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Thread: Confused as to what this means

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Confused as to what this means

    I recently installed Ubuntu 12.04 as my new OS on my MacBook Pro. It's been a little rough getting used to the method of installing things in what not running commands. I'm not sure why it's so beneficial to frequently enter "sudo apt-get update" after I've tried to install something. I don't quite get the nature this. I'm still trying to understand why certain things must be done before installing something, and even after installing something it seems like something else has then been affected by this new installation. Still trying to learn, I suppose I will purchase a book on Unix to get a deeper understanding.

    Aside I recently had a problem when using "sudo apt-get update" when it gave me these errors in the E. So looking at one forum it told me to change something within it adding something. After that I ran the command again. It works and I get a whole bunch of code until I get to the bottom of the sudo apt-get install code and it says:

    Hit precise-backports/restricted Sources          
    Hit precise-backports/universe Sources            
    Hit precise-backports/multiverse Sources          
    Hit precise-backports/main amd64 Packages         
    Hit precise-backports/restricted amd64 Packages   
    Hit precise-backports/universe amd64 Packages     
    Hit precise-backports/multiverse amd64 Packages   
    Hit precise-backports/main i386 Packages          
    Hit precise-backports/restricted i386 Packages    
    Hit precise-backports/universe i386 Packages      
    Hit precise-backports/multiverse i386 Packages    
    Hit precise-backports/main TranslationIndex       
    Hit precise-backports/multiverse TranslationIndex 
    Hit precise-backports/restricted TranslationIndex 
    Hit precise-backports/universe TranslationIndex   
    Hit precise/main Translation-en                   
    Hit precise/multiverse Translation-en             
    Hit precise/restricted Translation-en             
    Hit precise/universe Translation-en               
    Hit precise-updates/main Translation-en           
    Hit precise-updates/multiverse Translation-en     
    Hit precise-updates/restricted Translation-en     
    Hit precise-updates/universe Translation-en       
    Hit precise-backports/main Translation-en         
    Hit precise-backports/multiverse Translation-en   
    Hit precise-backports/restricted Translation-en   
    Hit precise-backports/universe Translation-en     
    Fetched 2,214 kB in 52s (41.9 kB/s)                                            
    W: Failed to fetch  Unable to find expected entry 'precise/binary-amd64/Packages' in Release file (Wrong sources.list entry or malformed file)
    E: Some index files failed to download. They have been ignored, or old ones used instead
    Any suggestions/moral sympathy?

  2. #2
    ibjsb4 is offline Ubuntu addict and loving it
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Re: Confused as to what this means

    Looks like a malformed line in your sources list. Please post the output of:

    cat -n /etc/apt/sources.list

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Albury, NSW, Australia
    Ubuntu 12.04 Precise Pangolin

    Re: Confused as to what this means

    sudo apt-get update - This command gets a new list of software packages from (in your specific case) Ubuntu's US mirror, as opposed to (in my case) Ubuntu's Australian mirror.

    When you run sudo apt-get install some_software_package Ubuntu looks at the list of packages supplied by your etc/apt/sources.list to find the package that you want to install.

    When you run sudo apt-get upgrade Ubuntu will look for more recent versions of software packages that you have, and try to install the new versions of them.

    So, to run updates on your system, you can combine both into
    sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade
    Sometimes, the sources.list can get broken and you may need to edit the list to correct it. As ibjsb4 said, in your case you have a bad line in your sources.list. The command he mentioned shows the output of the list. You can (very carefully) edit the sources.list to remove the offending line by typing
    sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
    Put a ## in front of the bad line to 'comment' it out. This a temporary fix, and you should try to find out what is wrong with the source.

    Hope this helps you understand apt-get a bit better. I think it's the best way to manage packages in the Linux world.
    Last edited by Albury_Boy; May 20th, 2013 at 03:04 PM. Reason: too many code tags

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    gypsy encampment
    Ubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Confused as to what this means

    I hope I'm not being too basic, but many times new users are unaware of the documentation available for Ubuntu. For example, are you aware that you don't always need to use the command-line to install software?

    Ifyou haven't looked at it yet, the official documentation is a good foundation for Ubuntu knowledge:
    System76 Serval Pro 7: Ubuntu 16.04; Dell Latitude D800: Lubuntu 16.04; Zotac Z-Box ID45: LinHES 8.4.3

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    London, England
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Confused as to what this means

    Ubuntu has Graphical User Interface Utilities that can do all these things. Software updater/Update Manager; Software Centre. It is often better to use these utilities. Software Centre will install applications with just one click and then give you an option to remove that application.

    These utilities run the commands to update the system and install software. We can set Update Manager to automatically check for updates Daily, Every Two Days, Weekly, Every Fortnight or Never. There is no need to run the command to update so frequently unless we are using commands to modify the system.

    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    the Netherlands

    Re: Confused as to what this means

    As a sidenote:

    A book on UNIX isn't gonna help as much as you might think. If you'd rather read a book than the free documentation available online,
    there are loads of books on Linux in general, or on Ubuntu specific. That'll get you further than a UNIX book. Those can be awesome
    reading material, but probably later on, after you've been using Linux for a while and got used to some basic knowledge.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2009

    Re: Confused as to what this means

    The built in documentation is very useful. Just typing "man" in front of any command will give you a lot of info so "man apt-get" is worth a look.
    If you like a more detailed view of what is going on but want it graphically "synaptic-package-manager" is really nice. It used to be part of a default Ubuntu install, though it isn't anymore it is still available and I recomend it highly. Here's some info on it
    It shows you what is going on with apt-get better than any amount of text. Also, in the begining, it may be easier to see it all rather than remember a lot of switches.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2012

    Re: Confused as to what this means

    I came into Ubuntu thinking that it wouldn't be so difficult since I know quite a few programming languages and all. I thought migrating from Mac would be an easy transition and there would be much difference/difficulty. It's definitely much different than I expected, hopefully as the months pass I will become more comfortable with it.

    When I enter the command:
    cat -n /etc/apt/sources.list
    It then returns the following:

    1    # deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS _Precise Pangolin_ - Release amd64 (20130213)]/ dists/precise/main/binary-i386/
         3    # deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS _Precise Pangolin_ - Release amd64 (20130213)]/ dists/precise/restricted/binary-i386/
         4    # deb cdrom:[Ubuntu 12.04.2 LTS _Precise Pangolin_ - Release amd64 (20130213)]/ precise main restricted
         6    # See for how to upgrade to
         7    # newer versions of the distribution.
         8    deb precise main restricted
         9    deb-src precise main restricted
        11    ## Major bug fix updates produced after the final release of the
        12    ## distribution.
        13    deb precise-updates main restricted
        14    deb-src precise-updates main restricted
        16    ## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu
        17    ## team. Also, please note that software in universe WILL NOT receive any
        18    ## review or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
        19    deb precise universe
        20    deb-src precise universe
        21    deb precise-updates universe
        22    deb-src precise-updates universe
        24    ## N.B. software from this repository is ENTIRELY UNSUPPORTED by the Ubuntu 
        25    ## team, and may not be under a free licence. Please satisfy yourself as to 
        26    ## your rights to use the software. Also, please note that software in 
        27    ## multiverse WILL NOT receive any review or updates from the Ubuntu
        28    ## security team.
        29    deb precise multiverse
        30    deb-src precise multiverse
        31    deb precise-updates multiverse
        32    deb-src precise-updates multiverse
        34    ## N.B. software from this repository may not have been tested as
        35    ## extensively as that contained in the main release, although it includes
        36    ## newer versions of some applications which may provide useful features.
        37    ## Also, please note that software in backports WILL NOT receive any review
        38    ## or updates from the Ubuntu security team.
        39    deb precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse
        40    deb-src precise-backports main restricted universe multiverse
        42    deb precise-security main restricted
        43    deb-src precise-security main restricted
        44    deb precise-security universe
        45    deb-src precise-security universe
        46    deb precise-security multiverse
        47    deb-src precise-security multiverse
        49    ## Uncomment the following two lines to add software from Canonical's
        50    ## 'partner' repository.
        51    ## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by Canonical and the
        52    ## respective vendors as a service to Ubuntu users.
        53    # deb precise partner
        54    # deb-src precise partner
        56    ## This software is not part of Ubuntu, but is offered by third-party
        57    ## developers who want to ship their latest software.
        58    deb precise main
        59    deb-src precise main
        60    deb precise precise partner
        61    deb-src precise partner
        62    deb precise partner
        63    deb-src precise partner
    I'm still used to installing things the Mac way where I just easily download a dmg file for any program and it adds it to my application page easily. I think I need to do some more browsing on the internet to really understand the nature of this. I'm sure it's not too difficult.

    But ever since I tried adding Google Chrome (successfully), Adobe Reader (unsuccessfully) - my laptop has been functioning much differently. Now my screen won't even dim and when I close my laptop down, the laptop won't even sleep. The brightness keys seem to not even dim my laptop anymore. And when I start my laptop up it's not as fast as when I had Mac OSX [I guess since it's making the transition to Linux].

    It also seems like Software Center is hit or miss; if there's an unknown app on there this is foreign, or that is not listed like Adobe Reader, I usually have to use Terminal. Also when I try to install anything foreign via the Software Center I tend to get errors. It seems like I always migrate back to Terminal even though I should be going through other areas.

    I will keep doing research on the forums/internet, when I finally get time. Thank you.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2008
    S.H.I.E.L.D. 6-1-6
    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: Confused as to what this means

    Your missing the /ubuntu at the end of
    Should look like
    deb precise partner
    deb-src precise partner
    You can just run
    sudo sed -i ' @' /etc/apt/sources.list
    sudo nano /etc/apt/sources.list
    and manually adding the /ubuntu to fix it
    Last edited by sandyd; May 21st, 2013 at 02:15 PM.
    Don't waste your energy trying to change opinions ... Do your thing, and don't care if they like it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Kubuntu 14.04 Trusty Tahr

    Re: Confused as to what this means

    Quote Originally Posted by Albury_Boy View Post
    .... to remove the offending line by typing
    sudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
    It should be

    gksudo gedit /etc/apt/sources.list
    as gedit is graphical application. read more on sudo for graphical applicaitons here:

    sudo nano ok though as nano is an applicaiton that runs in terminal.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics:
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    User friendly disk backup (suitable for older PCs): Redobackup Less friendly disk backup (works on new PC): Clonezilla

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