
    from gi.repository import GLib, Gio
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/gi/__init__.py", line 42, in <module>
    from . import _gi
ImportError: cannot import name '_gi'
Error in sys.excepthook:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/apport_python_hook.py", line 63, in apport_excepthook
    from apport.fileutils import likely_packaged, get_recent_crashes
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/apport/__init__.py", line 5, in <module>
    from apport.report import Report
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/apport/report.py", line 30, in <module>
    import apport.fileutils
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/apport/fileutils.py", line 23, in <module>
    from apport.packaging_impl import impl as packaging
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/apport/packaging_impl.py", line 23, in <module>
    import apt
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/apt/__init__.py", line 23, in <module>
    import apt_pkg
ModuleNotFoundError: No module named 'apt_pkg'

Original exception was:
Traceback (most recent call last):
  File "/usr/bin/gnome-terminal", line 9, in <module>
    from gi.repository import GLib, Gio
  File "/usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/gi/__init__.py", line 42, in <module>
    from . import _gi
ImportError: cannot import name '_gi'

How can I fix this error?

It should also be noted that:

  • My gnome-terminal file is now a python script.
  • The gnome-terminal.real file will open the terminal as expected.
  • python3.5 gnome-terminal will open the terminal as expected.
up vote 19 down vote accepted

Probably the symlink /usr/bin/python3 points to python3.6, which it should not. Fix it by running these commands:

sudo rm /usr/bin/python3
sudo ln -s python3.5 /usr/bin/python3
  • 3
    To add to this: this is caused by a bug in the python3-apt package; there's a Launchpad bug open about it here. – Josh Feb 6 '17 at 14:31
  • The symlink should be created on which path ? Isn't pyenv a better alternative until the terminal bug is fixed ? – josircg Mar 17 at 15:44
  • @josircg: Not sure I understand your path question. Both the symlink and the executable reside in /usr/bin. There may well be better alternatives. If you know of any, please write an own answer. – Gunnar Hjalmarsson Mar 17 at 19:42
  • About the path: it think it's wise to add a cd /usr/bin before the ln, right? – josircg Mar 17 at 20:04
  • About the solution: if you try to enable again python 3.6, you wil have to remove/recreate the symlink again. This should be noted too on the solution. – josircg Mar 17 at 20:06

You don't have to point Python3 to python3.5 , just running the commands:

cd /usr/lib/python3/dist-packages/gi/
sudo cp _gi.cpython-35m-x86_64-linux-gnu.so _gi.cpython-36m-x86_64-linux-gnu.so
sudo cp _gi_cairo.cpython-35m-x86_64-linux-gnu.so _gi_cairo.cpython-36m-x86_64-linux-gnu.so
  • What does this do exactly? Is it safe? – wjandrea Aug 1 at 19:52

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