Update Manager in Ubuntu 12.04 crashes with unresolvable problem! (Solved)

The buggy Ubuntu has become what used to be ‘Windows 95’ i.e. crashing without reason (or user stimuli) whatsoever. Rather falling under its own weight. I have already replaced Ubuntu Precise vanilla 12.04 with Linux Mint 13 on two computers. It appears that time has come for change that will be away from Ubuntu. There is nothing more annoying than working for first day after holidays and being greeted with a crash report. Today the Update Manager Crashed with following message and advice to report bug:

An unresolvable problem occurred while initializing the package information.

Please report this bug against the 'update-manager' package and include the following error message:

'E:Encountered a section with no Package: header, E:Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/security.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_precise-security_main_i18n_Translation-en, E:The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.'

This is the error message from “apt-get update”:

Reading package lists... Error!
E: Encountered a section with no Package: header
E: Problem with MergeList /var/lib/apt/lists/security.ubuntu.com_ubuntu_dists_precise-security_main_i18n_Translation-en
E: The package lists or status file could not be parsed or opened.

Executing following command

 sudo apt get install -f

merely repeated the above message.

Solution

It appears that it is a well-known bug and a persistent one. There is some mix-up in package lists. Executing following commands at Terminal deleted existing lists and resolved the problem:

sudo rm /var/lib/apt/lists/*

The above did give an error that it can not remove the ‘partial’ as it is directory. But we ignored it and updated the system manually from the terminal with following command:

sudo apt-get update

The update took longer but it resolved the problem for now. Thus started the New Year 2013.

© Sandeep Bhalla

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About Sandeep Bhalla

A lawyer, thinker, author, Linux/Ubuntu power user and sometime an economist or gardener or philosopher or cook or photographer depending upon the current thought and environment. View all posts by Sandeep Bhalla

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